October 26th, 2008
05:02 PM ET
6 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. Y

    It's a stupid question because Karl Marx did not invent socialism. So to call Obama a Marxist is stupid. Mother Theresa has socialist views. Why not refer to Obama a Theresa-ist? The whole notion of Obama being socialist is bogus and just reveals the ignorance and illiteracy of the GOP.

    October 26, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Republican who voted for Obama/Biden on October 20th

    Joe the Plumber owes Barack Obama an apology.

    Barack took the time and consideration for him to explain that he would get a tax break under his plan. Joe the plumber was a plant by the McCain campaign.

    If American's are happy with the way things have been going the last 8 years or even the last month then vote for McCain/Palin. Even the biggest Alaskan newspaper endorsed Barack Obama. Barack could even win Arizona.

    Amercian's are fed up with McCain/Palin/Bush/Chaney/Rove

    We want change we can believe in.

    October 26, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Pressed for news

    There is a lot of talk about taxes. But something is missing. McCain said on Meet the Press today, that he would veto bills he voted for. That does not make sense. That proves he is talking erratic. Why vote for a bills you would veto. That is not country first.

    October 26, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. R, Ohio

    First Obama's going to raise everyone's taxes...watch out!! Now he's a Marxist. Which one is it??? Were people screaming Marxism in the 90's when the economy and jobs were thriving??? Obama's plan is very similar to Clinton's plan, which worked. I don't want to hear about the twists of politics, I just want more jobs, a stronger economy, and a country that I can believe in. McCain offers none of that, plain and simple.

    October 26, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. g canada

    MCCAIN KEEPS SAYING OBAMA WILLTAX AND SPEND MAYBE SOME OF THAT MONEY WILLBE SPENT IN USA HIS WAY IS SPEND AND BORROW MANLY IN IRAG

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

    Tough questions? that woman was just reciting campaign talking points. that was not journalism it looked like a fox news audition

    October 26, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. fetboy

    The Republican attacks have become a laughing matter, and few are taking them seriously anymore.
    West's husband is a conservative strategist, so it is obvious where she got her questions from. Calling her balanced is like calling McCain moderate despite the fact that he is proud that he voted with Bush 90% of the time.

    October 26, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. rose

    Are you kidding me? That's what they call a tough question? Also, he answered the question! What's the big deal?

    October 26, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Shirley-Ohio

    She had lame questions. She is a freakin joke.

    October 26, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Texas Teacher

    I give credit, Biden did say with all due respect! I think I would not have honored that stupid question with a remark at all. I have that luxury, Biden does not.

    But both he and Obama must be tired of repeating the same TRUTHS to same stupid LIES. McCain can preach it, but God help us when the media acts like those lies are worth repeating! I expect more from the media. They know the truth. It is their job to keep us aware of what is truth and what is lies. It is NOT their job to keep asking if a lie is a lie! Seriously!

    October 26, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. thomas

    Apparently John McCain believes that it's perfectly acceptable to let the helpless suffer the deprivation of homelessness, hunger, and pain so the ten percent who own everything and control everything may enjoy their luxury homes, jets, yachts, and lavish lifestyles. I disagree.

    October 26, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Karen H.

    This is the future under Obama, Censorship, the Media is scared of Obama and his Chicago ways, we the people need to make the Media be more afraid of us, the people they represent. We have our vote to remind the Politician’s who is in control, we the people; we have our dollars to remind the Media who is in control, we the people. We cast our vote against bias in the Media by boycotting MSNCB & NBC (all shows) the most visible offenders. The boycott message will be to all members of the media and will remind them who is in control, we the people. We must also boycott the sponsor’s products, followed by letters to these companies, that we will not purchase their products if they continue to support MSNBC & NBC while they overtly attempt to influence the presidential election for Obama. Start NOW!

    October 26, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. nate (Chapel Hill, NC)

    That news anchor is actually an idiot.

    October 26, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Lee

    What if Obama is the worst president ever? The left's version of Bush.

    I'm voting for McCain so I can say "At least I didn't vote him"

    October 26, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. Mary

    I am sick of the GOP running this slop vs. a campaign. You have no idea how many people I have spoken to who are voting against McCain simply because of the crap he is spewing out.

    October 26, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. paula

    Turns out the interviewers husband is Wade West; a Republican Media Consultant. Gee, never would have guessed that one!!

    October 26, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. Obama/Biden 08

    Joe Biden is amazing. By the way, agreed with what "Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon" said.

    October 26, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Lee

    What if Obama is the worst president ever? The left's version of Bush.

    I'm voting for McCain so I can say "At least I didn't vote for him"

    October 26, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. The Bluest Skies are in Seattle

    West you are another fabricating Rebuttican move to Fox thats where you belong over there with Hannity,Rove,Greta, O'Rilley thats Fabricated question and the answer the looney loosers deserve .
    Dont need 4 more years after 8 years of this B.S.

    Obama/Biden all the way tgo the Oval Office

    October 26, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. Truth Hurts

    OUCH ... Sizzle...

    Truth hurts Joe. Elect oBama and welcome to the USSA.

    October 26, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. shannon

    Hey CNN, guess what MSNBC actually allows people with different viewpoints on their blogs. You don't have to worship at the temple of Obama to get your post printed. It's interesting that Biden hasn't talked to the press since September 13th, if the media is going to trash Palin for this, where's the outrage over Biden. Oh I forgot, he's running with Obama, can't criticize him!

    October 26, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Gracie

    BRAVO JOE!!

    BRAVO JOE!

    BRAVO JOE!

    BRAVO JOE!

    October 26, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  23. Michael Koontz

    Same old song and dance from the Obama camp. Anytme they are asked a hard question they either don't answer it or try to make the person asking it out like an idiot.

    October 26, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. SDunn

    She reminds me of Michelle Bachman for some reason. They all look like they've been possessed and sound so robotic repeating the same Sean Hannity talking points. Do they all go to the same neocon school of right winged talking points? The questioning is always so predictable. Whoever wrote that post from PUMA needs to get a life. First of all what tough questions has Palin been asked??? She can't go anywhere without a chaperone.

    October 26, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Jo

    Reporters can ask politicians any questions they want to ask. The important thing is that Sen. Biden had the answers that Americans need – that calling Obama a Socialist or Marxist is ridiculous, and explaining what Obama's policy really is.

    Go Joe! Obama/Biden '08!!

    October 26, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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