Fox Business' Charles Payne repeatedly claimed Obama demonized success and attacked the wealthy during a July 5 campaign stop. But despite Fox News' ongoing campaign to portray Obama as engaging in "class warfare," the president's comments were limited to praise for the middle class.
In his July 5 campaign appearance, President Obama noted that being part of the middle class is "not just about income, it's about knowing what's important, and not measuring your success just based on your bank account. It's about your values and being responsible and looking after each other and giving back." Despite the fact that Obama never criticized the wealthy during his praise of middle class values, Payne claimed Obama's comments were "despicable" and "sickening," and that they "demonized success" during a July 6 appearance on Fox News' Fox & Friends.
After playing a clip of Obama's speech, co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested that Obama claimed that "[i]f you're upper class, you can't possibly have any values." Payne responded:
PAYNE: Let me tell you, this is what's so disappointing about it and despicable about it. Talking about people doing the right thing. Imagine you go to college, you work your way through college, you get out and you meet your girlfriend there and you guys get married and you both come out of school and you're saddled with a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of debt. You work your way through the corporate system and you have a couple of kids and you sacrifice, who knows, maybe 10, 20 years later, you have made it up the ladder of success. You've made all the sacrifices. You go to church but in the president's eyes because you make a certain amount of money you don't have values? You don't have principles? That is sickening stuff right there. It's divide and conquer and it's also demonizing success. Why isn't the job market moving? You're demonizing success.
Payne is hardly the first Fox employee to suggest that Obama is demonizing success or engaging in class warfare. This is a frequent Fox narrative that has made its way through the GOP as a standard talking point. Only in Fox's world does praising middle class values count as "demonizing success."