"The president does not believe that the criticism… is based on the color of his skin," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today.
Gibbs was responding to comments made by former President Jimmy Carter, who yesterday told NBC, "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. I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that share the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans."
Carter went on to say, "And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."
But Gibbs reiterated today what he said Sunday, that the president believes opposition to his policies is not rooted in prejudice.
"The president does not believe that a majority of this in rooted in that," Gibbs said.