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. Sarah Palin

    How come we cant live comments on Ticker,with controversial headlines on mccain? CNN,stop the bias.....I will stick to reuter,AP and BBC
    Obama/Biden 08-012

    October 19, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Ray

    Yep, people like Fanning are all around us, having their worst natures stoked by Republican name calling, lies and distortions. She is at fault for begin gullible and misinformed, and the right-wing is at fault for taking advantage of that kind of person.

    I hope Fanning can come to grips with reality when Obama is president.

    October 19, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Jayson

    You can't give a tax break to 95% of Americans when 40% of Americans get back all of their taxes or more then they paid. You can't give a tax cut to someone who is already paying zero when it is all said and done.

    October 19, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. How nice

    Well isn't that nice. How very mature of Miz Fanning. If you had any lingering questions about the type of campaign McCreep and his airhead sidekick are running, or the type of people/fanatics who follow him, I would say this pretty much sums it up. McCain should be ashamed, as should this narrow-minded petty little woman. God help us if McCain steals this election like the GOP always tries to do.

    October 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Jim Hall

    THIS CRAZY WOMAN PROBABLY WANTS A MOVIE TO BE MADE AFTER HER JUST LIKE JOE THE PLUMBER. TYPICAL GOP (GAY OLD PARTY) THAT IS REALLY WHAT GOP STANDS FOR. TACTICS OF IMPLANTING PEOPLE AND IT ALWAYS BACKFIRES ON THEM. HECK I COULD DO A BETTER JOB AT IMPLANTING PEOPLE THAN MCSHAMES PEOPLE. WHO DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A LICENSE TO PRACTICE IN HIS TOWN NOR DOES HIS BOSS HAVE A BUSINESS LICENSE OR A LICENSE FOR HIMSELF TO PRACTICE PLUMBING. I HOPE THAT THE CITY GOES AFTER BOTH OF THEM. OH BY THE WAY I HOPE THAT THE COUNTY OR WHOMEVER JOE THE PLUMBER OWES TAXES TO WILL GO AFTER HIM. AFTER ALL HE IS DEPRIVEING MONEY NEEDED TO THE COUNTY OR WHOMEVER IT IS OWED TO TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR HIS CITY IE THE POOR, SCHOOLS, ROAD REPAIR, THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. IF I WERE MCSHAME I WOULD CHECKED JOE THE PLUMBERS PAST BEFORE I WOULD HAVE EVEN MENTIONED HIS NAME AT THE DEBATE. GOD WHAT A SENILE OLD MAN AND A PATHETIC AIR HEAD FOR A RUNNING MATE. WE ARE REPUBLICANS THAT NEVER VOTED FOR THE VILLAGE IDIOT THAT IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE NOW AND WILL NOT VOTE FOR THE VILLAGE IDIOT THAT IS RUNNING ON THE REPUBLICAN BALLOT TO REPLACE HIM JIM HALL KANSAS CITY MISSOURI.

    October 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Al

    Looking at such idiots as this Diane Fanning, hopefully more normal voters will realize they better vote for Obama.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. walter

    Proof, if we needed any more, that winning in 16 days is just the beginning of Obama's job – not the conclusion of it.

    It will take a lot of time to get people like that over their fear, hatred, and ignorance.

    If Obama is truly to be the transformational figure that Colin Powell believes him to be, he will need help from all of us.

    We will all have to be willing to challenge the darker side of our national psyche whenever and where ever we encounter it. That goes for the "polite" folks all across America who suffer the presence of haters in their midst.

    October 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Kyle R.

    McCain and Palin both slung the mud fast and furious. It came back and stuck on them good.
    OBAMA*BIDEN

    October 19, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Rich

    How so unsouthern of them.

    But how cool of Obama. Sort of talking with people with no preconditions.

    He's going to be a great president.

    October 19, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. Disgusted Republican, Proud American (from a large city)

    Poor Diane Fanning, having had her brain cleansed of her own free thoughts by McCain and his possie! I am stunned at the amount of ignorant people out there that believe that Obama is a Socialist! McCain's tactic of calling him a Muslim terrorist wasn't working for his campaign so now he has changed his battle plan and started labelling Obama a socialist! It is no wonder that Colin Powell, an American hero AND Republican now endorses Obama. Please wake up from this sleep that McCain and Palin have put you under America and Vote for the one that will comprehensively lead us out of this economic mess. Powell is proof that Obama has the ability and commitment to cross party lines and work together as a nation in fixing our problems. The time has come to shed our racists views and vote for the one that can solve our problems. Don't vote along party lines or skin color. Vote with your own mind!!!

    October 19, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. james ruston

    The Republicans had better be careful who they call a socialist. In many ways, McCain has been a socialist all his life. The mililtary, after all, is the most socialistic institutioin in America. The government gives all and takes all. Of course, it has to. In addition, as a Representative and a Senator he has had access to whatever he needed from the welfare state, all at taxpayer expense.

    October 19, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. D in Phoenix

    Ms. Fanning, did your pastor ever preach about the love of Christ? Barack Obama is a professed Christian.

    Jesus stated, "by this they will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

    Do you think that your behavior illustrates that love?

