The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
MANASSAS, VA (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MANASSAS, VA (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  

Gun rights advocate and former Obama colleague: President used to treat him as ‘evil’

Economist John Lott, noted for his academic advocacy of gun rights, says that when Barack Obama was his colleague at the University of Chicago, the future president treated him as if he were “evil.”

Lott relates his interactions with Obama in his new book, co-authored with Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, “Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We can Do Now to Regain Our Future.”

“The book relates a couple out of the dozen-and-a-half conversations that I had with him,” Lott told The Daily Caller. ”But they were all very short, cut off by Obama turning his back on me and walking away.”

“He wouldn’t shake hands. It was very clear that Obama disagreed on the gun issue and acted as if he believed that people who he disagreed with were not just wrong, but evil. Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama simply showed disdain.”

Lott and Obama were colleagues at the University of Chicago Law School in the 1990s.

The book’s main focus is Obama’s economic policies, which the authors contend have exacerbated America’s economic woes.

“We wanted to put together a book that explained how the stimulus [the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009] made the economy worse, provide evidence for that claim, and explain what could be done to increase growth,” said Lott, a Fox News contributor who has held teaching and research positions at elite universities including Yale and Stanford.

TheDC’s interview with Lott explored how he believes President Obama has mishandled the economy, what policies he believes should be implemented to spark an economic recovery, the seriousness of our looming entitlement crisis and much more.

Why did you decide to write the book?

People know that Obama’s repeated promises to grow the economy have been broken time and time again. People know that Obama promised the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent, but what is missing is an explanation for why the stimulus raised unemployment and made this the worst recovery on record.

There is always some excuse. That they made these predictions before they knew how bad the economy really was (false). That the Japanese earthquake or economic problems in Europe were at fault. The economy had already slowed down long before then and it can’t explain why other countries from Germany to Canada, countries that didn’t follow Obama’s Keynesian policies have done so much better. The list of claims is quite long.

We wanted to put together a book that explained how the stimulus made the economy worse, provide evidence for that claim, and explain what could be done to increase growth.

You knew Obama somewhat when you were both professors at the University of Chicago. What was your interaction with him like? 

Obama and I overlapped for four years at the University of Chicago Law School, though he was rarely around. When Obama joined the school as a part-time lecturer, it was made quite clear to everyone that he was going to use the job to run for public office. Being a part-time lecturer with no research responsibilities left him with the opportunity to spend almost all of his week to go out and campaign for office. 

The book relates a couple out of the dozen-and-a-half conversations that I had with him. But they were all very short, cut off by Obama turning his back on me and walking away. He wouldn’t shake hands. It was very clear that Obama disagreed on the gun issue and acted as if he believed that people who he disagreed with were not just wrong, but evil. Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama simply showed disdain.