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There are certainly racial elements in the opposition to Obama, particularly when it comes to some of our elected representatives from the South where racial prejudice is more ingrained. However, with regards to the health care debate, I believe it is more of a liberal versus conservative battleground issue. Republicans have opposed heath care reform for decades, and no matter what Democrat was in office, the opposition would have been just as viscious.
Nevertheless, prominent figures like Jimmy Carter have called Wilson's outburst rascist:. Speaking to NBC's Brian Williams, Carter said:
"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,"
Carter specifically said that Wilson's comment was "dastardly" and part of an "inherent feeling" held by many Americans -- particularly Southerners -- that African-Americans "are not qualified to lead this great country."
"It's an abominable circumstances and grieves me and concerns me very deeply," Carter said.
Republicans will use any tactic to stop heath care reform, and that includes demonizing Obama at every opportunity. As Jim Demint said: "If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."