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. SP

    The 95% number is quite misleading.. the fact is the around 40% of people don't pay any federal income taxes.. Obama's plan will give them a tax credit in the form of check from the government "refunding" federal taxes which they haven't even paid. You can call it welfare, you can call it socialism, you can call it opportunity... what the Obama camp should do is honestly address the issue and then let the American people decide what they think...

    October 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Garnet,Shawnee

    Did I read that right? She was with a church group? She had better go back to church.

    October 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. robin

    and what church does she belong to? obviously not one that believes
    in jesus who taught us to love everybody

    October 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. republicans hate america

    Im going tomorrow to vote early and vote for Obama. Up yours McCain and you dumb Christian rednecks.

    October 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Connie Williams

    I'm receiving very ugly smear emails against Obama - two this morning. Big hate campaign now behind scenes. Hope everyone who gets these will reply "to all" agressively that this tactic is ugly and dishonorable.

    October 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Meg

    Stupid woman. She can shout socialist but I bet her dumb behind is expecting to use social security among other benefits of the government that are SOCIALIST IN NATURE. What a fool. Why would anyone go against their own best interests?

    October 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. Timothy

    This is sad how Mccain is deceiveing his supporters to believe a lie.This is the truth about Obama plan for small business 95% there will be no tax cut and if people turn on their brains and stop turning their brains off when they go to the Mccain/palin rally and start to think small business would do better under Obama plan. Mccain is wanting to give more and more to the wealthy same economy plan as Bush and that is why this country is in a financial mess now

    October 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. David Goldman for OBAMA









    October 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Republican for a better Country

    Obama is a "Socialist" amongst other things!

    October 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Nan

    This just goes to show you the danger of what McCain and Palin are spouting. They are giving false information and fueling the fires of hatred. I dare to say that some will use the socialist line to hide their racism. Debate the issues do not label people and spread fear just to win an election.

    October 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Over McCain

    Perhaps she was afraid that he could turn her "Muslim" or his black would rub off of her. McCain's campaign has done everything short of telling people that Obama will allow black men rape white women.

    October 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Sherry for Obama

    Fanning sounds to me like she is brainwashed by McCainn's party.
    When you know better you do better.......Look at what the republican party has done in the last 8 years with no new taxes......Duh....were in a recession now....their way did not work...I for one want a change and I am voting for Obama.......Fanning dont believe the lies of McCain/Palin they are desperate and will say anything to sway voters that arent aware of their lies.

    October 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. ND Mom

    McCain and Palin have accomplished one thing. Inciting hate and doing so by distorting Obama's policies and character. My son watched video last night on Don Lemon's show and was quite taken aback at the hate in this country because someones skin color is different from theirs. He has had the priviledge of attending schools that have Native Americans, Blacks, Asians and White students. His friends belong to all these races and he is a better person because of these relationships. This has become an emotional issue for me because this country has got to get past the hate. I am encouraged by my son's generation who embrace all and hopefully all this filth will not influence our precious youth.

    October 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Spring

    Ms. Fanning does not speak for all North Carolinians. Fortunately, the small minded will not prevail in November.

    October 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Republican for a better Country

    We all no why Powell and Buffet edorse Obama as do Wright, Sharpten and the rest of "you people." I could give a rats &*% about Powell. He just lost my respect! The others never had it. Sharptem and those guys are nothing but money hungry, power hungry racist lowlifes.

    October 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. ricardo williams

    McCain is afraid we spread the wealth around and have him give up his 8 houses and 12 cars, but I have a degree and I'm not making 2000,000 and I'm no plumber, so if Joe the Plumber who is not a plumber thinks that it is too much to pay taxes on his 250,000 after getting help to start his business then I won't be calling on Joe the Plumber when I need plumbing done.

    October 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. Independent in DC

    It's one thing to disagree with someone's views, but as an adult that was very immature of this woman. Not the fact that she wouldn't shake his hand (I mean who cares really?), but yelling "socialist" and "get out of here." What is she twelve? Grow up.

    October 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Yet another example of how divisive the McCain campaign has become. McCain/Palin, this is what happens when you spew hate in your stump speeches day after day. We've had enough!

    October 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Irishspacemonk

    Fanning – you'll never read this but I feel sorry for you. As a despicable person, without decency, you should only hope to find yourself forgiveness for being such a hate monger.

    October 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Kat

    She refused to shake his hand? What is she 10? Does she think he's got cooties or something? Reeeeaaal mature.

    October 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    Oh me, oh my, it's the boogey man Socialist! Every week it's a different tag. (If this is how John McCain runs a clean campaign, what would it be like if he decided to get dirty – terrorism?) Without the socialist part of our government would we have social security, medicare, schools, roads, police, firemen, hospitals, etc. etc. In other words tax funded services. Good Grief!

    October 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Realistic

    George Bush just committed the largest SOCIALIST act in the history of the word by nationalizing the banks. Chavez in Venezuela is RED with envy!

    Way to go Comrade Bush!

    [ McBush voted with our Socialist President more than 90% of the time and is quite proud of it. ]

    October 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Niraj

    What an idiot! By shaking hands you don't have to vite him, which you won't do anyway... but at least you show some manners and respect for a human being...

    October 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. katiec

    This is a mild sample of the unrest Mccain/palin have stirred
    up. This is minor compared to some.
    In a time when our country needs to be united and strong,
    some politicians are trying to divide.
    This 54 year old woman had a right to her belief and Barack
    treated her with respect. She should have done the same
    with him. Most people, hopefully, would, unless they had
    gone to and believed what was said at a republican

    October 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Brad S. in Knoxville, TN

    If Obama's economic plans are so-called socialist then McCain's foreign and domestic politicies are fascists. So, quit with the name calling because I don't like either! How's that!

    October 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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