The President sat down with MSNBC host Chris Matthews at American University on Thursday afternoon. During the pre-taped interview, which aired that night, Matthews asked POTUS about recent polling that shows Americans trust the federal government less than 20 percent of the time.
Predictably, the President chose to blame Republicans for that lack of trust, even though Democrats control both the White House and the Senate.
“The entire Republican Party brand over — since Ronald Reagan has been, ‘Government’s the problem,'” Obama told Matthews. “And if you, day after day, week after week, election after election are running on that platform and that permeates our culture, and it’s picked up by, you know, ordinary citizens who grow skeptical. Then it’s not surprising that over time, trust in government declines.”
Obama also backhandedly criticized the media and public for focusing on the negative aspects of politics and ignoring the good things that are accomplished.
“If we do something that is perceived, at least initially, as a screw-up, it’ll be on the nightly news for a week,” Obama joked.
The President — with the help of Matthews — tried to downplay the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups, a major blot on the beginning of his second term. He explained that the IRS office in Cincinnati was merely trying to “streamline” the system for “bureaucratic reasons.”
“501(c)4 is tricky to begin with,” Matthews added.
Aside from the IRS scandal, the President’s second term has also been marred by subpoenaing the phone records of Associated Press journalists, National Security Agency spying and a pathetic rollout of HealthCare.gov. And the end of his first term coincided with the Benghazi attacks and the embarrassing lack of military response to the pleas for help.
But since Obama and his administration apparently view these scandals as ‘phony,’ it’s no wonder the President blames Republicans for the lack of trust in government.