Perry stands by ad, calls Obama a 'socialist'
November 18th, 2011
11:40 PM ET
6 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. Adam

    I'd rather be a Socialist than a Republican.

    November 19, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  2. Michael

    Im betting Perry has NO idea what the word "socialist" means. He probably confuses it with communism, marxism, and facism. Actually, Id bet he cannot define ANY of those words.

    November 19, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  3. Dstephens

    What a genius. Really, this is what we need now: RP running things. Finally, some weathered, bejeweled, oh-so-intelligent, white, Christian-yet-always-persecuted folks will be in charge. Just what we need; can't wait to FINALLY feel the presence of God because the Perrys are in my midst.

    I only feel OK when well dressed people are in charge. God bless terh Perrys!

    November 19, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  4. skarphace

    You have to give credit where credit is due. Perry is not among the hate-mongers. He was not a 'birther' and he doesn't buy into the 'Obama hates America' propaganda.

    If personality was all it took to be POTUS, then Perry would have a good chance. It isn't, however, and that's where Perry is lacking.

    November 19, 2011 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  5. Dstephens

    p.s. Jesus hates poorly dressed people.

    November 19, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  6. Iceman

    Well, these quotes from Perry clearly indicate three things: 1) The man is in total desperation mode. 2) His level of integrity is essentially zero. and uh... 3) .... ..... uh um er.....

    November 19, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  7. A disgusted former Republican

    Perry is an idiot! Enough said!

    November 19, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  8. Dak

    And Mr. Perry, what are you Sir? Just a simpleton with no brains and plain rabble-rousing, minimum wage job-creating skills with no respect for education??

    November 19, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  9. KO

    What an idiot. He doesn't even know what a socialist is. He can barely tie his own shoes or utter a cogent sentence, so it's not that surprising.

    November 19, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  10. JN

    With his GOP poll numbers steadily declining, Perry has to preach to fringes of his party who believe-or need to believe-Obama is a socialist, anti-American, Muslim, racist, wants class warfare, foreign born, etc. Perry realizes his only chance is to excite and mobilize the crazies-and his party has a lot of them.

    November 19, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  11. Robert Thompson

    Americans ARE lazy, most of the world is. TV, video games, we come home and eat piles of pizza. But that's clearly not what Obama was talking about and that clearly doesn't make him a Socialist. Does anyone know what a Socialist is? Because no one that's been talking about it seems to. Obama, while not doing such an amazing job, is the most conservative Democrat to take office. EVER. Perry's no smarter than my mailman. Who just gave me mail from 10 blocks away. Why did I just waste time on this? You're too lazy to read it.

    November 19, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  12. zb

    Perry is a total losser but then again he's no different from the rest of the Republican/Tparty who will say anything – and any lie – to pander to the far right lunatics who now dominate their party.

    November 19, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  13. LeeAT

    Perry is a dufus and that is not taken out of context. What a piece of work. I am a Texan, however; I have never voted for this clown. He thinks that sound bites wil get him nominated.

    November 19, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  14. Judge Dread

    And dick perry, because you wanted to seceed from the union, you're a traitor.

    November 19, 2011 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  15. Reggie from LA

    So having this substantial imbalance of wealth is good for this country? We have 99% of our population and the governments groveling and stressing over what's left over after the rich have learned to leverage everyone's share of the money. LISTEN DUMMIES. I'm not looking for any handouts just for a few brain cells worth of attention. "No regulations" has been OUR cry but WE don't benefit from it. Glass-Steagall was repealed so the rich could get richer. Tax cuts and loopholes help the rich get richer. Then they scream Socialist when the rest of us scratch our stupid noggins and say "Hey, how'd they get all that money?" I guess using this ol' late-in-the game tactic will help Perry rise above Gingrich or something. Guess he forgot that it's rather cliche now, but it still works on too many of you.

    November 19, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  16. jon

    Well at least with some amount of "socialism", the average person gets SOMETHING. Unlike the way complete capitalism works, where we just get ripped a new one all the time. CORPORATIONS gave away millions of our jobs – finally it has just gone too far. With 14 to 20 million people now unemployed, or underemployed, the economy has been put in the tank. Why are we surprised by this?

    November 19, 2011 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  17. Brokenpolitics

    I think it is a sad day in America when our political choices are limited to individuals that attempt to win elections through slanderous means instead of standing upon the foundations of their own merit and achievements. I want someone in office who stands for something that represents the true american people.

    November 19, 2011 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. Canadian

    So Perry called him a Socialist. Guess what Americans....he just complimented him! A BLEND of socialism with capitalism is the formula for a successfull political ideology. If you guys socialize in a few areas, starting with healthcare, and seriously cut back your military spending (by an order of magnitude), you could remain a great superpower instead of declining as all empires do. Pure capitalism is a failure, as it will always require a percentage of your citizens to be absolutely trounced upon in some way or another.

    November 19, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  19. Not fooled

    Perry will never be President. And he wants to do away with the Department of Education? He needs it –then maybe he could comprehend what President Obama was saying.

    November 19, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  20. craig

    The problem is that Perry says that's what he believes, while 99% of Americans believe something else. His 15 minutes is over, and somebody needs to hit the gong!

    November 19, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  21. Supa

    Atleast he 's got the balls to say it. What the hell is wrong with you CooAid drinkers in Obamaland.

    November 19, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  22. yamlor63

    Obama was talking about US business practices. Perry knows it and pretends he believes otherwise. It is just an excuse to lie. I mute every add he has on tv cause I can't stand to listen to the lies.

    November 19, 2011 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  23. Mike

    When stupid people say stupid things...and then stupidly support those stupid things, that's news?

    November 19, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  24. Jon Nelson

    He uses socialist like a 4 letter word. Every country is socialist in some respect. Social Security, un-employment, medicare and medicaid are socialist programs. They use the word socialist and everyone says boo, but take away those programs and see what and uproar ensues.


    This coming from a moron like Perry?.....nough said....!

    November 19, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  25. Jay Grosflam

    Perry is crazy.

    November 19, 2011 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
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