Obama on Beck. Beck on Obama

By Chris Ariens 

Okay. We think we have one more Glenn Beck rally story in us. This one’s about what Pres. Obama said about Beck, and what Beck said about Pres. Obama.

First, Pres. Obama during his interview with Brian Williams Sunday:

Brian Williams: What does it say to you that Glenn Beck was able to draw a crowd of perhaps north of 300,000 people on the anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, on the site of Dr. King’s speech? Message appeared to be, at times, anti-government, anti-spread of government. Anti-Obama administration. And in favor of – I guess – re-injecting God into both politics and the American discourse.

Pres. Obama: Well, I have to say, I – I did not watch the rally. I think that one of the wonderful things about this country is that at any given moment any group of people can decide, you know, “We want to – our voices heard.” And – and so, I think that Mr. Beck and the rest of those folks were exercising their rights under our Constitution exactly as they should.

I – I do think that it’s important for us to recognize that right now, the country’s going through a very difficult time, as a consequence of years of neglect in a whole range of areas. Our schools not working the way they need to, so we’ve slipped in terms of the number of college graduates, you know?

A financial system that was not, you know, operating in a way that maintained integrity and assured that the people who were investing or who were buying a home or were using a credit card weren’t getting in some way cheated. We had a health care system that was broken and that was bankrupting families and businesses. All those issues are big, tough, difficult issues. And those are just our domestic issues. That’s before we get to policy issues in two wars. And a continuing battle against terrorists who want to do us harm.

So, given all those anxieties – and given the fact that, you know, in none of these situations are you going to fix things overnight. It’s not surprising that somebody like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of the country. That’s been true throughout our history. What I’m focused on is making sure that the decisions we’re making now are going to be be not good for the nightly news. Not good even necessarily for the next election. But are good for the next generation. And I’m very confident that those decisions are the ones that we’ve made.

• After the jump, Beck, talking with Chris Wallace Sunday, “amends” last summer‘s pronouncement that the president is racist. “I have a big fat mouth sometimes…”

Chris Wallace: Do you regret having called [Obama] a racist and saying he had a deep seated hatred for white people?

Glenn Beck: Of course I do. I don’t want to retract the, um … I want to amend that I think it is much more of a theological question, that he is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor-and-victim. ‘Racist,’ first of all, it shouldn’t have been said. It was poorly said. I have a big fat mouth sometimes and I say things. That’s just not the way people should behave. And it was not accurate. It is liberation theology that has shaped his world view.