Conservative pundit Ben Stein said Barack Obama “is the most racist president there has ever been in America.” The economist and longtime television personality told Fox News that Obama uses race to spur African-Americans to vote against the Republican Party.
“What the White House is trying to do is racialize all politics and they’re especially trying to tell the African-American voter that the GOP is against letting them have a chance at a good life in this economy, and that’s just a complete lie,” Stein said during a Monday appearance on America’s News HQ. "I watch with fascination, with incredible fascination, all the stories about how the Democratic politicians, especially Hillary [Clinton], are trying to whip up the African-American vote and say, ‘Oh, the Republicans have policies against black people in terms of the economy.’"
No such policies exist, Stein said. "Republicans want a vigorous economy same as everyone else. That whole idea that the economy is being used in some way to oppress minorities is just an outrageous lie," he said.
The comments came weeks after Vice President Joe Biden warned a gathering of South Carolina’s top African-American ministers of the dangers of allowing Republicans to take control of Congress in Tuesday’s midterm elections. In particular, Biden touted the Democratic Party’s policies on minimum wage and “tax fairness” while accusing Republicans of discouraging African-Americans from voting, CNN reported.
Stein's economic pronouncements are often met with a good deal of skepticism. A New York Times column in which he criticized Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius' assessment of what went wrong during America's financial crisis of 2007 was in turn criticized over Stein's questionable analysis of the role subprime mortgages played in the recession. A noted conservative pundit, Stein once sued Japanese electronics firm Kyocera, which he claimed chose not to hire him as a pitchman after the company learned that he denies the existence of global warming.
A poll published by Five Thirty Eight on Monday gave Republicans a 74 percent change of seizing a Senate majority in the midterm elections. A series of other polls project GOP victories in Kentucky, Georgia and Louisiana.
Democrats have recently circulated campaign ads featuring a photo of a lynching in North Carolina to energize black voters to re-elect Sen. Kay Hagan. In Arkansas, black voters have been courted with ads suggesting that the GOP is trying to impeach Obama and is “targeting our children.” African-American voters in Georgia have seen ads that focus on threats to Obama rather than on the Democratic Senate candidate, Michelle Nunn.
Noted filmmaker Spike Lee once asserted that it was impossible for a minority group to be racist because they "don't have the power" to discriminate against other groups. "Black people can't be racist," he told Playboy magazine in 1991. "Racism is an institution...black people can be prejudiced."