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. Patrick

    Obama is not a socialist, he is a marxist. There is a big difference between the 2

    November 19, 2011 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  2. Comanche1876

    Perry once again shows himself to be a really "deep" thinker. There's a long distance between socialism and understanding that a capitalistic society works best if the wealth doesn't concentrate too much at the top.

    November 19, 2011 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  3. Brian

    Why give him a stage, CNN? He's all but lost the nod at this point.

    November 19, 2011 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  4. lee Oates

    Its dificult to believe that these Republicans who are trying to win an election for President are the best that America can produce. Its the saddest group of misfits I have every seen.

    November 19, 2011 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  5. Steve

    Perry really thinks Obama is a Marxist?

    This speaks to his lack of education.

    November 19, 2011 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  6. Steven

    And Perry is an elite, money grubber. sticks tongue out!

    November 19, 2011 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  7. Thatguy371

    Really get sick of repubs overusing that term, and communist. It's their interpretation of 'mommy, those dems won't let me have my way any and every time. waaaaaa'. What a bunch of twits. And their 'base' most of the time doesn't even know what that means. Calling Obama comrade, all that crap. That's why I don't vote repub anymore. Too much ignorance and arrogance.

    November 19, 2011 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  8. Weasley

    If President Obama is a socialist, then Perry is a brain surgeon. But we all know that this is nothing more than GOD fear mongering, and sadly their base just seems to lap this stuff up.

    November 19, 2011 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  9. Rick Perry...Really, it's me.

    Sorry. I am a complete mor0n.

    November 19, 2011 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  10. pjack28

    Absolutely, I know Perry is an unqualified farce moron, Please go back to Texas and shush.

    November 19, 2011 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  11. garcho garchev

    "...the best I can tell, that's socialism."

    Well, it might be the best you can tell Rick, but that's because you're not an intelligent man.

    November 19, 2011 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  12. Eman Tabrizi

    President Obama may be a socialist...but Perry is definitely an idiot.

    November 19, 2011 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  13. skytag

    People use labels like "socialist" when they can't intelligently discuss issues.

    November 19, 2011 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  14. Love the chimp lips

    I love the chimp lips photo attached to the story.....It says it all....

    November 19, 2011 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  15. thetruth!

    Only an idiot would call Obama a Socialist. It does not surprise me however. People who think Obama is a Socialist are not worldly people. They have obviously never been places and traveled much. If you go to Europe you will see thriving Countries that thier leaders would make Obama look like Rush Limbaugh in comparison. But these are not Socialist countries, they are Germany, France, England, Norway, Spain, Austria, Luxembourg, Nederlands, etc etc. They are our allies, they are great countries and they in now way are Socialist. Only ignorant Americans who live inside this little box say they are and of course say Obama is. Obama would be a right winger over there. The only reason to call Obama a Socialist is to get people fired up (other ignorants) and rile the rabble. As for me, ive been to nearly 30 countries in my years and I have seen some things. I will stick with Obama, hes a true leader and he is headed for the right direction for the USA....nuff said.

    November 19, 2011 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  16. real american

    Perry lied in this ad. Completely took somthing Obama said and purposely took it out of context. Typical of a Republican, they did this kind of thing to start a war as well. The Democrats will have my vote for a while.

    November 19, 2011 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  17. David in Cincinnati

    Is "socialism" anything more than a slur Perry heard his parents use from the 1950s? Is confronting the current US wealth polarization socialist? Would fixing our health care system be socialist? Is Sweden a socialist country?

    November 19, 2011 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  18. Harry

    As an American I can vouch that we ARE lazy. Nothing wrong with stating the truth.

    November 19, 2011 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  19. dont be a sucker

    Like this is news to us ?

    November 19, 2011 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  20. Teacher's Pet

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    November 19, 2011 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  21. kenny

    So President Obama is a Socialist. I guess that makes the Gov. that speakes of Texas withdrawing from the United States a "Complete IDIOT". I wonder what the Country of Texas would look like after they leave the USA and the Federal Government pulled out all Federal funds, employees, troops, equipment, sold all Federal property and stopped providing Insurance support to all of it's banks. I wonder just how long the IDIOT Gov. of Texas would remain in power as the President of Texas.

    November 19, 2011 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  22. Reality Check

    Only in America can a man who by his school record was either lazy or a pea-brain run for the highest office in the land. God Bless America!

    November 19, 2011 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  23. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    "The best I can tell, that's socialism"?

    The best Rick can tell, a drought is a result of not praying enough.
    The best Rick can tell, a state economy built on minimum wage jobs, terrible education, and lack of health insurance coverage is a "strong economy".
    The best Rick can tell, the Dep't of Education and Commerce are THREE departments.
    The best Rick can tell, executing lots of people is the best way to honor the sixth commandment.

    The best conservatives can tell, mental midgets like Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, and Herman Cain are legitimate candidates. What does that say about the role of "thinking" amongst conservatives?

    November 19, 2011 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  24. dave

    This guy is a loose cannon. He will say anything to win.

    November 19, 2011 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  25. Voiceinthewind

    Empty wagons make so much stupid noise! A form of Social Democratic Government may be what America comes to unless there are jobs created by the cor[porations and the rich, if not they will have to spread the wealth in other ways which may be called Socialism. You tell me the answer, if 1% want all the money what is the other 99% going to do for money or food or other items and services necessary to live. A terrible situation for sure but think about it and look at the numbers. I am sure there are other points of view but they will need to face these facts in thier analysis if they are weighing all the parts of the equation.

    November 19, 2011 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
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