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)

    A vote for Obama supports WEALTH RE-DISTRIBUTION.

    The result of that can be viewed today in ZIMBABWE with the RE-DISTRIBUTION of that country's AGRICULTURAL WEALTH that led to the COLLAPSE of its ECONOMIC, JUDICIAL, EDUCATIONAL , HEALTH and ENERGY PROGRAMS.

    This is a fundamental belief of the theology Wright ministered to his flock at TUCC. The "unapologetic obligation to ....."

    October 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. carol

    This lady is a prime example of being influenced I'm sure by the likes
    of...FOX....HANNITY...LIMBAUGH....you know the McCain faithful followers. I doubt she even understands what Sen Obama policies really are, but she and lots more like her don't need to as soon as they get the word from FOX etc etc....that's good enough for them!!!!
    All I can say is thank heavens there are a lot more open minded people than there are small minded across this country.....people need to think about the situation they find themselves in now.....high cost of groceries...high gas....low wages.....no health care....job loss etc etc.
    If they weigh up all of that and then think who has been in power for the past 8 years.....and then want to vote them back in.....they really get what they deserve.
    Wake up America you have a chance of change now and we desperately need that....get rid of this useless Republican party and get some new fresh ideas and new hope for this country.
    Make a sensbile choice and vote for Sen Obama in Nov.

    October 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. greg in fl

    socialist ... another buzzword straight out of the republican playbook.

    expected but not accepted.

    btw. bailout deal = nationalizing (aka socializing) economic debt

    republicans, the new socialist.

    October 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Annette

    Good for you. Obama. I think these labels are tossed around like a salad without the oil dressing.

    October 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Jim

    Ayres a washed up terrorist? McCain is a washed up politician..

    October 19, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. Sad

    Congratulations, John McCain. You've successfully created a bunch of nuts who are even afraid or unwilling to shake someone's hand. That coupled with the Minnesota Republican Senator who, on Hardball, said that we should investigate all Democrats in the Senate about being unAmerican – and all of this just reinforces how we need someone else in the Whitehouse.

    It scares me that we still have a major bunch of idiots in the US like this woman at the diner. People who make decisions based on whether they think the 'rapture' will occur in their lifetime. People who love hunting so much they go out of their way to reward other hunters who kill predator animals. People who base their foreign policy experience on "seeing" Russia and visiting Canada.

    Geez, guys – c'mon!

    October 19, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. bern

    Well it seems Diane Fanning must be asleep when she is attending church. To refuse a handshake is an insult. Fanning is clearly operating from a prejudiced mindset. I wonder how many brownie points she earned with the Big Dude upstairs with her little display of ignorance and racism.

    October 19, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. ran

    Sad we still have such hate/racism in this country and McCain/? and the republicans are doing all they can to encourage this behavior.

    People we need to get our country back for the good and Obama/Biden is the way.

    Please vote and in such #s that there will be no doubt who the winner is.

    Let us not leave this election up to any court.

    October 19, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. Milliegee

    The accusation of "Socialism" is not really funny. But I have to laugh every time I hear a new attack. Every time McCain*Palin smears, I donate.

    October 19, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  10. Christy in Idaho

    Typical ignorance. Afraid of what they do not know and do not aspire to understand.

    October 19, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. Richie

    In this country, Americans shake each others' hand even when we disagree. It does not reflect well on this "church group" that this woman is so rude.

    October 19, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. Cory

    You may not agree with his policies and are voting against him, Diane, but at the very least he deserves a little respect. The man is running for the President of the United States and he makes time to come to your little corner of North Carolina to meet with you and others in the restaurant and that is how you treat him? Real great group of supporters McCain has created.

    October 19, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. Carol Vanella

    Did I just read that the woman who wouldn't shake Barack Obama's hand was in a church group? I'm sure she claims to be a good Christian. Her words and actions showed otherwise. Shame on her!

    October 19, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. Julia

    Does John McCain realize that most small businesses do not earn $250,000 per year in today's economy. I have seen small to medium businesses going out of business rapidly during the last 4 years. The majority of people I know who have jobs are working for large corporations or government . What is John McCain talking about?

    October 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    We are on the fast boat to Socialism with the GOP buying insurance companies, running banks, increased wealth distribution from taxpayers to Wall Street, suppressing those that disagree with us

    October 19, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Almost Over

    HA! At least she held to her own beliefs and ideas, but I hope she isn't too angry when he's President! PS Ms. Fanning – you're beloved Bush has done more to bolster SOCIALISM than any other President in the history of the USA. Maybe if he and his friends hadn't screwed up the country so badly we wouldn't have witnesses the death of capitalism and American values during our lifetime 🙂

    October 19, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  17. Jason in SDY

    I wish he were a socialist. But if all I can get is Democrat, I'll take it!

    October 19, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Papasan in Arizona

    McCain has been running a Socialist State for the WEALTHY!

    October 19, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. susie

    Obama can spin it all he wants, he wants to make this a socialist country.

    October 19, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Papy

    Keep screaming "Socialist, Socialist" while your house goes into foreclosure and your 401K shrinks into relevance.

    It cracks me up when I see poor folks driving beat up cars and sporting McCain/Palin stickers.

    Talk about now knowing what side your bread is buttered on.

    October 19, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. bill for barack

    Fanning is part of a church group ????????????????
    Sure woder what her pastor's been teaching .........
    If Obama is a socialist, then McCain is surely a fascist.....or maybe a nazi.........

    October 19, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. tomowens

    hate now is the biggest reason we are where we are today. the future is the will of us to be able to see it and deal with it now!

    October 19, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Papy


    October 19, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Vince

    Dianne Fannig surely is related to Gayle Quinnell.

    October 19, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. MD

    We have to thank mcCain and Palin for the new attitude of hate and intolerance in America.

    David Brooks declared Sarah Palin as "represent[ing] a fatal cancer to the Republican Party."

    I think Sarah Palin represnts a fatal cancer to the USA and to the world.

    October 19, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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