Controversial Obama Video Surfaces [VIDEO]
Conservatives are using a speech President Barack Obama delivered as a candidate in 2007 to accuse him of using racially charged rhetoric.
Fox News broadcast the video Tuesday night of the speech that news organizations including The Associated Press and Fox News covered at the time. However, according to the Daily Caller, the more controversial comments were not reported. ABC News admitted that it worked off prepared remarks released prior to the address. Obama went off-script during the address for the most controversial remarks.
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Fox host Sean Hannity says the remarks contain quote, "some of the most divisive class warfare and racially charged rhetoric ever used by Barack Obama."
“The people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much!” Obama shouts in the video, which was shot in June of 2007 at Hampton University in Virginia. By contrast, survivors of Sept. 11 and Hurricane Andrew received generous amounts of aid, Obama explains. The reason? Unlike residents of majority-black New Orleans, the federal government considers those victims “part of the American family.”
“Down in New Orleans, where they still have not rebuilt 20 months later,” Obama says, “there’s a law, federal law — when you get reconstruction money from the federal government — called the Stafford Act. And basically it says, when you get federal money, you’ve got to give a 10 percent match. The local government’s got to come up with 10 percent. Every 10 dollars the federal government comes up with, local government’s got to give a dollar.
“Now here’s the thing, when 9/11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act — said, ‘This is too serious a problem. We can’t expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you got to put in. Well, here’s 10 dollars.’ And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, ‘Look at this devastation. We don’t expect you to come up with y’own money, here. Here’s the money to rebuild. We’re not going to wait for you to scratch it together — because you’re part of the American family.’ … What’s happening down in New Orleans? Where’s your dollar? Where’s your Stafford Act money? Makes no sense. Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much.”
The Drudge Report, a regular critic of Obama, wrote on Twitter that the video will quote, "ignite accusations of racism — in both directions!"
"There's no way you can listen to this speech and not hear it as a deliberately divisive speech that pits Americans against each other and does so largely with racial innuendoes that are very, very clear when you hear the speech," former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said on Fox News, which aired
segments of the videotaped speech.
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt quickly dismissed the criticism, accusing "Mitt Romney's allies" of recirculating video of a widely covered speech in "a transparent attempt to change the subject" from Romney's comments about 47 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes.
Romney's campaign did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment. The Republican previously distanced himself from a conservative group considering an advertising campaign featuring Obama's former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons stirred controversy in Obama's first campaign.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.