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. Geoman

    Wake up people! The country has already started to turn to socialism under George W. Bush. Look at our banking system bail out, a collective ownership. "Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism by nature concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, and creates an unequal society." This started with Bush and when Obama becomes president he will be blamed for creating the socialist movement the was started by all the conservative.

    October 19, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. ready for change

    mccain palin you can't have it both ways, what was the bailout? what was the stimulious checks? you two just don't make any sense. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN

    October 19, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  3. Judy from PA

    I am afraid of Obama being a socialist. I worked my whole life to get ahead and now have tons of student loans to show for it. Others my age chose not to work, found a way to get on disability and under Obama will get free health care. Why would anyone choose to work under an Obama regime?

    October 19, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. RH Richmond, VA

    Wow. This is out of hand.

    There's a (poorly) homemade yard sign a block down from my house that reads, "OBAMA COMMUNISM '08"

    I blame the internet.

    October 19, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. w.l. jones

    We need a commander in chief who respect all fifty states and territory. With out taxes we cannot full fill our obliagation as leader of the free world.without..... equal and balance funds.

    October 19, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Sue in MI

    Well, this is what McCain has wrought. Hate begets hate, lies beget lies.

    October 19, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. Simmy

    McCains and the RNC realize that Sen Obama is no pushover, that's why they have resorted to Atwater/Rove style politics. The American people deserve better. If Americans are ready for change it's Sen Obama. If that phone should ring at 3 AM, do you want an erratic , Mr Magoo running around trying to find it, or do you want a cool, wise, confident Barack Obama with phone in hand, answering with poise, while possessing a steady hand and confident demeanor?

    October 19, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  8. Khalid

    I think that we can disagree without being disagreeable. If a presidential candidate (no matter what your party affiliation is) asks for your time to listen to you about your concerns of the country please be respectful. Even if you decide you don't want to talk to him/her.

    October 19, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. M. Wilson

    Diane Fanning is not a part of the America I love-the America I know realizes that all of us are descended from immigrants to this country except for the Native Americans. She also is not like the Christians I know-they are not small minded and full of animosity and hate. She needs to remember that Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor.

    October 19, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Monti, MI

    A little more then two week and we finally do not need to listen to that McCain/Palin crap anymore. Sure, those making (not necessarily earning) 250.000 +or more a year will feel pretty bad these days. Not that they are facing hunger or would need to sell their house. But imagine, you cannot buy the newest fancy, and in most cases non american car every year anymore. Horrible ! I totally support Sen. Obama's plans adn looking forward to four years where this country can finally recover from previous mistakes. By the way, this is not called socialism, happens in europe every other election. Sen. McCain, please do yourself and America a favor and read about facts before you talk about things you apparently don't understand. Unless you want to call most countries in europe "socialists". Your way of making good friends and allies ?

    October 19, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. melody watkins

    Fanning's reaction to Obama is truly sad. People like Fanning are victims of the Palins and Limbaughs of this world. It is perfectly alright to disagree with Obama on the issues but the name calling and deliberate misinformation aimed at the least discerning voters shows a complete lack of integrity. McCain and Palin have finally pulled me from my "undecided" status. I will cast my vote for Obama; the first time I haven't supported my party in 30 years. While I don't agree with him 100%, he at least has a forward looking vision for this country; not more of the same devisive rhetoric that appeals to our prejudices and fears and keeps us stagnant. I expected more from McCain. He couldn't deliver. We need a leader.

    October 19, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. robert peterson

    I like barbeque. But i love obama.

    October 19, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. rford

    You have to feel sorry for someone like Ms. Fanning. She has simply been brainwashed by all the misinformation being fed to uninformed Americans, by the McCain campaign.

    October 20, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  14. Oklahoma Woman for Obama 08

    Wow. So instead of using the word 'terrorist' now people are using the phrase 'socialist' wow. So miss Fanning is not as 'not as nice' as some of them. hmmmmm. maybe she's just more ignorant than some of them. Sad,very sad.

    October 20, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  15. Mr. Gray

    That just goes to show all americans that quite racisim still exist. As a member of an church organization myself, i've learned to put aside differences to achive a common goal. Thats what she should have done. Give him the same respect as you would john mccain, as the common goal here is to elect a president fairly.

    October 20, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  16. chan

    I'm glad he took the time to discuss her concerns. It saddens me when I hear about people's misconceptions due to the media or other comments, especially false ones or those taken out of context.

    October 20, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  17. adam

    Diane Fanning is a bigot who is a disgrace to her church. WWJD? I guess he would not shake Obama's hand and yell at him. Good example hate monger.

    October 20, 2008 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
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