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. G

    Socialist is not what they really call him. Racism is very real in this country and will not go away. Quit judging people by the color of their skin and trying to stamp other words on them for what you really think of them.

    Ignorance is what is happening in the Republican party. GET OVER IT!!! Barack will win this election.

    October 19, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. tg

    We are about to hear more of the yelling and name calling as it get's closer to the election. The true color of people will be manifested, because whether we want to agree or not RACE is a factor and it's only a matter of time before people will be bold enough in front of the camera's, reporters, new papers that we will see the hearts of some that are racists and refuse to vote for Obama because of the color of his skin. What a sad time it is, but at the end of the day NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST OBAMA WILL PROSPER. People embrace the CHANGE and get on board...ITS A NEW DAY and Obama/Biden will be our next president for the next 8 years.

    October 19, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Sherry

    Wow, it appears that Diane Fanning slept through the parts of church where it teaches how to treat your fellow man, regardless if you agree with him or not. She is to be pitied.

    October 19, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. John

    Ms. Fanning probably has an IQ of 60.

    October 19, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. sal

    You have won, McCain blew it.

    McCain will have to do some serious looking at how he ran the dirtiest campaign of record.

    Divine Mind is ever on time

    This is our time

    Powered by the people.

    October 19, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    She was with a church group that's why our youth don't want to go to church because of people like her. My church encourages people to greet each other! I cant believe it, because of people like her we lose our conservative values .Thanks Mccain / Palin for your ugly campaign . History will remember you for many many years regardless of the November outcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 19, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. gp

    Rasisam is worse than any other troule we have at the moment. Obviously there are still some that are not able to understand serousnes of the crisis . They are oblivious to fact that republican policies and ways of dealing with the issues is bringing us to the edge of functioning !!!!!!!!!!!!!! They still have concerns about race diferencesSince Mc Insane worked so hard to make it central issue of his campain.

    October 19, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Frank, Glandale Ca

    Hey go easy on her it's hard for old people to learn that the world has changed. Not take the crap the GOP is trying to get people to buy. But it's up to her friends and family to get her to see the light. So we can hope that she will one day be open for change!

    I'm hopeful!

    October 19, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. tishoogle

    This women more then likely does not even know what the word
    socialist mean just like Palin Half Bake Alaskan does not know what
    she is talking about! Just another kool aid follower!!! SAD!!!!!!

    October 19, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Maggie VT

    Maggie, VT

    You can't blame her for what the McCain has spread around. At least she spoke to him about her concerns.

    October 19, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Hardworking lady

    This is another example of the type of division, lies and fear mongering that McCain fosters. It's beyond despicable.

    October 19, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. Boye

    I am kinda confused. What is socialistic about Obama's tax plan? Is it because rich people are paying a higher percentage in taxes? Then does that mean Bush's tax plan is also socialistic? I mean, we have always had tax brackets and richer people always paid higher.

    October 19, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. John Smith

    If majority of people in this nation are not making $250,000 a year, although that defines the actual workforce, what is so wrong with spreading the wealth to these folks?

    The Republicans would like to spread moral virtues or shove them down everyone's throat. But they are NOT willing to go with the golden moral rules:
    -feed the poor; cloth the homeless; give shelter to those who are left in the cold; and "give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."

    October 19, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. MK

    At least Obama is man enough to stand tall and talk to this bigot. I obviously would not have. Maybe she was afraid his black would rub off on her, she's a yellow belly bigot. CNN, more hateful crap than this has been posted, all against Obama, I expect to see this post and I expect that it will not be "awaiting moderation".

    October 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. Obama Mama

    She really wanted to call him something else. Obama show these people what you are made of. 4 more years of the same bs...we'll all be in the unemployment and welfare lines.

    October 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. Canadian

    I'm amazed at the ignorance of some of these Americans.
    I think some 'small town folks' are still stuck in those times of the 'red scare' and relate anything with the word socialist or communist = bad.

    So what?
    Communist China is going to overtake the US as the economic giant in a couple of years.

    Get an education. Honestly, voting should be given to those with a college education. At least they'll have a mind of their own to think. But I guess Sarah Palin got one and look how much that's done for her.

    With regards, your kind neighbour from the north. (urging you to vote Obama).

    PS. Who is dumb enough to think Obama is an arab, jew or terrorist?

    October 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. PCS / North Carolina

    "according to the pool report when Obama entered the restaurant a woman screamed “Socialist, socialist, socialist – get out of here!”

    Many decades ago, they would have called Obama by another name. A democrat would have shook hand with McCain, but the Rupublicans !! They think they own this country.

    October 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. xcusme

    Obama will be called names as long as you have people who can not adapt to change. First he was terrorist, then a Muslim and a ARAB. Now he is a socialist. What's next?

    Some people are nicer than others and there are some that just want to live the way they have always lived. Hateful and UNHAPPY!!! It's easy to call a name it's harder to change. Well America it's time for change and let's pray for the evil of the world.

    The negative people can call him what they want. I choose on Nov 5th to call him Mr. President.

    GO OBAMA/BIDEN...2008

    October 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. Dal CA

    Socialism is working for the society and it is not bad at all. The Americans equate Socialism to Communism this is where they go wrong.
    So wake up and smell the coffee. We are working for the American Social brotherhood and not republican Jingoism.

    October 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  20. Joe, not the plumber, but the taxpayer

    . . . The republicans don't seem to call it socialist when they take the
    money and run(700 billion dollars). Socialist is just a code word that
    the republicans use to make others feel guilty about reaping the
    benefits of their OWN tax dollars, while they have no problem fleeciing
    the taxpayers.

    Democrats 08.

    October 19, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. Mobius

    What say we all work and keep what we earn. That sounds fair.

    October 19, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. BPW

    That's hitting back? Hardly.
    Fact is: increasing taxes on one group to increase welfare payments to another group which pays NO income taxes, and increasing the already large portion of the populace that pays zero income taxes at all IS socialistic!
    It is not a "tax cut" to increase direct cash welfare payments to non-tax payers – that is a welfare increase, and it is – as Obama said he wants to do – spreading the wealth around.
    Socialism is socialism, and Obama's proposed policies clearly move in that direction – whether people like Powell or Buffet endorse him or not is irrelevant to that fact.

    October 19, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. Alex

    No matter what group Obama may coem into contact with, it is apparent that though sad, racism is still alive and well in our nation. I believe it will take a few more generations before the majority of that sickness is stamped out. For some folks, it'll always be there.

    October 19, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Kim

    I'm not voting for McCain, but if he were to ever extend his hand to me...I would shake it! There is no need to be rude and cruel to someone who wants to serve our country and take upon themselves the great burden of leadership. So, this particular woman would not shake his hand, but there are millions who very much wish they could trade places with her and shake Obama's hand.

    October 19, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. Sammy

    15 minutes of fame. Maybe she wants to be "Dianne the diner".

    October 19, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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