A Merle Haggard quote has been circulating social media over the last two days, almost as if it appeared in response to the incredible disrespect shown to President Obama by Republicans in Congress and foreign leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. The quote is from a 2010 Rolling Stone interview. Patrick Doyle spoke with music legend Merle Haggard, who was attending the 33rd Kennedy Center Honors. Haggard was invited to the White House to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Doyle asked Merle Haggard about President Obama, and the traditional ‘stone-country’ singer-songwriter said he enjoyed meeting Obama and found the President to be quite different from what he had seen in the media. That’s when Haggard interestingly added:
It’s really almost criminal what they do with our President. There seems to be no shame or anything. They call him all kinds of names all day long, saying he’s doing certain things that he’s not. It’s just a big old political game that I don’t want to be part of. There are people spending their lives putting him down. I’m sure some of it’s true and some of it’s not. I was very surprised to find the man very humble and he had a nice handshake. His wife was very cordial to the guests and especially me. They made a special effort to make me feel welcome. It was not at all the way the media described him to be.
Doyle asked, ‘What’s the biggest lie out there about Obama?’
He’s not conceited. He’s very humble about being the President of the United States, especially in comparison to some presidents we’ve had who come across like they don’t need anybody’s help. I think he knows he’s in over his head. Anybody with any sense who takes that job and thinks they can handle it must be an idiot.
When Doyle asked if Haggard talked to the President much, the interview took a much lighter tone:
I told him, “You and I have something in common: our wives are both taller than we are.” And he said “No! She’s got on 3-inch heels! And she is not that tall!” He was like me. He grabbed that real quick.