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. Reverend Horton

    Rick, if that moron O'Reilly is questioning how truthful you, an imbecile are; it's time to hitch up the boots and drag your ass back to your village.

    November 19, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Dieter Zerressen

    "best that he could tell". Hmm. Perry's "best" is about a C minus or D as I recall.

    November 19, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Palin 2112

    Perry is right. Saying crazy stuff when you are running fir President keeps you in the news. Doesn't make you a bytes candidate though.

    November 19, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Heretic897

    Jesus could be called a Socialist too if not the original Socialist! He didn't have many nice things to say about the rich – the whole camel through the needle thing, believed we should help the poor, sick and hungry (social justice?). Didn't like people who pray so everyone can see them, said pray in your room or bragged about charity – taught us that we should feel blessed to care for our less fortuneate. (Matthew6:2-16). Sounds pretty Socialistic to me...

    November 19, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Zicke

    A few problems here: 1. Obama was not implying that Americans are lazy. 2. Obama is not a socialist. 3. Ugh...hmm...well...

    November 19, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Dr. Funkenstein

    Is this a newstory about the obvious is the obvious?

    November 19, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Kamaria


    You keep using that word, I do not think you know what it means.

    November 19, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |

    He is a socialist. He's for all socialist programs at any cost: Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, ObamaCare, Food Stamps, Unemployment Payments, and on and on. Just like Europe.

    November 19, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. SixDegrees

    OK, let's go with the whole "Obama is a socialist" thing. My question to Mr. Perry: please explain how granting taxpayer-funded tuition to non-Texas, non-US citizens is NOT socialist.

    November 19, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. An Opinion

    This claim is completely unsubstantiated and off base. I would suppose Mr. Perry graduated from the school of "socialism" and is an expert on the matter. Since when does having a geninue interest in raising everyone's boat become a bad thing. I understand that everyone should pull their load and not get handouts. Everyone should at least have a fair opportunity to succeed in America. Mr. Perry does not represent the views of all Americans.

    He really needs to grab a dictionary and look up the terms socialist and communist. Perry probably meant to say..."Obama is a socialist....a communist....and uh.....uh....gee what's number #3?"

    November 19, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. angryoldguy

    This poor fool has no idea what he is talking about. When Bill O'Reilly questions an "alleged" conservative's thinking, you know there is something wrong! Then again, Perry probably doesn't remember what socialism is. (go to the dictionary & look it up, folks!) Go back to Texas, Ricky! I'm sure someone down there needs to ride "Old Sparky"!

    November 19, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Leopold

    Yes Obama wants the US to be a 'social democracy' modeled on the Northern European model. But everyone knows that. No insight here on Perry's part. A non story. He should just quit as he will never catch Romney who has a compelling resume.

    November 19, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. dfausett

    Rick Perry has no idea what a socialist is. It is just a word he has heard other people use as a pejorative.

    November 19, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Brian

    Obama, a socialist? Please. What about all the Republican socialists in Congress, who continue to fight for wealth distribution to the wealthiest citizens and corporations? Oh, yes. Corporate socialism is alive and well.

    November 19, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Kevin

    That's great Rick because every one else thinks you're an idiot!

    November 19, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Frank from Gilroy

    Why not toss out a favorite talking point from Faux News. 20 years ago Obama would have been a Moderate Republican. Today he is a socialist according to the Koch Brothers brainwashed lemmings.

    November 19, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Me

    He'll say ANYTHING to gain ground again. Funny how being called "Socialist" is supposed to be a bad thing...most people ARE, and if you're not, you are selfish and uncaring. Like Perry

    November 19, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Lost in Texas FOREVER AND EVER

    to play the "smear and fear" card is really a sign of desperation for the Perry campaign especially when you're saying something that is basically untrue. I don't think Rick Perry is smart enough to know what socialism really is.

    November 19, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Marko

    Perry's seriously criticizing a quote from the President in which he says we've been lazy? Isn't that the Republican's position on the millions of people out of work, and the handful of them that have the spine to get out on the street and fight this corrupt system of ours, that we're all lazy? People on food stamps, unemployment, any kind of benefits... they're all good for nothing lazy bums. Isn't that their position?

    November 19, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Jason B.

    So if I understand Mr. Perry's line of reasoning correctly, I could easily call Jesus (you know, the guy from the Bible that Perry hugs so tightly) the king of all socialists. He believed in taking care of others, sharing with others, helping the poorest among us, etc.

    November 19, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Did you think that one up yourself Rick? Didn't think so!

    November 19, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Anonymous

    What is wrong with socialism exactly? And, do people truly understand what socialism is?

    November 19, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Paul Falduto

    One day he's a tool of Wall Street, the next day he is a socialist, according to the GOP.

    Blah, blah, blah.......

    November 19, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. JackDW

    Perry yet-again proves himself to be a total dimwit. Calling Obama a "Socialist" might fly in tumbleweed Texas or some other illiterate redneck area, but anyone with an education past eighth grade knows that kind of statement is utterly stupid.
    Words have actual meaning, Mr. Perry – You might want to buy yourself a dictionary at some point, so that you too might comprehend this.

    November 19, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Daniel

    Maybe Obama has Socialistic leanings; in a way, don't all people who consider themselves "Liberal"?
    But speaking as a teacher in Texas, Gov. Perry is an anti-Science and anti-Education Conservative, who gives all other conservatives a bad name.

    November 19, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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