Obama later returned to the topic of insults, however, saying, “I’m going to try to lead by example in this situation, as opposed to commenting on every single comment that’s made by either politicians or pundits.”
“I would be very busy,” he added. “I would not have time to do my job. That’s your job, to comment on what’s said by politicians and pundits.”
On Mar. 1, the The Roots band got a shout-out from Obama when they played at his fundraisers in New York.
“Hello, New York! Oh, it is good to be back in New York City. … I want to thank all the talent who participated — Ben Folds, Ingrid Michaelson. The Roots are always in the house,” said Obama.
Obama then proceeded to tout his support for women to 900 supporters at the $1,000-per-person fundraiser.
“The first bill I signed into law … says women deserve an equal day’s pay for an equal day’s work … because I want my daughters to have the same opportunity as someone’s sons,” Obama claimed.
“The civil rights movement was hard. Winning the vote for women was hard,” said Obama.
The band’s leader Ahmir Thompson, sometimes called “Questlove,” is an Obama supporter. He is featured in a video on the African-Americans For Obama section of Obama’s campaign website.
“In 2008 he promised to bring real change and hope to our country and community as a whole,” Thompson says in the video. “This is not a quick fix. It’s not like you can take a wand, ‘BING,’ make magic overnight. He needs eight years to finish the mission and we need to have his back.”
However, support for Obama among African-Americans may have fallen since their near-unanimous support in 2008.
For example, less than half of young black men have jobs, and the income of African-Americans has stalled, even thought the economic recession formally ended in 2009.
The stalled economy has also made it difficult for African-Americans to recover from the mortgage bubble, which reduced the median wealth of African-American households by 53 percent from 2005 to 2009, according to a July 2011 Pew Research Center report.
After Thompson’s band insulted Bachmann, Fallon and NBC apologized to her.
And two days after the musical smear, the band’s leader, Ahmir Thomson, released what was described as an apology.
“The performance was a tongue-in-cheek and spur of the moment decision,” Thompson said. “The show was not aware of it and I feel bad if her feelings were hurt. That was not my intention,” he said, without actually apologizing for suggesting that Bachman is a “lyin’ ass bitch.”
Some liberals criticized Thompson for the insult.
“Using the song to essentially call her a bitch — a cheap insult that would never be used toward a male candidate — is not much better than Rush Limbaugh calling Michelle Obama “uppity,” a term he’d never think to use for someone of a different race,” wrote Jenee Desmond-Harris, in an article for the Washington Post’s site for African-Americans, “The Root.”