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PETER JOHNSON, JR.: Obama's Sad, Surprising Words

EDITOR'S NOTE: President Obama delivered remarks at the DCCC reception at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, R.I. on Monday. In the course of his remarks, according to the Associated Press, "he said Republicans had driven the economy into a ditch and then stood by and criticized while Democrats pulled it out. Now that progress has been made, he said, 'we can't have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.'" 

Here is reaction to the president's remarks from Fox News Legal Analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. as seen on "Fox & Friends" on October 27. 

BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST:  Sure, this midterm election is a week away, but should the president be bringing up imagery of segregation, bringing it into politics or do you not see it in those words? Does he not see it? We're joined by Peter Johnson, Jr. 

PETER JOHNSON, JR./FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: It's a peculiar and strange and haunting and really backward reference that we're seeing by the president. 

What we're really seeing is reference to the notion of being in the back of the bus. That's a matter of sad american history, embarrassing american history. 

Rosa Parks in December 1955 changed the course of American history when she decided that she would not give up her seat [on a public bus] for a white person. And it ended the concept across the country of African-Americans being in the back of the bus, literally, in every way in terms of our society. 

So now we have a president referring to this kind of malignant, charged era in American history and saying in a long narrative, and it's incredible what he said, that somehow the car's in ditch, that the Republicans are -- it's incredible -- at the top of the ditch drinking Slurpees, kicking dirt in the face of the president and others who are trying to get this car out of the ditch. And once the car is out of the ditch and the Republicans demand the keys (you can't have the keys), but we'll let you sit in the back of the bus. 

Couple that, too, with a statement that the president made on the Spanish radio show where he talks about exhorting the Spanish-American community, the Latino community in this country to punish their enemies when they vote.

KILMEADE: And reward your friends. 

JOHNSON: When we engage in this charged, strange, malignant kind of language, we are not moving forward. We are moving backwards in this country. And it's a regrettable statement. 

The American bus, the American car is a bus and a car for all Americans, regardless of race and regardless of Party. So when we're allegedly in this post-partisan, post-racial era where we summon our better angels, [to] summon our worst demons and to go back 55 years and summon the horrible image of a courageous Rosa Parks fighting the evil of segregation -- to inject that again into our politics is a surprising thing and I'm sure the president wouldn't do it again. It's sad, though. 

KILMEADE: We'll see you tomorrow. We'll see if that resonates and gets him some votes.

JOHNSON:  I hope not.

Peter Johnson Jr. is a successful and prominent appellate and trial lawyer he has been tapped for leadership positions by a historic New York City mayor and by Democratic and Republican governors. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Law and the recipient of Martindale Hubbell's highest rating for lawyers, he has been an outspoken and eloquent analyst for the FOX News Channel (FNC) on law, public policy, media and culture for the last 15 years.