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. boye

    One cannot do without people like Fanning – her attitude is not christ-like. It is sad to observe this kind of attitude from people who claim to be christians when they are not. They abound everywhere. "By their deeds ye shall know them". You can be in disagreement yet be courteous and respectful. Fanning lack this character.

    October 19, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. ba-Rock says

    this lady needs to check herself quick. all this encouragement of anger toward barack is ridiculous! mccain and palin do not deserve the white house. there was a time i would have been ok with mccain but that was before all this nonsense. he is running a dirty campaign and i'm just ready to push the button for obama/biden!

    October 19, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. Ryan

    I think a lot of Americans confuse socialism with communism. I just don't get why it's such a feared word. We have lots of social programs in Canada, like healthcare, and it works out fine.

    1 month ago, I had a friend that got shot in the leg in a hunting accident. He has been in the hospital ever since. He had a rod put in his leg to replace his femur which was shattered, and after a number of surgeries it looks like he won't need his leg amputated. For the first two weeks in the hospital we was provided with 24-7 care. There was always a nurse in his room.

    How much is this going to cost him?......ZERO dollars. How much does he pay for health insurance? Zero. It's all free.

    Socialism sucks I guess. I'd rather pay thousands of dollars for health insurance.

    October 19, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. Sherry in Kentucky

    I'm tired of hearing McCain talk about redistribution of wealth. We have seen over the past several years the redistribution of over 600 billion dollars from the lowest 96% of our population to the highest 4%. If that is not the redistribution of wealth, then I don't know what is. It's time to correct the failures of Republican rule. It's time admit that there is too much greed in the system for trickle down economics to work in real life.

    October 19, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Joseph Adewole

    America is known to be a civilized sosiety with wonderfully created people; it is also known as the greatest country in the universe. How then can that great country be doing what cannot be done in the 'forth' world? McCain should tell Americans what his plans for them is; what he will do for them if elected and not attack, attack attack his political rival.........The World is supposed to learn from the way you do some of your THINGS including dealing with your opponents during and after political campaigns; all we are seeing now is how to attack, attack and fooling the Americans with this Plumber Theory. Is this how America will remain what it used to be –WORLD LEADER?
    An educated and intelligent society like America should have a very intelligent and educated leader. We are begining to wonder why you don't have catwalk girls and footballers in the Senate or the lower House. Going about to achieve political points and attacking the opponents and fooling the people with the like of 'Joe The Plumber' make the world laugh and question your leadership.
    Rome was not built in a day, if one has no 'real' experience and he has experienced people around him and in his cabinet, such person will achieve better than the one that talk of experience all the time. All we hear now is either war war war or Joe the Plumber.
    It is believed generally that very old people sometime behaves as children, is that the type of leadership the LEADER should have? I don't know how true it is that McCain is using this tax thing to protect his wife from paying more tax; if that is the case, why not tell Americans the truth? We are watching America.
    John McCain should say to the Americans......This is what l will do for you if you elect me to the White House as his opponent has been doing. Let us bring good reasoning to this campaign now.

    October 19, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. DaProfessor

    Ah yes ... There is always a "Fanning" in every audience. Brainwashed by the GOP smears and dumb enough to believe them.

    October 19, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  7. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    Obama's proposed budget $3.6 Trillion will fund it by increasing taxes on people earning OVER $250,000.00
    McCain's Proposed budget $ 5 Trillion will fund it by increasing eveyone taxes and give tax right offs to wealth poeple that lose money on the stock market. of couse most Americans that lost money in their 401K plans wouldn't be elligable for the tax break unless they cash out their 401k and take the 48% penalty

    October 19, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  8. CAW in MD

    75% of the people throwing the word "socialist" at Obama (and yes, that includes both sides of the Republican presidential ticket) just don't understand what socialism really is. If you want an example of socialism, the current bailout of the financial sector is socialism - the government will be partly owner of the banks, the medium by which financial instruments are distributed. If I recall, both McCain and Obama supported this. So I guess they are both socialists.

    Absent that, there is nothing in Obama's tax plans that are socialist. The tax code always redistributes wealth, or shares the wealth, as Obama said. It's just that Republicans want to share your wealth with businesses, and Obama wants to share your wealth with actual people. Since the vast majority of people during the bailout were wondering when Main Street would get bailed out, I'm thinking they will like Obama's plan better than McCain's plan.

