Perry stands by ad, calls Obama a 'socialist'
November 18th, 2011
11:40 PM ET
3 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. Phatti D'Pozit

    I, as a Democrat, would vote for Perry if he could right now defiine the term "socialist". He is an idiot.

    November 19, 2011 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  2. Marv

    When under tight scrutiny, these pretty boys tend to loose it. First he brings up the Birtha folks, now the socialist thing, next he'll be saying the President went to a racist church, not a Christian, etc.

    November 19, 2011 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  3. Jason

    "Obama responded saying that spreading the wealth around was "good for everybody."" Perhaps the comment was simply a reflection that wealth is concentrated with a few rather than distributed amongst a larger subset of the population. Spreading the wealth means opportunities for everyone, not just a select few. The gap between the have's and the have nots has grown since the '70s (and earlier). Incomes for most remain flat, but if you are wealthy your income/wealth has grown considerably. Hard work only pays off when someone actually pays you for said hard work. I am working and able to care for my family, but I know lots of folks that are not so lucky. Job creators are a myth meant to distract us that our future is being stolem. Teaching math & science and improving infrastructure should be our priorities. Instead we focus on people like Perry, who don't even know the definition of socialism. Just FYI its about the means of production control. So, until I see even a small % of companies controlled by the US govt instead of a board of directors and CEO I suspect we are still just wringing out our capitalism.

    November 19, 2011 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  4. Corr

    It is too late for you to know that. So what? You forgot about Obama's anti Wall Street too. He encourages people take down Wall Street , instead of White House.

    November 19, 2011 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  5. robert brown

    Definition of a Socialist by Urban Dictionary...A human being who believes that the most harmonious state of affairs would be for all to get a fair shot at financial sucess. This belief is not motivated by his own selfishness as a capitalist would have you think, but is in actuality an honorable difference of opinion. In the 1930's farmers in the mid west were plowing their corn under because it was unprofitable, and at the same time millions across America were starving. Capitalists see this as logical, while socialists find it abhorrent. In short, socialism is about production for use, not profit.

    November 19, 2011 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  6. tjlnsd

    Hey Rick, the school bell just rang and recess is over. Time to get back to third grade math. But I heard Obama says your a Fascist and wants to meet you by the flag pole after school.

    November 19, 2011 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  7. Ramrod

    Perrry will be the first one voted off the island. Back to the farm, Rick.

    November 19, 2011 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  8. Dee

    Perry needs to focus on the issues and not name calling and denigrating the President. This is the type of rhetoric that brings out all the crazies and someone trying to harm the President and shooting the White House.

    It is fine to agree or disagree without attacking the person we need to know where each candidate stands and all they are doing is attacking the President and not disagreeing with each other, It seems they are afraid to disagee with any candidate on the panel.

    Perry wanted Texas to secede from the US so I don't know what he is talking about only saying what he is being told to say.

    This is a sad day when we all need to see how we can come together to get Americans back to work.

    November 19, 2011 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  9. Eric

    Lets get rid of all the police and fire departments. All these socialist programs must be eradicated!

    November 19, 2011 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  10. Kay

    Perry sounds pretty desperate. But the fact is that our country *has* been a bit lazy at times. Heck, how many folks have complained about young people feeling like they are "owed" something? Or that union workers feel like they are "owed" something. or that poor people are "owed" something. Well...you add everybody up, and suddenly we're talking about a country that thinks they are "owed" something. Sounds like wanting something without having to work for it to me. Like being too lazy to work for it because you're "owed" it??

    As far as Perry complaining about "spreading the wealth around is good for everyone"? Uh...has Perry not been paying attention to what most Americans have been saying about increasing taxes on the really rich? Even the rich are saying "tax us more, for crying out loud. It's in America's best interests!" And doesn't he realize that concentrating more and more money into fewer and fewer hands is *not* the way to achieve the American Dream. We're not talking socialism here. We're talking about fewer and fewer opportunities for hard-working Americans.

    November 19, 2011 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  11. Gopgoobers

    This man has nothing to stand on once again. Obama 2012

    November 19, 2011 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  12. SofGangsta

    Like he even knows what that means

    November 19, 2011 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  13. poeticguy

    perry is a joke.

    November 19, 2011 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  14. poeticguy

    he lets innocent people get executed in TX then wears this face that he cares about anyone..cast the 1st stone you pharisee.

    November 19, 2011 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  15. LNB

    Hey, guess what Perry...ME TOO. I am a socialist, too. And so are you if you have ever used a public road, a public library (doubt it), a public school, science and tech devices R and D'd by the government, gone to a public park or national forest, used city and state public utilities, state hospitals, or EVER worked for a public office, and used the public health care offered by it. And the good socialist list goes on and on.....You unfettered-market-driven-privatize- profit-public-loses-when it suits you desperado. You make me ill in my soul.

    November 19, 2011 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  16. Aethrys

    I WISH Obama were a socialist. As it stands he's a right of center conservative like all of the democrats.

    November 19, 2011 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  17. FRANK FROM LAS VEGAS

    There's just no getting around it or away from from it, Perry's an idiot with a capital "I".

    November 19, 2011 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  18. jklapper

    I see the Governor of my Great State is continuing to prove beyond a shadow of any doubt that he doesn't have a friggen clue what he is talking about. As usual.

    November 19, 2011 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Is anyone still paying attention to the idiot from Texas ?

    November 19, 2011 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  20. dave slyvester

    Perry is too stupid to even know what the word socialist means?

    p.s. Don't ask Hermain Cain, he's even dumber then you are.

    November 19, 2011 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  21. Suzy B.

    If Obama is a SOCIALIST, then Rick Perry is a FASCIST!!!

    November 19, 2011 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  22. angeredvoter

    oh yeah lets have more "free enterprise" free for who? that's what we need right now, even higher prices on everything....NOT!!!! ad don;t forget ...these republicans want to vote out your social security & medicare you paid for. In 2012 I am voting to keep social security & medicare so therefore will not for any republican as on each debate they clearly said they wanted to keep our social security etc. sorry reps, the dems got a record on protecting social security

    November 19, 2011 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  23. Erik

    Even if he is, so what? Perry is an ignorant tool who panders to people who think the Earth is four thousand years old.

    November 19, 2011 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  24. Rohit Sabharwal

    Obama is a con man. He pretends to be for the poor, but behind doors helps Wall Street, British Petroleum, etc. Why do the Republics not call him what he is?

    November 19, 2011 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  25. CB

    Perry is an idiot. From the things he says, he sounds like his staff consists of Rush Limbaugh and Bozo the Clown.

    November 19, 2011 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
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