October 19th, 2008
03:08 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama hits back on 'socialist charge'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/17/art.boptup1017.ap.jpg caption="Obama campaigned in North Carolina earlier Sunday."]FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) – Barack Obama fired back against charges his tax policy amounts to “socialism,” arguing John McCain simply wants to redistribute wealth to the already wealthy.

“It’s kind of hard to figure how Warren Buffet endorsed me, Colin Powell endorses me, and John McCain thinks I’m embracing socialism,” Obama said. “This is his argument because I want to give a tax cut to the middle class, because I want to give a tax cut to 95 percent of American workers.”

The Democratic nominee also said that while McCain may call giving regular Americans a tax break “socialism,” he calls it an “opportunity.”

“Here’s the truth, North Carolina. This debate – and this election – comes down to what we value. In the America I know, we don’t just value wealth, we value the work and workers who create it,” he said. “He can call me any name he wants but what he’s talking about is not right, it’s not change, that’s why we’re going to beat him in this election on November 4th.”

Before his rally in Fayetteville, Obama dropped by Cape Fear BBQ and Chicken to shake hands with patrons, many of them older white voters. In a sign that perhaps pre-election tempers are getting a little hot, according to the pool report when Obama entered the restaurant a woman screamed “Socialist, socialist, socialist – get out of here!” The woman, 54 year-old Diane Fanning was admonished by other diners and one woman yelled back “at least he’s not a war-monger.”

It is unclear whether Obama heard this exchange as there were many in the restaurant trying to greet him. Later when Obama approached Fanning’s table she refused to shake his hand.

“Some of ‘em are just nicer than I am,” Fanning told the pool reporter when asked why she didn’t shake the senator’s hand but other members of her church group did. “I know how some of ‘em think.” Fanning did however have a brief conversation with Obama about some issues of concern to her.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (517 Responses)
  1. Lori

    Amazing! She was shouting at Sen. Obama, would not even shake his hand?? What is this the 60's? How disrespectful to a United States Senator and likely President. If she is saved, she is completely out of order and apparently does not know the principles of love that the Bible teaches. I hope North Carolina goes blue.

    Obama-Biden 08

    October 19, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. obama4president

    That Diane Fanning is probably just racist.

    Obama/Biden '08!

    October 19, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. joyce

    another example of the fear and hate the mcsain camp have created. how awful to create such thoughts in others mind

    October 19, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Kim

    Under Bush the Republicans have practically Nationalized the Banks. McBush wants the Government to own our Home Mortgages. The Republicans have become more Marxixt than Communist China.

    October 19, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Vic

    Early voting is the way to go.

    Registered Republican "voted" Obama/Biden 08.

    October 19, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. IndyLinda

    Ah, so the woman who yelled "Socialist, get out of here," was part of a church group. Nice. Doesn't sound very Christian to me.

    October 19, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. Not a rock star support - PA

    Kudos to Ms. Fanning and Joe the plumer, two people who remember that one of our greatest rights in the US is freedom of speech. I agree with Ms Fanning's opinion that Obama is a Socialist, and if he graces a diner I'm in or comes to my driveway seeking support, I'll be glad to tell him personally.

    October 19, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Sean

    Cleary more support for Obama than McCain in that diner.

    October 19, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. Jam One

    If the Republicans want to see socialism in action, they need to look no further than the $700 Billion bailout of financial institutions that Hank Paulson pushed through.

    Sadly like most McCain – Palin supporters including McCain and Palin, Ms. Fanning has no clear idea exactly what socialism is, except that the Republicans have now made it a word they can boo in chorus. I guess Socialism is the new "Communism".

    Meanwhile do you think Ms. Fanning or any other McCain – Palin supporters can articulate McCain's plan for the economy? This includes McCain himself.

    By the way, very powerful endorsement from Colin Powell this morning, I recommend watching it to be reminded what this political race has been about so far.

    October 19, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. Roland

    Was Fanning dressed like the Church Lady from SNL?

    October 19, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. Abby

    obama you are a FRAUD!! Your "plan" is called WELFARE – with a new name. These people do NOT even pay income tax – we ALL pay SS tax – so.... now "those people" will pay ZERO – AND get a FREE Check. This is WELFARE – and WHO will pay SS????????

    VOTE SMART – VOTE McCain – we can TRUST him

    October 19, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. Kris

    Once again, McCain shows that he relies on rallying the uneducated and/or uninformed in his push for the White House. His decision to run on a platform of ignorance sickens me.

    October 19, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Jeannie Baltimore, MD

    For some people there is no hope. Diane Fanning is obviously an idiot and ill manner to boot. That is the type of person who would rather drown than accept a lifeline from a black man. Sad, but society is full of morons like her.

    October 19, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. R.

    Hmm, someone in a church group heckling someone and telling them to "get out"... Jesus Christ would be proud of that im sure...
    Republicans are the real socialists, in fact, i'll say communists.
    they want 95% of use to do the real work in this country, to bust our rear ends working for the better part of our lives for as low as wages as they can make us accept while they do nothing but rake in the cash. If it wasnt for OUR work they would have NOTHING. they want it so they can be carried on our shoulders, so they can rip off OUR hard work while they get obscene paychecks and and safety nets when they run the companies WE built into the ground. that is exactly what communists do, let all of us suffer while they ride on our backs. more for the powers that be and the rest of us can eat cake. republicans want to end social programs that feed CHILDREN as well as people who can't work do to disablities. they want to force unwed teenagers to have babies they can't support, and don't care where they end up. republicans love to create poverty so they can have more, more, more, they love to create crime, they love more people in need, and they love corruption. enough is enough!

    October 19, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. Joe Plumber Six Pack for Obama

    I don't think its the fact that she thinks he is a "Socialist", Its more that he was Black Im sure.

    October 19, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Charlie in Maine

    Does that mean Colin Powell is "palin around with socialists"?

    Give me a break. John McCain is a shell of his former self. The John McCain of 2000 would not support the McCain/Palin ticket of 08.

    His strategy has consolidated his base but how will he attract independents?

    October 19, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Vic

    Early voting is the way to go.

    Registered Republican voted Obama/Biden 08

    October 19, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |

    Go OBAMA, McCain is out of touch, two respectable people endorsed you. Powell and buffet these are the men i look on to.

    October 19, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Jack

    obama STOP with that "95% of American workers" – this is a LIE
    Those people do NOT even pay Federal Taxes – SO – Where – EXACTLY is this money coming from?

    Sounds like WELFARE with a spin.

    October 19, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. Sam

    So wait...she wasn't willing to shake his hand, but he was still willing to talk to her?? This man needs to be our president.

    Obama 08

    October 19, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Audrey

    Obama is my eyes is a socialist, taxing people who make over $250,000 and give their hard earned taxes to people who have never paid taxes, that is a form of WELFARE.

    October 19, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. Pam

    Diane Fanning...typical rude, ignorant republican.

    October 19, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. David

    Why cant every American own 10 houses like McCain?

    October 19, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. Randy, PA

    This is the type of person that McCain and Palin are trying to brainwash. It's a pity there are people so ignorant this day and age.

    October 19, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  25. Jonathan

    I find it upsetting that people use the term "socialist" like a weapon. Our government is a mixture of capitalist and socialist ideals, and they work together to make a balanced but successful society. It is even more absurd to yell "socialist" when we have agreed to take the taxpayers money (nearly $1 trillion) to bail out banks, but we yell at a politician who wants to return something to most taxpayers in the form of a tax break that the wealthy would fund. Very hypocritical. The government constantly redistributes wealth. The wealthy only complain when it works against them.

    October 19, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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