    October 19, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  9. blaising

    I was surprised by Obama's reply to the socialist thing...very deft.
    He's got McCain down cold. He's learned how to parry anything that nunbskull throws at him now.

    Stick a fork in it....

    October 19, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. ba-Rock says

    just another mcfailin clown looking for her 30 seconds of fame.

    October 19, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Hmmmm???

    ....I wonder what she meant by "I know how some of 'em think."

    October 19, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  12. DaProfessor

    I do believe that I will trust the intelligence of Colin Powell over the GOP brainwashed Ms. Fanning.

    October 19, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. jcm from Tampa FL

    Barack Obama is the best hope this country and the world have. What I don't understand is why somebody might be pro-life and pro-war at the same time. War is wrong, where thousands of people die and more hate develops. Another thing I don't understand is how John McCain will balance the budget if like President Bush doesn't include in the budget the 10 Billion dollars spent in Iraq every month.

    I know is going to be hard to many people to accept a win of Barack Obama on November 4, but things will be amazing and everybody will be happy even the rich and powerful.

    October 19, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. Josh, Wheaton, IL

    Hey McCain let me spell it out for you: Socialists want everyone to be forced to have the exact same things. Obama wants everyone to have the same opportunities.

    October 19, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. mitch

    the repubs made him mad. they better think twice,before they lie again.

    October 19, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. Ann

    Anyone who believes all the lies and exaggerations that come out of McCain's mouth is an idiot. Pure and simple. I also think they need to look up what socialism is. Besides, not that Obama is a socialist by any far stretch but how great has capitalism been working for us people?

    October 19, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  17. John

    I can't wait to see how the Obama fanatics embrace paying for other's health care while their own coverage (if they are currently covered) go up and up while benefits go down and down. People will be striving to get off of health plans in order to get the free socialist medicine. I actually am in favor of socialized medicine, but not for just some people. It has to be an all or nothing offering or it will create extreme social havoc.

    October 19, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. NC in MD

    It's outbursts like these that bring some truth to John Lewis' comments. All supporters are proud of their candidates, and hearing the other candidate's point-of-view may erk them, but when it's taken as far as using HATEFUL words used against the other can be a dangerous thing. Both of these candidates have done good for this country... OUR COUNTRY!

    Thank you Senator Obama, for staying so poised and showing true leadership – even during these ugly times!

    October 19, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. S. Boatman

    That Woman Has Been Watching Too Many Mccain Commercials!

    October 19, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. laura ont canada

    Better watch out MS Fanning the last person to make an utter fool of themselves in front of reporters due to ignorance ended up being characterized as Crazy McCain lady on Saturday Night live.

    October 19, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. courtney, fl

    that's a bit strange she can't shake his hand but she can talk to him about issues of her concern. i've never heard of not touching a socialist? real americans should not lose sleep over taxes, how else are we suppose to get out of debt. how about we not raise taxes, stay in iraq, and not invest in education. we already have big government only problem is instead of working for us it's working against us. wake up!

    October 19, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. Scott Tucson

    Either candidate can settle the tax issue by backing a simple 15%-20% flat sales tax and do away with payroll taxes and the IRS.

    October 19, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  23. Looking for Real Leadership

    Obama is not a socialist.

    October 19, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  24. al/Alabama

    Some people are just lambs being led by McFear!

    October 19, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Scott L

    McCain will cut taxes for EVERYONE and cut wasteful government spending to support it.

    Obama's problem is that he is targeting small business owners and businesses making over 250k. Jack up their taxes and it won't matter what your tax bracket is because those employers will have to start firing people.

    He just doesn't get it. And yes this is a socialistic plan. Take from those that have and give to those that need regardless of whether they deserve it or not. Karl Marx 101.

    When you liberals lose your jobs under an Obama tax hike on small businesses, don't come crying to Scott L. It will be your own fault.

    Oh and by the way, when 250k doesn't cut it to fund his programs, let's see how fast a Democratic controlled congress cuts 250k down to 150k and how fast that bill makes it to a Democratic president. Suckers...remember the checks you got this summer Democrats thought 150k meant you were rich...don't forget that.

    October 19, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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