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. DCBill

    Last gasps of a dying campaign and a weak campaigner. "Say good night, Rick."

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

    do you know the socialistic? social security, medicare, unemployment benefit, food coupons, Walter Reed hospital benefits for senate, and congress...list is long list...idiot...

    November 19, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. David

    "That conversation he had with Joe the Plumber – kind of redistribute the wealth – the best I can tell, that's socialism."
    Help me out here I'm from Canada. So, giving money or services to poor people that's socialism, giving money to Goldman Sachs and bailing out the banks, that's not socialism that's good old American Free Enterprise? I'm sorry I'm a little confused.

    November 19, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. DUDE

    Rick Perry is a non-factor..........He has used 13 of his 15 minutes..........

    November 19, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. rlowens1

    Perry is an idiot and every time he opens his mouth, he removes any lingering doubts..

    November 19, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Mindie in Indie

    Good Grief. Perry is such an embarrassment to America.

    November 19, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Joshua Ludd

    Yes, because redistributing wealth to the wealthiest has worked so well. Also, Perry clearly doesn't know what socialism actually is.

    November 19, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Mindie in Indie

    it's really not even worth commenting on.

    November 19, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Sad

    If our President is a socialist, "That makes Perry a communist "Dictator"!! Go home,Perry, your toast!

    November 19, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. James R. Hunt

    The Perry is Theocrist and wants to replace our republic with religious rule.

    November 19, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. midwestrail

    Governor Perry is an intellectual myopic, and this ad reinforces the notion that he will say anything for shock value in an attempt to keep his candidacy relevant. He has failed.

    November 19, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. SPW

    Perry isn't the first Republican candidate to go down this road, usually this is the fork where people stop caring about his message.

    November 19, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. tom

    Are conservatives completely brain dead? Doesn't anyone bother to look up the meaning of a word before using it? I understand why some in the GOP started calling Obama a conjures up images of Stalin, the evil enemy. But really, this is pure nonsense. The closest thing to socialism that Obama ever did was to side with Bush on the economic bailouts where as a condition of receiving the money, companies had to give the government partial ownership. But even that was not true socialism because the government ownership was only temporary and companies did not have to make the deal if they didn't want to.

    Really conservatives, the only people you are convincing with these absurd accusations are fellow conservatives who don't need to be convinced anyway. Try being honest and constructive if you want to convince independents like me to vote your way.

    November 19, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. jane

    He is such an idiot.

    November 19, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Jim

    Better he be a socialist than a lying, self righteous idiot.

    November 19, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. 1byrd

    Actually... Perry was complementing Obama. Perry thinks a "socialist" is..... a sociable person. Numbskulls unite!

    November 19, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. RON4152

    Obama is a socialist and Perry is an idiot. Makes me wonder about the people in Texas. The Republican Party is in trouble, especially when you watch the Republican comedy hour called a debate.Their candidates lack knowledge,experience and intelligence. Can you really see Bachmann or Santorum as president?

    November 19, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Eli

    Here's Perry, trying to out-moronic his previous moronic statement. In fact, the pathetic thing about this year's Republican slate of candidates is that only the most moronic statements seem to have any staying power; they compete to say the most foolish thing. Doesn't promise much for any of their presidencies if they managed to win.

    November 19, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. BJ Bell

    If it's socialism when you don't want the top 1% to own 40% of the Nation's wealth - then label me a socialists.

    The 99% are tired of the Mr. Perry's of the world getting rich of the working people and wanting to take even more - enough already.

    The Republicans use these hustles to gain power - 1. Religion 2. Racism 3. Socialism 4. Health Care 5. National Security (they had to quit using that one after Osama bin Laden was killed)

    It's time for the 99% to realize that the Republican party is the "Party of the 1%".

    November 19, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Smarky

    Well, our current president got in selling the elixor hope. That snake oil was bought and sold and it wasn't even sound enough to have a decent placebo affect. Each has their own bottle of something. Then again, that is what it takes to shake us out of our trees when we bought something that wasn't and still want to believe it was something. There is a lack of understanding our system and one that brought great properity to our nation as a whole. It could use tweaking but to replace it...that has never gone well long-term. I guess our system is an example of that as well as the Russian, Chineese..and on and on we go. I think they call this the 'rat race'. Always running toward that goal that is not there becasue we come to hate what we worked so hard to create.

    November 19, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. thabadhalf

    uh. there are a lot of lazy americans!!! Why does that mean he's a socialist? I've had a job since I was old enough to work and I pay taxes, health care etc. and then I watch these people get free health care and braces for the're kids with out doing a thing. Perry is politicly incorrect!

    November 19, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. RES

    Same gop tactics- they created socialism for the rich and now accuse the others of socialism. Blank check claim during deficit deadline while paulson gets on one knee and begs Pelosi for a blank check. Same with class-warfare which they used to destroy the middle class. Even used the t-baggers to carry it out!

    November 19, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. rmiddle

    This is garbage! Perry is an idiot! He wants to eliminate jobs for the working man and protect his corporate buddies.. Right now is not the time to eliminate all programs that are helping those without work, which I am soon to be one of!...Go become president of Libya!

    November 19, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. Richard Young

    "I think Barack Obama is a socialist"? I didn't know Rick Perry could think.

    November 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Cindy

    Finally a candidate that speaks the true. BHO is a socialist, maybe even a marxist, pushing on to communism.

    November 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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