President Obama opens up on racism he faced while in White House

President Obama has often been guarded when discussing racism, but, on CNN Special Report about his legacy that aired on Wednesday, he addressed the issue straight on.

Obama told Fareed Zakaria, "I think there's a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in Northern states are very different from whites in Southern states. Are there folks whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign, the other? Are those who champion the 'birther' movement feeding off of bias? Absolutely."

The president denied that his troubles with Congress were race-related, but his former adviser David Axelrod, who also appeared on the program, expressed a different view, asserting, "It's indisputable that there was a ferocity to the opposition and a lack of respect to him that was a function of race."

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Axelrod spoke further of a highly placed Republican who commented, "you know, we don't really think you should be here, but the American people thought otherwise so we're going to have to work with you."

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates most have little hope of such attitudes towards race improving under Donald Trump.

The results indicate, "Nearly half of U.S. voters (46 percent) expect Trump's election to lead to worse race relations, while just 25 percent say they will improve (26 percent say there will be no difference)."

According to a November 23 poll from CNN/ORC, the president will leave office with a 57 percent approval rating -- the highest level he's had since September 2009, when it hit 58 percent.

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