    October 19, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Georgia for Obama

    That why McCain/Palin is losen because of the negative ads and anme calling........Obama/Biden raise over $150 million dollars now McCain say it a scandal McCain dont be jealous of Obama do you know more republican are now supporting Obama/Biden because of Colin Powell...........American Love Obama/Biden

    Obama/Biden08/12

    October 19, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. henrietta

    fanning, barack is trying to help people like me and you, i'm a single mother with 2 kids that's in college and it's hard for me i have a mortgage, light bill, gas bill, ins and all these things and i need that tax cut and i'm sure that you need it to. and it is nothing wrong with being friendly even if you disagree with someone. don't make yourself look foolish. the bible said show yourself friendly.

    October 19, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  15. Nancy

    I've been around a long time, and still am amazed at how folks like Fanning just believe what they hear. If anyone does the research other than on Fox News or soundbite ingestion, they'll see that Senator McCain & the Republican Right are so desparate to retain control that the Senator is allowing his party to employ the very same tactics via telephone, for instance, that they used on him. The calls are not as the senator said in an interview. They are incendiary – just as everything done by the republican party and its two candidates has been. Why in the world our country is filled with folk who view intellectual (synonym: intelligent) with suspicion is beyond me. Why in the world – in a nation alleged to be (and shouted that they are by the religious right) Christian – do we view helping the elderly (social security) and children (decent education that prepares them to do well in a 21st century world) and those least able to help themselves, as something NOT to do, when Jesus himself said, "Inasmuch as you do it to the least of these, you do it to me."

    Talking Hate and Christianity out of te same mouth is being a Hypocrite – one of the few things Jesus was clear about not countenancing.

    Let's get real. Let's have a discurse – not a free-for-all-hate fest. We have brains. Let's use them. Think. Do your own research.

    October 19, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. bob mann

    John mccain has proposed the most socialistic , redistribution of wealth program offered by either candidate . His proposal to buy deliquent mortgages at face and lower the amount due , places a burden on thise of us who acted prudently to pay for those who didnt ,
    morover it encourages neighbors of those hetting this socialistic bailout to stop paying so that they can get some redistribution of wealth benifits .

    October 19, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. pat C.

    THE AMERICAN PUBLIC KNOW THE TRUTH! mccain is only making himself look old and so out of touch with reality in what he continues to spew at his rallies. bill clinton used this tax code and balanced the budget and at the same time made america stronger than we have been in years. obama is the new gereration that will lead us into a better life just like clinton did before the bush error!
    mccain should suspend his campaign now and go back to arizonia and retire. sarah palin needs to go back to alaska and face her charges of abuse of power. if alaska is smart they will impeach palin before she can do more harm. hopefully her political days are over. 6 weeks of palin has done years of damage to all of us.

    October 19, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. p... juice

    well truth hurts. thats all I can say.

    October 19, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Mike T

    Kind of scary when a little old lady screams "socialist, socialist, socialist" at a candidate like Obama! Have people lost their senses? Are they actually buying all that nonsense put out by the McCain campaign? Are we as a nation really that easily manipulated by tired old labels like 'socialist' and typical Republican smear tactics? I don't get it. No one but a red-neck can run for office anymore......

    October 19, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. ginger

    The woman can't even spell the word. She's just made because America might elect it's first African American for President and she can't handle it.

    October 19, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. tom

    the kicker is that the socialist chanter is voting to have less money and less national security for herself by backing mccain. ignorance is bliss, i guess.

    October 19, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. robrubin

    I was at the Fayetteville rally. Lots of energy and Obama hit back hard on the socialism charges. There were probably 10,000+ there and many others couldn't get in because they had reached capacity. It certainlly wasn't anything like the 100,000 in St. Louis, but for this NC military town in what is normally solid Republican country it was a great sight to see. Glad I was there.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 19, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. Kingslough

    However disrespectful that woman was, in my opinion i think she has no college degree or pretty illiterate.

    October 19, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Socialism

    What can we say when people are under big government-control, bid government spending, higher taxes, more regulations and well-fare for all who do not work? Barrack Obama will tax the rest of us to finance for well-fare for the rest, and when he cancels tax-cut program by George Bush we ALL automatically have to more taxes. He has a long record of flip-flops, and a thin resume, without real experiences or life-time government achievements. American people are smarter than that, we know how to think for ourselves, instead of listening to smooth-talks and empty promises.

    October 19, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Krystal

    that's sad! no matter how you feel about Obama OR McCain, they are BOTH great servants of this country, and should be respected for their work as such! even though i support Obama, i still have a great deal of respect for McCain, for what he has given and done for our country, and i'd be honored to meet him in any capacity! this whole thing has gone too far! ENOUGH, people!!

    look, i support Obama because i agree with his vision for the country, and i won't vote for McCain because i do not agree with the path he wants to take us... BUT THAT'S IT!!! these men both are good, AMERICAN's, and though they disagree on how to lead, they are both good and capable leaders!! ALL the nonsense coming from BOTH campaigns is just that- NONSENSE!! it's the way the political game is played, and when it's over, whomever the loser is will come out and congradulate the winner, and say that everything will be fine, because you know what... IT WILL BE FINE, NO MATTER WHO WINS!!!

    i'm a 24 year old, mother of 2 boys (3 and 1), and my husband is taking over his parent's small business. so, if i can have such a mature attitude about this, WHY CAN'T YOU?!?!

    October 19, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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