October 26th, 2008
05:02 PM ET
5 years ago

Biden to anchor: 'Is that a real question?'

Sen. Biden had an interview with Barbara West Thursday.
Sen. Biden had an interview with Barbara West Thursday.

(CNN)— An interview Sen. Joe Biden did with an Orlando television station is making headlines Sunday, after the reporter asked if Sen. Barack Obama's now famous conversation with 'Joe the plumber' about 'spreading the wealth' made the Democratic nominee seem like he was adopting Marxist principles.

"You may recognize this famous quote," WFTV Anchor Barbara West told Biden on Thursday. "From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs, that's from Karl Marx. How is Senator Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?"

Biden laughed himself out of the unusually tough interview asking in response, "are you joking? Is this a joke?"

"No," responds West.

"Is that a real question?" Biden continues.

"That's a question." West said.

With a chuckle, Biden firmly tells West, "He is not spreading the wealth around. He's talking about giving the middle class an opportunity to get back the tax breaks they used to have."

"We think middle class tax payers should get a break, that's what we think," Biden added. "That's a ridiculous comparison with all due respect."

Obama has responded numerous times since his October 12 meeting with Joe Wurzelbacher in Toledo, Ohio that the conversation was taken out of context.

Since the final presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, 'Joe the plumber' references have been a common line of attack from Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin - telling voters - Obama plans to tax the American people.

WFTV's news director told Conde Nast Portfolio.com that West had not been inappropriately tough, citing an even tougher interview she did with John McCain.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    Stupid question.

    Great answer.

    More than she deserved.

    Go Joe!

    October 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. reggie

    Biden cannot handle the heat. Gheesh! McCain and Palin have to deal with that all the time....

    October 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. tk

    That's not a tough question, its just a question to show that the interviewer has never read any Marx. There are tough questions to be asked of the Obama campaign but that is not one of them.

    October 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Interesting

    Finally some fair and balanced journalism. There is a God....

    PUMA 2008!

    October 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. JIM HAWK

    WEST SHOULD GO WORK FOR FOX..THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE
    BETWEEN A TOUGH QUESTION AND A TRUE SUBJECT..THE GOP
    CONTINUES TO BLOW SMOKE !!!

    October 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. independent now

    Biden is showing an arrogance lately, laughing at the news reports question and answering the question with a question! Hes taking Obamas lead. Barbara West was right in making him answer it...

    October 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Jason

    I dont think the questions were tough as much as they were stupid.

    October 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. WOMEN FOR OBAMA

    That lady is racist!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12

    October 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. THE END OF AMERICA by OBAMA

    Finally, someone from the media with some guts and backbone.
    Thank you so much Barbara west.

    Biden and obama.....such whiners. This should give you people who are going to vote for obama some idea of how closed and secretitive he will be. He will not answer to any one.

    October 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. JD

    I'm certainly in favor of hard hitting questions, but with all do respect that is a real amateurish and ludicrous question. Karl Marx? Regardless of your take on the election, the suggestion that Obama/Biden are in league with said ideology is beyond the pale, and not a serious question at all. They've enjoyed very strong pro-business backing, and I seriously doubt Warren Buffet would help advise a Marxist. I would've laughed at her question as well - it was totally absurd.

    October 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Art

    Open wider Joe, maybe you can get both feet in your mouth.

    October 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. NE Baghead

    Reggie,

    When you say can't handle the heat that McCain and Palin receive, are you talking about questions like What magazines or papers you read or maybe tough things like name one Supreme Court Decision other then Roe vs. Wade.

    It is a silly question and its laughable McCain/Palin are still touting it in their stump speeches.

    October 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. a southern bell for OBAMA

    IT'S MARXIST TO SPEND AMERICAN DOLLAR ON AMERICAN

    TAX PAYERS, BUT NOT $200,000 ON PALIN'S CLOTHS AND

    HAIR. & IT'S NOT MARXIST TO PAY FOR MCSAME'S HEALTH

    INSURANCE, BUT IT IS TO PAY FOR OURS. I THINK WE NEED

    TO RE-READ THE DEFINITION OF MARXISM, BECAUSE WHAT

    BUSH & MCBUSH HAVE PRACTICED, ALL BENEFITS TO THE

    SELECT FEW IS MARXISM BY ITS VERY DEFINITION !!!!

    October 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. tom

    How the heck does she still have her job? Shes basically asking if a presidential candidate is a Marxist.

    If that was a Republican Candidate we'd be hearing a bunch of garbage about the media bias and other baloney.

    October 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Rich

    That question got a better response than it deserved. Maybe she's auditioning for a spot on Fox News.

    October 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. Brian

    The american people are walking straight into a marxist administration.

    October 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Ron , West Coast

    How about the fact that Ms. Wests husband is a heavy weight contributor to the republicrook party ......... He gives a lot of money to the RNC .......
    Here we go again, first Joe the plumber,now ms. talking point, the anchorwoman .

    October 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  18. DawnA

    Its time to see the real Biden. CNN has not even reported on this story yet. What does that say. The media coverage for Biden and Obama is "softball questions". Keep drinking the Koolaide.

    October 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Michael

    Biden doesn't know if he's coming or going just like Obama. We do not need this in a President. Obama handled the economy great...call me if you need me. Great leader. God help us if they do get in....

    October 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. Jacob, Portland

    I'm getting really tired of the socialist/Marxist attacks being leveled at Senator Obama. Anyone who thinks Obama is a Marxist has clearly never met a Marxist before.

    October 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. Informed Voter in FL

    This Republicans shill was spewing GOP talking points .... but Biden put her in her place ... they were so ashamed they removed the video from their website ...

    And those right-wingers who doubt me ....

    Contrast her interview with Biden & Mc Cain ..... a stark difference ....

    This Chick is just vex Obama is ahead of Mc Cain in her state ... FL

    FL will be blue in 08!!!!

    October 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. mitch

    republicans are just ridiculous.

    October 26, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. Mike

    Answer the question, Joe. Socialism awaits.

    October 26, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. Roman

    Maybe if Palin would respond like Joe did they would not be in the soup they are in...NOT! She can't help herself! She loves the preverbial foot in mouth. Joe Biden handles it better, talks out of it better...I love this guy!

    October 26, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. Citizen

    This country gives subsidies to farmers and other industries to offset their losses, which is socialism. However, idiots like the journalist questioning Biden; McCain and Biden are to stupid to even look up this crap before spewing it out to the public.

    October 26, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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