President Obama knew exactly what he was aiming for with his “provocative” comments during the National Prayer Breakfast last week when he compared the sins of the Crusades to the transgressions of ISIS, according to David Axelrod.
In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Monday night, Axelrod said that the president “knew what he was saying” with his comments Friday morning, adding that Obama “absolutely” knew his remarks would be “provocative.”
“Did President Obama know, in your opinion, when he said this, made a comparison to the Crusades, that all hell was going to break loose?” O’Reilly asked the former Obama adviser. “Did he know?”
“I think he knew what he was saying and he knew that it was provocative,” Axelrod said. “Absolutely, I think he knew that.”
“His point is that we have a quarter of the world’s population, are Islamic. And the vast majority of them have nothing to do with extremism,” Axelrod said. “His point is let us not define that entire quarter of planet by the actions of extremists. Let’s isolate the extremists, just as we wouldn’t blame every Christian for the acts of some Christian, or every Jew for the acts of some Jews.”
Obama incited critical responses from a multitude of conservative commentators, and some liberals, for his Friday remarks, in which he invoked the Crusades and the Inquisition.
“Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said Friday. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”