October 19th, 2008
03:08 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama hits back on 'socialist charge'

Obama campaigned in North Carolina earlier Sunday.
Obama campaigned in North Carolina earlier Sunday.

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) – Barack Obama fired back against charges his tax policy amounts to “socialism,” arguing John McCain simply wants to redistribute wealth to the already wealthy.

“It’s kind of hard to figure how Warren Buffet endorsed me, Colin Powell endorses me, and John McCain thinks I’m embracing socialism,” Obama said. “This is his argument because I want to give a tax cut to the middle class, because I want to give a tax cut to 95 percent of American workers.”

The Democratic nominee also said that while McCain may call giving regular Americans a tax break “socialism,” he calls it an “opportunity.”

“Here’s the truth, North Carolina. This debate – and this election – comes down to what we value. In the America I know, we don’t just value wealth, we value the work and workers who create it,” he said. “He can call me any name he wants but what he’s talking about is not right, it’s not change, that’s why we’re going to beat him in this election on November 4th.”

Before his rally in Fayetteville, Obama dropped by Cape Fear BBQ and Chicken to shake hands with patrons, many of them older white voters. In a sign that perhaps pre-election tempers are getting a little hot, according to the pool report when Obama entered the restaurant a woman screamed “Socialist, socialist, socialist – get out of here!” The woman, 54 year-old Diane Fanning was admonished by other diners and one woman yelled back “at least he’s not a war-monger.”

It is unclear whether Obama heard this exchange as there were many in the restaurant trying to greet him. Later when Obama approached Fanning’s table she refused to shake his hand.

“Some of ‘em are just nicer than I am,” Fanning told the pool reporter when asked why she didn’t shake the senator’s hand but other members of her church group did. “I know how some of ‘em think.” Fanning did however have a brief conversation with Obama about some issues of concern to her.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (517 Responses)
  1. hurriCAIN PALIN

    empty suit socialist, funny

    October 19, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. mary ca

    McCain will say anything , fear smear,,, etc. But as I am concern nobody in Canada lost their homes because health care and we are not socialist, for. So think twice if you really want McCain and his bide at the top of the job because I think it's gone be worst as gw

    October 19, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. neville

    she is a mob head.dats the man of the 21st century.just bcoz he is black they dont wanna accept it.racist country

    October 19, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Charlotte Udziela

    The woman who screamed "socialist, socialist" at Senator Obama in Fayetteville is just showing her ignorance. That he had the grace to speak with her says an awful lot about his character.

    October 19, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Toni

    McCain believes that the American people are STUPID! He has taken the Obama's statement totally out of context. The truth is McCain don't have anything else to offer the American people.

    By the way, if Obama did a Rap skit he would have been labled al being too black and ghetto. Wow! what a double standard!

    Obama

    October 19, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. mama4obama

    WOW...what a witch. People can disagree with Obama, but they don't have to be nasty about it. Clear difference between right wing crazies and those that support Obama/Biden/US. Obama...you are the most genuine person ever to run for POTUS and I will be so proud to cast my vote for you on November 4th.

    October 19, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Tom

    Diane Fanning needs to educate herself, and get a life.

    You see how easy it is to manipulate people when all they have to do is research, and know the truth, but instead they rather be ignorant, disrespectful, rude, obnoxious, and believe everything MCcain says.

    Poor woman she has my sympathy.

    OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT:)))

    October 19, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Tim

    You gotta give Obama credit – despite the fact that this woman is screaming her head off, he takes the time to talk to her anyway, and address some of the issues that concern her. He's going to be a great President.

    October 19, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. landi

    I have always had my reservations about those proclaim church goers.there's people hide behind churches to launch their evil deeds and this is really not a good but I leave those hyprocrites for the fires of hell.

    October 19, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Already Voted Obama

    If Ms. Fanning heard all of Presidential Obama's strategic objectives for our 21st century future, She may have a healthcare system to help with her dental care - as well as an education to take her out of the BBQ -shack and into a healthier establishment.

    October 19, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. aware

    Give it up Obama,

    You are a socialist in the Marxist vein. You said you learned the most fom Saul Alinsky, and you use his phrases in your speeches!

    I know because I read "Reveille for Radicals" and "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky.

    According to Alinsky, the ends justify the means so lie, cheat, steal – whatever it takes to get the power! You learned that well Obama! :(

    October 19, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Wendy in NC

    Sen. Obama, as someone who lives 50 miles away from that restaurant, I'd like to say that Ms. Fanning was out of line, discourteous and not representative of the southern tradition of graciousness. She does NOT speak for me or my family who will all be voting for you. She does NOT speak for people who are intelligent enough to know the difference between 'Socialism' and a 'Social Democrat'. This sort of outburst reminds us that education is still sadly lacking in America and even if you are uneducated as to political terms and definitions, it is traditionally a southern trait to be respectful and mind your manners. (I bet Ms. Fanning wears white after Labor Day, too...Bless her heart.)

