In addition to recently softening his rhetoric on the Black Lives Matter movement, conservative radio talk show host Glenn Beck is now offering some praise for outgoing President Barack Obama, whom he once accused of harboring "a deep-seated hatred for white people," telling The New Yorker that the commander in chief has made him a "better man."
"I did a lot of freaking out about Barack Obama," TheBlaze founder admitted, before going on to acknowledge, "Obama made me a better man."
Beck went on to say he regrets calling the president a racist because, in hindsight, he has realized "there are things unique to the African-American experience that I cannot relate to," adding, "I had to listen to them."
And it appears all of Beck's recent introspection has made him somewhat of a pariah within the traditional center-right, conservative realm — a place he has called home for most of his career.
The conservative talker has for months laid bare his disdain for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (even acknowledging he toyed with the idea of voting for Hillary Clinton), he has rebuked Republican lawmakers for failing to consider Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, and he has voiced newfound "empathy" for the Black Lives Matter movement, a progressive faction he once stood staunchly against.
It yet another unexpected turn, Beck even expressed praise for Michelle Obama, drawing a slight comparison between the first lady and former President Ronald Reagan, a darling of the conservative movement:
At Fifty-fourth Street, he came upon the Hilton, where, in 1979, his idol, Ronald Reagan, announced his Presidential bid. (The Gipper was unimpressed by the “pigeon-crap-encrusted metropolis.”) “Reagan didn’t believe in the government,” Beck said. “He didn’t believe in the party. He believed in the people.”
It was this brand of populism that he thought Michelle Obama invoked so well. “She didn’t say, ‘The government should do X, Y, or Z.’ She said, ‘We,’ ‘Us’—without a political party. ‘We are better.’ ‘We need to stop this,’ ” he said. “It had to do with ‘Who are you as a human being?’ ‘How do you view women?’ Brilliant speech,” he said. “That was a moment that transcended all political thought.”
During his conversation with The New Yorker, Beck also shared a personal encounter he had with Donald Trump, using the experience to provide additional insight into why he has refused to support the billionaire businessman's candidacy. He said Trump once requested he go to one of the guest rooms at his Mar-A-Lago resort, where he then received a call from the GOP candidate.
The two men had what Beck described as an "almost Howard Hughes-like conversation."
"This guy is dangerously unhinged," he recalled. "And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot 'dangerously unhinged.'"
Beck previously wrote on Facebook that he would not vote for Trump because standing against the New York real estate developer is a "moral, ethical choice," even if that results in electing Clinton president. However, he recently predicted Trump will win by five points.