President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaThe Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over health care Ex-Trump aide: Tillerson is ‘part of the swamp’ Rand Paul takes victory lap on GOP health bill MORE pushed back against criticism from two of his most strident opponents, conservative talk hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, in an interview aired Friday.
Asked by CBS's "Early Show" about the strong critiques of his time in the White House, Obama volunteered Beck and Limbaugh and said they have spewed "vitriol" against him.
"When you listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, it's pretty apparent, but keep in mind that there have been periods in American history where this kind of vitriol comes out," Obama said. "It happens often when you've got an economy that is making people more anxious, and people are feeling that there's a lot of change that needs to take place. But that's not the vast majority of Americans. But that's not the vast majority of Americans."
Obama has faced tough opposition from the right, especially during the healthcare debate, which some Democrats have said has translated into acts of hate and violence against some lawmakers.
Some liberals and Democratic lawmakers have blamed Republicans and right-wing media, such as Limbaugh, Beck and Fox News, which hosts Beck show, of fueling such anger.
But Obama and other Democrats have called on Democrats to not place partisan blame for threats to lawmakers.
Obama also took a jab at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) in an effort to push back against comments that his healthcare plan is "socialist."
Romney created a healthcare law in his state several years ago that Obama has compared to his own. While making the comparison on Friday, Obama slipped and called the presumed GOP presidential candidate "current Republican nominee Mitt Romney."
Obama added, "This notion that 'Obama's a Socialist,' for example. Nobody can really give you a good answer."
Romney has said he opposes the Democrats' healthcare bill and has called for it to be repealed. He has acknowledged that there are some similarities between his universal healthcare law and the national law, but said that the differences outweigh the similarities.