Perry stands by ad, calls Obama a 'socialist'
November 18th, 2011
11:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Perry stands by ad, calls Obama a 'socialist'

(CNN) - In defending his latest television ad, Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday continued his attack strategy against President Barack Obama and emphatically called him a "socialist."

"Absolutely," Perry said in an interview on Fox News. "I think Barack Obama is a socialist."

Conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly was the latest to question the presidential candidate over the validity of his new TV ad, which claims Obama believes Americans are lazy.

The spot, broadcast in Iowa and nationwide on cable, showed a clip of Obama saying, "We've been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades."

In the ad, Perry said: "Can you believe that? That's what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy? That's pathetic. It's time to clean house in Washington."

But critics argue that Perry took Obama's "lazy" remark out of context.

The president made the comment in response to a question last weekend about how foreign investors viewed the United States. When listening to the rest of his remarks, Obama seemed to be addressing U.S. business practices as "lazy," rather than American workers or voters.

O'Reilly on Friday questioned Perry over whether he was being misleading with the ad.

"I believe he was talking about Americans," Perry responded.

O’Reilly asked the candidate if he believed the notion that Obama simply doesn’t like America, to which Perry replied: “I think he cares for this country. I just think his policies are socialist.”

Perry added that he believes the president "truly misunderstands" the country's free enterprise system, citing a 2008 campaign moment when Obama was confronted about taxes by a voter who later became known as "Joe the Plumber."

Obama responded saying that spreading the wealth around was "good for everybody."

"When you talk about printing money and spending government money, and trying to spend it out," Perry said. "That conversation he had with Joe the Plumber - kind of redistribute the wealth - the best I can tell, that's socialism."

According to the latest CNN/ORC International Poll, Perry took 12% of support among Republicans and those leaning toward the GOP, putting him fourth place in the GOP race for the White House.

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. JD

    It is clear that Rick Perry and the right-wingers who follow in his footsteps have no concept of what socialism is, if they are calling President Obama one. Then again, Herman Cain believes reading is a detriment, so I'm sure Perry and the other right-wing extremists haven't actually read Karl Marx – though some of them may have seen those Marx Brothers movies.

    November 18, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  2. Jae

    I wonder what the president think. Why do they keep asking about this obama guy?

    November 18, 2011 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  3. steven harnack

    Just proves that he is an idiot. Now he's quoting Joe the plumber as an expert on socialism? Using his methods let's cut out one of Perry's sentences and it shows HIM saying " Americans are lazy" right there in the ad.

    November 19, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  4. Freedomisnotfree

    Socialism as an economic system is fine, even patriotic. Just like you can be a capitalist and still believe in democracy, you can be a socialist and still believe in democracy. Personally I think it's high time we did start spreading the wealth around. And apparently, so do an awful lot of other people.

    November 19, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  5. jb1963

    If Obama is a socialist then Perry is a communist

    November 19, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  6. jetoo1

    Very predictable categorizarion from a dumb Republican candidate. Not only is Perry pathetic, he is also uninformed FASCIST.

    November 19, 2011 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  7. ABQ

    Why does socialist have to have a negative connotation? Wasn't Jesus more a less a "socialist"?

    November 19, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  8. EatYouAlive

    THIS is what the republicans have running for them? What an embarrassment, lowest common denominator in action.

    November 19, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  9. IggyDad

    This is so profoundly ignorant that Perry will probably pick up a few more teapartiers' votes.

    November 19, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  10. Ron

    If this guy becomes president its time to head for the hills. This man is scary.
    I think he should join Cain in the pizza business. That's about all those guys are good for.

    November 19, 2011 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  11. Matt

    If Perry thinks Obama is a socialist, then if Perry met me, his head would explode!

    November 19, 2011 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  12. Pachecosita

    So if you want everybody to do well you are a socialist? then I am a socialist. I want everybody to have access to a better life yes!. So what Perry implies that Capitalism is when the Wealth is in the 1%. He likes that!

    November 19, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  13. Michelle

    What Gov. Perry said is very true. Go Gov. Perry!

    November 19, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  14. Jeff G.

    Perry is about as bright as a rock. What an idiot..... anyone he disagrees with is a socialist? Get off the stage dweeb.

    November 19, 2011 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  15. Eli

    Well, I was interested in learning more about Rick Perry to see if he would get my vote, but this guy has jumped into the crazy wagon head first. The interesting thing about Rick Perry's qualifications for being a socialist was spreading the wealth around. I guess former President Bush is also a socialist. Of course Bush pushed the first round of bank bailouts, 700 billion worth. Oh, and where is all this wealth going? It sure isn't getting spread around. I think Obama is being a true capitalist by giving all of the money to the wealthy and large corporations so they can blow it as they see fit!

    November 19, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  16. jman33

    Obama isn't anything but an idiot.

    November 19, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  17. Bill

    So, spreading the wealth around is Socialism? Really? Because I always thought Socialism meant that the businesses and processes that we use to make money are owned by everyone. Spreading the wealth around sounds like Capitalism to me. But what do I know... oh wait! I know how to search wikipedia – you should try it! Search for Socialism and see how it's defined. I'll wait...

    November 19, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  18. Bill

    Can this idiot from Texas even define socialism? I doubt it. You are Texas toast, gov.

    November 19, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  19. Trent

    Perry is an idiot. There is plenty of evidence to support that theory. He obviously has no ideas what socialism actually is. None of these Tea Party fools does for that matter.

    November 19, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  20. Nevander

    "I believe he was talking about Americans," Perry responded. And this is why Perry is too stupid to be President of the United States of America. He can't make sense out of a simple statement let or remember which federal agencies he wants to cut.

    November 19, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  21. israel

    mr. perry should look at the cornerstones of america and rethink his attacks on socialism

    social security, medicare and medicaid, welfare, unemployment benefits etc etc

    all socialist programs, yet immensely popular among people....which is exactly the point why a mixed government is a better government

    so mr. perry having said that, if you are president are you going to try and dismantle these programs that help millions of americans survive and reorganize their lices?

    November 19, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  22. Bill in Florida

    Typical GOP attack tactics: manipulate, distort, take out of context, name-call ... and then go on Faux News.

    November 19, 2011 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  23. dane

    yes lets reject all socialism, so be sure to send your "socials sucurity" check back. oh and no tax incentives for being married or having children. I am single with no kids don't make me subsidize your children. And im young so i can prepare for me retirement so yes this older generation has screwed me and now are crying .....You do not want socialism. you want fear and teabagger express to fear you. im tired of this crap so i am no longer a democrat. Joining the republicans and coming for your social security. You want it gone i am happy to oblige.

    November 19, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  24. Alex

    I don't like Rick Perry but I do agree that Obama is a socialist, and to add my two cents also a narcissist.

    November 19, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  25. Oldie in TampaBay

    you know, Rick, you are laughable! Starting to sound more and more like Sarah too!

    November 19, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
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