    October 19, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. JayZeeMD

    Racist, Racist , Racist would have been a good response.

    October 19, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Zach, Independent/California

    Socialism? It's Bush who's nationalizing the banks. Maybe McCain-Palin should actually look the word up before they accuse somebody. I suppose 'Communist' will be next in trying to scare folks away from Obama. Ain't gonna happen this time.

    October 19, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Lisa from Saugus

    How can Obama say he will give a tax cut to 95% of Americans when 45% don't pay income taxes. That is not 95%!!

    Socialism is defined as: any of various theories or systems of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community RATHER than by private individuals, with all members of society or the community sharing in the work and the products.

    This is true in that Obama wants to socialize medicine, taxes (his spread the wealth idea), etc. I kind of like the idea of individuals who work hard to make it not be penalized by redistribution wealth to give to those who stay at home.

    Lisa

    October 19, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Dixon

    This woman is all that is left of the Republican Party. If you don't look and think exactly like I do you have nothing of value to say.

    October 19, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. PAYING TAXES IS SPREADING THE WEALTH

    As long as we pay taxes to support our schools, roads, government, etc. we are doing what Obama is talking about "spreading the wealth"...why does McCain call us Socialists for this? The LABEL of LIBERAL was beginning to sound like a good thing, so the REPUBLICAN WING-NUTS had to come up with another LABEL.. so we get SOCIALIST. McCain just says what he thinks will SCARE us..just like BUSH...a campaign of FEAR. We should be afraid of McCain...I know I am not better off than I was 8 years ago, ARE YOU???

    October 19, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. Independent Voter

    Time for this election to be OVER.

    October 19, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. rightsaid

    Those republicans who are left on the broken McCain wagon are grasping at straws. They apparently know nothing about socialism, and some of McCain's own plans involve "redistributing wealth".

    It is beyond absurd to call Obama a socialist. Pick up a frickin' book, turn of Rush and Hannity, and look it up yourselves.

    Obama-Biden are exactly what this country needs right now.

    October 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Saundra in Maine

    People in this country need to remember their manners. When someone offers their hand in greeting, you really should offer yours in return. It's is really immature and rude not to. But even worse the namecalling- it reminds me of a grade school recess.. Hey if you don't agree with a politician- don't vote for them–but don't call them names...grow up people. this is getting crazy

    October 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Lisa from Saugus

    How can Obama say he will give a tax cut to 95% of Americans when 45% don't pay income taxes. That is not 95%!!

    Socialism is defined as: any of various theories or systems of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community RATHER than by private individuals, with all members of society or the community sharing in the work and the products.

    This is true in that Obama wants to socialize medicine, taxes (his spread the wealth idea), etc. I kind of like the idea of individuals who work hard to make it not be penalized by redistribution wealth to give to those who stay at home and refuse to work. (sorry I hit the submit comment button too soon!!)

    Lisa

    October 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. john

    Commisar obama is right he is not a socialist try marxist

    October 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. john

    Its easy for a parrot to repeat what it has been trained to say. LET ALL THE HUMAN BEINGS MAKE A WISE DECISION ON 11/4 AND NOW FOR EARLTY VOTERS! OBAMA 08/12!!

    October 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Ovitshio Branco

    McCain gave up important Military info after 4 days while a POW, that's not putting his country before his own person, is in fact treasonous. John McCain committed adultery, that's not a leader you can trust. John Mccain has lived off of the American people all of his life, owns 7 homes worth 13 million, personal wealth of over 110 million, thinks being rich is making 5 million collects SS and disability. Why disability? Yet he want us to believe he knows our pains…he failed to pay the taxes on his southern CA home. John McCain has the highest absent rate in the Senate, the worst voting record for Vets and women, became a “war-hero” in an immoral and unjust war (the Vietnam War), supports another illegal war in Iraq, wants war with Iran and Russia, has no clue about economy, saying that "all in all we are doing better than 8 years ago". He says he knows how to "win" a war but has no record to back that claim up. Being a POW just means that you are one of the worst of the fighter pilots…how many US fighter jocks have lost 3 or more aircraft???? The mission he flew on where he became a POW was a bombing mission over civilian territory. This makes him a "war hero"????? John McCain is running on his war "hero" status, but he pushed legislation making it impossible for families to get info about their MIA/POWs…and still refuses to release his Military records…AND HE WANTS THE DRAFT back!!! Why hasn't CNN had a headline about this???

    October 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. aware

    Poor Powell! He is still is a sucker for a lie! Obama, seems to have bought the line, that if you just tell the lies often enough, people will believe them! :(

    October 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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