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. yeap

    Spreading wealth around to everyone is what socialism is? Wow...I finally understand! So, where do I sign up to be a socialist...I want me some cash!

    November 19, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Mukudi

    He has a problem understanding what people are talking about. That my explain why he could not recall the third department, and also the many Ds on his transcripts.

    November 19, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. McCy

    Perry might want to buy himself a dictionary and look up the definition of the word "socialist" before he goes throwing it around haphazardly.

    November 19, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. 2tired2care

    Perry's an idiot. Keep working on your crib notes.

    November 19, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Liz the First

    You keep using that word, Rick. i don't think it means what you think it means. 'Socialist' is a scary word rethugs fell in love with and they keep using it against people on the left that it simply doesn't apply to because they know it will stick. it's as credible an accusation as if they called Obama a wambat! 'Idiot,' on the other hand, is a perfect description of Perry and all the rethug candidates in this election. Democrats are not socialists. I don't know anyone who believes government should own and control everything in this country. it's a ridiculous charge made by people who don't want government to have any say over how business operates. they'd rather let business make obscene profits without any responsibility to produce safe produccts while treating their employees fairly and protecting their health and safety and the environment. all one has to do to see what the rethugs want to go back to is look at the early 1900s, with filthy air and people working long hours in unbearable conditions for pennies a day. that is what you vote for when you vote republican. is that what we want to sink to???

    November 19, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. Mike

    Well resurrecting the birther myth was a flop, might as well resort to calling him a socialist. Can't these Teatards come up with ANYTHING original?

    November 19, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Duque Duke

    i think the same way. Other presidents in Europe are socialists, just like the name of the parties they represent. There is nothing wrong with being one. OWS is a socialist movement and they feel fine when labeled socialist.

    November 19, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. pn

    Since redistribution is socialism and since social security and medicare has redistributive consequences I guess we have a few programs on the chopping block.

    November 19, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Robert Zimmer

    He is no more socialist than Carl Marx or Joe Stalin.

    November 19, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Reality Check

    Means a lot coming from a secessionist who does not realize the Civil War was 150 years ago,

    November 19, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Randy

    Typical Republican rhetoric: misusing a word they don't know the definition to, besmirching socialism by claiming Obama, the most conservative Democrat to live in the White House since Grover Cleveland, is anything like a socialist.

    November 19, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. lulz

    no........he isn't perry. but nice try. is this how you have to get your support back? resort to name calling? speaks volumes for the GOP field this election cycle.

    November 19, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Mike

    Wow – They still don't know what a socialist is? Someone needs to get these guys in school.

    November 19, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. bcrunner

    This guy is so stupid that he does not understand the word socialist. What a desperate man he is!!

    November 19, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. lulz

    no........he isn't perry. but nice try. is this how you have to get your support back? resort to name calling? speaks volumes for the GOP field this election cycle

    November 19, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Jim in Washington

    I would take this more seriously if I really believed Cowboy Rick has mastered polysyllabic words.

    November 19, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. 1776World

    He now has 2 to blame on if any of his decision fails, from now and after he is reelected. Bush and the laziness of the American People, very convenient.

    November 19, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Jesse

    Governor Perry is being polite. I will call Obama what he really is. He is a dedicated Marxist Communist and has been since day one. His handlers in Moscow are jumping with joy at the havoc he has raised in America. The now defunct Communist USSR predicted many years ago that they would bring America to her knees from within and without having to fire a shot. so far, their prediction has come true. It is now up to the American voters to rectify this error in November 2012.

    Jesse in Texas

    November 19, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Rico

    Obama may be a socialist.... but it's better than being a moron like Perry!

    November 19, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. MicRoq

    Rick Perry is an idiot. I don't totally agree with what Obama said but I believe it to a point. Not ALL Americans are lazy, but when I see people driving up to the welfare office in a Cadillac and fur coat then yes, I truly believe that there are lots of lazy Americans.

    November 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Jeff627

    I find it hard to believe that the GOP cannot find anyone with a descent head on their shoulders as a Levi ate candidate for the presidency. These idiots are really starting to embarrass me as an American citizen.

    November 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. chuchsheen9

    Obama is a socialist. Many cabinet members of this administration openly call themselves such.

    November 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Really?

    Just paraphrasing here: "What you do to (for) the least of my brothers, you do to (for) me." If that's socialism, so be it.

    November 19, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. shepony

    I always chuckle when I hear candidates choose to run down their opponents because they don't have enough of their own reasons they should be elected to talk about to win people over to their side. It's really sad that over the years so many (but not all) candidates have adopted that strategy.

    November 19, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. grady

    Adopting the Bachmann strategy of campaigning...
    appeal to your base by making comments and statements that are so groundless and outrageous that they are even questioned by Bill O'Reilly...
    Can we venture this opinion?...Perry is playing hardball with a whiffle bat...

    November 19, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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