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. Anonymous

    stupid question

    October 26, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Colin

    West really needs to read more of Marx. Then she would realize that Marx also believed that ther common factory worker should be just as powerful as the next man and in many casesis smarter than the executive. Somethingwe know O'bama doesn't stand for. Marx also believed in a government of few. O'bama doesnt believe in that.

    October 26, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Vic

    Early voting is the way to go.

    Registered Republican "voted" Obama/Biden 08

    October 26, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. rosangel..change that im waiting for

    good for you joe...stop them from the beginning go joe go joe

    October 26, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Barbara

    How is Karl Marx is he related to Groucho Marx. Well any way she asked such supid Questions. Whats he got to do with Obama. Silly willy girl. Needs to go back to school. Well Go Getem Biden

    October 26, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. steve

    The interviewer is the wife of a Gop media consultant ( wade west ) ,who got her questions handed over to her by the MCcain camp.
    Do I need to say more. She is a Gop Hack ,that is why her questions are very ridiculous.
    I am happy Biden took care of her nonsense interview.

    October 26, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Kathy

    Laugh now you idiot Biden!!! When he brings in all the terrorist and takes all your money, you'll not be laughing then

    October 26, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Dumb Questions aren't Suprising

    It only makes sense considering her husband is a republican strategist who has worked for John MCCain

    October 26, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Adam Habib Plano, TX

    It is a joke. How is that communist/socialist? This was the TAX structure during Regan/Bush/Clinton era. Were they all socialist?

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

    If you ask a stupid question what sort of response would you expect?

    Turns out the news anchor is married to a Republican consultant too, so this sort of silliness should be expected. At least he answered the question.

    October 26, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. Jay N.H.

    The question was ridiculous, and I would have asked if she was kidding too. She was just echoing the McCain talking points.

    October 26, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. BenderHeel

    "reggie October 26th, 2008 5:54 pm ET

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

    Yeah, like answering which newspapers or magazines she reads that have shaped her worldview......

    October 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. JoJo Smith

    Hey Reggie,

    Do you know why Mccain/ Palin have to deal with the heat is because they say a lot of lies. Also if your a smart person you can tell that these people are lying all the time. Now tell me is it fair that I get Taxed $1000 on my payroll check every month while making $40K a year? Do you why I'm voting for Obama I would get a huge tax break.

    Vote for Obama/ Biden 08

    October 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. siobhanoc

    Did you see her interview with McCain? Please, the woman did nothing but lob softball, pandering questions to McCain.

    I was shocked when I found out it wasn't a Fox affiliate.

    October 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Donna

    Joe is just being Joe...if he thought it was a dumb question, then he would laugh and he did answer it....it's not that big of a deal....

    October 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. Arizonan for Obama/Biden

    Seems like she is using a Republican talking point. That is not a real question.

    October 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. DDDDDDDDDDDDA

    HERE IS A SIMPLE DEFINITION OF MARXISM !!!

    ALL TAX BENEFITS TO A SELECT FEW,

    AT THE EXPENSE OF ALL OTHERS. PS. THINK

    ALL NATIONAL DECISIONS MADE BY THE VERY FEW.

    NOW ASK YOURSELF, WHO DOES THIS SOUND LIKE ?

    IT SURE AS HELL DOESN'T SOUND LIKE OBAMA,

    BUT MORE LIKE BUSH, MCBUSH & LOBBYISTS, WITH THEIR

    12 HOUSE & 13 CAR, RANCHES AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS,,

    WHILE THE REST OF US LOSE OUR SMALL HOMES & CARS.

    October 26, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. theogracias

    Palin is making her closing arguments.

    1. Her clothes
    2. Her accessories

    I guess that sums it up.

    October 26, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. theresa in Prattville, AL

    Oh looky,looky now!! That reporter thought Joe was going to get sucked up into that plant by the GOP Oh please! Joe is too wise for that. I'm so glad he laughed it off. Go Joe.

    October 26, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. Eunice

    I wached the interview with John McCain and she throw softballs.
    Joes answered the question with great reasoning.

    October 26, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. Bruce

    As one that has been called a "socialist", I was going to urge Obama to nationalize the banking system once he is in office - oh, wait! The conservative republican president already did that! Okay, okay – I've got it – how about if the government bails out the auto industry ... what? They already did that, too? Oh, wait, I have another idea ... how about a program of free spending that create unbelievable budget deficits .... you're kidding ... they already did that, too?

    Darn, well, us liberals can't possibly go along with republican programs. I guess we'll just have to step in and save capitalism instead.

    October 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Beth

    That was a good answer to a question that is completely not relevant. I wonder if that TV anchor has ever read any Marx? I'm doubting it.

    Also, Palin wouldn't have been able to string together even something that sounded like English as an answer. She can't even form a solid answer as to what magazines she reads. Yeah, she's been getting "tough questions". Right.

    Go Joe!

    October 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    A question thata CNN anchor will never ask

    October 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  24. Emma from Texas

    Lame question! But great answer from Biden! Good Job our soon to be VP. I cant wait to call him Mr. Vice President.

    ~former republican here for Obama/Biden08!

    October 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Hans-Erik Iken

    Can somebody please teach the difference beween socialism, marxism and common sense to these reporters? Pretty please?

    Joe's response was appropriate and actually gave this reporter a better answer then she deserved.

    October 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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