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. Randy

    I'd say more of a Marxist...but it's a fine distinction. I've seen no evidence that the Narcissistic Community Organizer loves this country. He's done all He can do to turn the US into a third world country.

    November 19, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. PHinMiami

    . . . and Perry (the racist) is an idiot.

    November 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. mike

    Perry is toast. Can we please go on to the next GOP contender that wants to dig up strategies from the last presidential election that didn't work?

    November 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Rbayers37

    CNN Headline...Perry: Obama is a Socialist
    International Headline: World: Perry is an Idiot

    November 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. jkINC

    So what Republican hasn't called Obama a Socialist? It's a conservatives favorite scare words. The one thing they have yet to do is outline exactly what he's done that is socialist. Wake me up when Perry has a clear and original thought.

    November 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Corey in FL

    Rick Perry couldn't carry President Obama's intellectual jockstrap! The guy is an idiot of the first class. Only a mental midget like Perry would misconstrue this. He probably doesn't even know what socialism is....or he, like the rest of the teabaggers confuse it with communism. Pathetic...but keep it up because he and the rest of the clowns guarantee Obama's second term! OBAMA 2012!!!

    November 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. JayDeeT

    Perry is a hate-monger, of the worst sort. He is also an ignorant, shallow, vapid, fool who knows absolutely nothing about government, politics, society, economics, history, etc., etc., etc. He realky need to go back to rural Texas and live among the tumbling tumbleweeds. What a joke!!

    November 19, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. David

    Perry, like every conservative American I have ever encountered online or in person, has no idea what a socialist is.

    November 19, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Alex

    "Perry is a moron", America says. Using talking points and name calling from the last election. I wonder if Perry even knows what Socialism is. The truth is that Obama is further to the right than any Democratic President we've had in years. Perry need to check himself before he wrecks himself... Oh wait, too late, he already did that. Pathetic Rick.

    November 19, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. AlaskaPalin

    Tough questions from fox to perry. You always get a fair and balanced interview on fox. I wonder why liberals dislike fox when their president, obama, seems to get such a fair shake there. Is obama socialist? That question can be answered by looking at his fiscal policies; the amount of finance he requested of congress; what chunk of the economy the government would have controlled if his request was granted and whether or not his programs promote a (big government) socialist agenda? The greed on wall street and cronyism have given a black eye to capitalism and with all good conscience its hard to be proud of what the system have become. Perhaps obama might be more an idealist rather than a socialist. That said the checks and balances in our system makes it nearly irrelevant whether Obama tends to lean socialist or not. Its time to stop the name calling; give some substance to the vision and take this presidency away from obama come 2012.

    November 19, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. Dan in FL

    Perry: That conversation he had with Joe the Plumber – kind of redistribute the wealth – the best I can tell, that's socialism.

    I don't hear Perry complaining about the federal dollars that get redistributed to his state. Calling the President a socialist is just another Republican tactic to undercut his legitimacy. I personally don't care for many of the policies that Obama has championed, but I'll give him credit where credit is due; most Republicans don't have the decency to do that. Obama is no more a socialist than Bush was a fascist dictator. Let's stop the name calling, it demeans us all.

    November 19, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Jay

    I do not support Obama, but Perry doesn't realize that a lot of Americans today do not think Socialism is a bad term anymore. In fact, many now feel that it can't be any worse than what they are facing today. So he needs to realize that he is actually hurting himself by throwing around this term as an evil. I'm all for Capitalism, but the younger generation has yet to see it's benefits over the last decade. Republicans really need to step up and get a strong candidate because they are ensuring that these Democrats are going to be in office a long time.

    November 19, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Perry'sBrother

    Obama says "We've been a little lazy", and that makes him a Socialist? Perry, your uneducated remarks mark you as a blobber head, wuzz, dult, flathead [...fill in blanks as you see fit..].
    If Obama were a Socialist, wouldn't he say (according to conservative understanding of socialism) that our workers need more rest, longer vacations, more benefits, a bigger share of the rich $$$$, etc. He would claim bigger slices of the pie that corporate America keeps to itself.
    But encouraging us to be less lazy? Work more efficiently, produce better outcomes.
    Sounds to me that's a country leader who's leading his citizens out of the economic mess we're in.

    Perry, where do you grow those brain fungi that pop out of your loudmouth with any substantiation? And you want to lead this country out of the economic problems??? Fat chance.

    November 19, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. demogal

    Hey, Perry, your believing something does not make it factual or true. In fact, quite the opposite. You call Obama a "socialist"–he's proven he's not–and I call you an "idiot"–and you prove me correct.

    November 19, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Adam

    Perry, just go away.

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

    Sure, this is what socialism is. Everybody having nothing! Except the ruling party, who will have everything. American business is not lazy, they are greedy

    November 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. jason


    November 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. FedUpWithLife

    President Obama is NOT a Socialist, but Rick Perry sure is an MORON!

    November 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. demogal

    Oh, and by all means, let's drag out good ole Joe the (non)Plumber. How'd that work out for the Repubs last time?

    November 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. harold

    Nice try CNN. He didn't say "businesses" so why assume he meant "businesses". And even if he did mean "businesses", that still means Americans, as it is Americans that populate businesses.

    November 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. SJ

    Space cowboy.

    November 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. isac0014

    I didn't know Perry knew what a socialist meant.

    November 19, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. FrankLis

    That's Rick Perry's problem...he can only hold two things at a time in his mind. He missed the to sentence before the president's "lazy" phrase, and the sentence following it!

    November 19, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Roscoe Chait

    Like Bachmann, Perry has just learned a new word, "socialist", but doesn't know what it means yet. And like a 5 year old, he keeps repeating the word in odd contexts. You would think that one smart person would emerge from the Republican party. Apparently, not so.

    November 19, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Adrian Moy

    Please don't insult true Socialists with the claim that Obama is a Socialist. He is a corporate Democrat, for crying out loud. There are precious few real Socialists in the Democratic party. We should all wish Obama and other spineless Democrats really did work in the best interests of the people and took a stand against corporate power, tax-funded subsidies and welfare for the rich.

    November 19, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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