Carolla Calls Obama’s Graduation Speech ‘Poisonous’

First, President Barack Obama famously chided successful Americans in his infamous, “you didn’t build that” speech.

Obama: If You've Got A Business, You Didn't Build That

Now, he’s telling college graduates on their biggest day they “got lucky.”

The podcast king excoriated Obama for his May 7 address to Howard University seniors. Obama told the students from the historically black college they shouldn’t feel too proud of their achievements.

Obama spoke about their poor, downtrodden peers, and how they once may have seemed as full of promise as the graduates themselves.

That’s when the president uncorked the following:

“And that means we have to not only question the world as it is, and stand up for those African Americans who haven’t been so lucky — because, yes, you’ve worked hard, but you’ve also been lucky. That’s a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they’ve been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothin’ you did. So don’t have an attitude.”

That set the podcast host off.

“Is this what we want in a president? His pet peeve is successful people not realizing they’re lucky,” Carolla railed. “Shut the f*** up with that conversation. Stop it. Stop it.”

Couldn’t we say anyone born after the cholera epidemic was lucky, too, he argued.


He added the notion that the rich have it easier, particularly those born into wealth, is another false message. Privilege hardly guarantees future success. Sometimes it has the opposite effect.

“[Wealth] doesn’t mean they’re happy or fulfilled … it doesn’t mean anything. It’s more of a hobbler than a motivator,” he says.

Saying successful Americans are “lucky” is a lousy way to send graduates into the real world.

“It’s the worst, most poisonous message any politician can send, especially at the presidential level,” Carolla cried.

News girl Gina Grad piled on.

“If i went to Howard University and busted my ass to graduate, and to do it with flying colors, the last thing I’d wanna hear from the speaker was, ‘I got lucky.'” she said.

RELATED: Gina Grad Takes Aim at PC Culture

Carolla famously made his “luck” through a series of proactive career moves and sheer will. It all began when he volunteered to teach radio personality Jimmy Kimmel how to box when he heard the talker discussing an upcoming grudge match on the air.

Carolla used his boxing training to his advantage, proving he could not only throw a punch but a punchline. The gigs started coming to him from there.

Later, he turned getting fired from a lucrative radio gig into a career changing opportunity. He created a podcast, the start of what would become a record-setting endeavor.

Today, he oversees a bustling podcast network, working tirelessly to promote it across media. He writes best-selling, peddles his own brand of liquor and tours incessantly to make money and extend his brand.

He made that happen through elbow grease, talent and tenacity.

Of course, the President of the United States might see it differently.

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