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. NoMccain

    Anyone who thinks Obama is a socialist doesn't even realize that he is a pure capitalist that recognizes that Americans are hurting. You also think that BLACK people are lazy, and unwilling to work when given the opportunity. This thinking biases your hiring practices, and makes you develop preconceived judgments about the people you are willing to hire, and those you are not. This implicit practice of active racism MUST STOP!

    October 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Chuck

    Socialist, eh? Play to lowest common denominator and it rings true with the most ignorant.

    October 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Voice

    I can see the headlines for this week already "FANNING REPLACES JOE THE PLUMBER".


    October 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Washington Women for Obama

    The cynical McCain, as he responded to the failing economy, he's throwing the kitchen sink on Obama. The only thing that McCain has proved is his poor and irresponsible judgment... as he has done choosing an unethical running mate.

    Let's GET OUT AND VOTE ... and let's elect OBAMA!!!

    October 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. DSW

    So, it's Obama fault that we/US tax payers have had to bail out the banks/mortgage cos?
    Are these people really that stupid???
    Have they not heard about McCain's "deregulation" background, haven't they heard him say it over and over through the years.
    Isn't it just pure greed that got us to this point?
    McCain's "Good Christian" supporters say more about him than anything else!!!
    What McCain & Palin are doing is abhorrent – they will split this country in 2 before they are done.
    Won't the next POTUS have enough to deal with without having to "reunite" the country too?
    Aren't we all in a big enough mess without stirring up extra issues?
    Is there no end to McCain's selfish, irresponsible behavoir – what happened to "Country First" – he is a SELL OUT!

    October 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Nice to know there is so much maturity out there. Geez. I just don't get what drives some people.

    October 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. John

    I should rather be an employed socialist than a destitute war-monger, not to put too fine an edge on this.

    Socialism is NOT the devil; as a matter of fact, in many instances, it embodies democracy as few other premises.

    Fanning is ignorant, but that is fixable and no crime, for if it were, we should have to place 50% of the country in the hoosegow.

    October 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Angus McDugan

    Don't question Comrad Obama!

    October 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Independent in DC

    And the ironic thing about it is, she would probably stand to benefit the most from Obama's economic policies.

    October 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Doug

    Ah, Ms. Fanning, keep basking in your ignorance.

    October 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Independent for USA only

    Well, I believe that Republicans forget how Great President Reagan established a complete social security system, which was simply based on socialism somehow. Less tax for the poor is the universal policy in every country nowadays. I still do not understand why some Republicans still live in the 19th century.

    October 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. KM in OHIO

    It's people like Diane Fanning that makes this country a joke sometimes. The sad thing is when Obama is President, chances are this close-minded rude lady will benefit from his policies.

    It's disgraceful. When a presidential candidate offers to shake your hand, shake it.

    Disagree without being disrespectful. Shame on you.

    October 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Renee

    Mccain calls giving hard working American a tax break Socialism What does that tell thinking Americans? Mccain is out of touch with the American people.

    October 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Walt

    By McCain trying to call Obama's economic policies "socialist", one can only conclude that McCain's campaign is characterized by fascism.

    October 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Renee

    Mccain calls giving hard working American a tax break Socialism What does that tell thinking Americans? Mccain is out of touch with the American people.

    October 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. veteran for obama

    have some respect lady. geesh. I think john mccain is the lowest of the low but if i was in a diner and he was shaking hands i'd at least shake his hand and have an intelligent (well, on my end) conversation with him. i am going to call my 54 year old mom right now and tell her how much i appreciate her for not being diane fanning..

    October 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Ron , West Coast

    Any fair minded american , in this age of " haves and have nots ", dont see things in such simplistic terms as those sloganeers on the replublicrook side .
    After all , our taxes are used for collective well being ........such as repairing our infastructure , our military readiness , health services , any and all civic activities, police , fire , schools , court system , etc., ....
    So if John McBush is against the items I listed above , he should be able to explain in no uncertain terms his reasoning .......
    We are tired of the " Slogans ", ( Joe the plumber , Nascar mom`s / dads , Joe six- pack , hockey moms ) .........We want real solutions to real problems that our nation faces in this 21 st. century , and beyond .

    October 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Kathy S. Cloughn

    I'm old enough to remember the McCarthy years and I am having a hard time believing that a major party would engage in this behavior. How quickly we forget our history.

    Name-calling is not John McCain's modus operandi. It belongs to Sarah Palin and the Rovian stooges he has hired. Shame on you John. I thought you were a great American, not a typical losing politician!

    October 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Fed Up

    Maybe Ms. Fanning was scared some of Senator Obama's intellect would rub off. How ridiculous, a "Christian" woman refusing to shake the hand of a Presidential nominee.

    October 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. DNDC

    the point is even though this " CHRISTIAN" women just left chuch she could not even extend her hand as suspect JESUS would....... AMERICANS we can disagree without being disagreeable!!!!!! I would like to say that we are the laughing stock of the world... What is happening to us? It's sad

    Pray not PREY
    Peace and Blessings

    October 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Ralph

    Did you say 'some of her church members...'?So she's a christian.Does she know about what it means to be a christian?you don't behave that way towards a guy who may well be your next president.Christian indeed!

    October 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Sara Iyer

    What do you want to bet that most of these people yelling and screaming about the evils of socialism will actually get a tax break under obama?

    Every time I hear someone yell "socialist!" all I hear is "baaa". These are people who clearly haven't researched either candidate's tax plan and are just repeating what the rest of the sheep are saying.

    October 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Gambi

    Ask any Certified Public Account about the Republican way of raising taxes it's through the back door. Bush Sr. was famous for it. They have gone to the IRS and changed formulations.
    No more, enough, we have had it with the last 8 years of failed economic policy.
    We must unite and all work together under the leadership of Barack Obama. Yes, there will be sacrifice but I love this country and I want my children and grandchildren to be able to make it. Together we will make it happen. McCain and Palin have done nothing but try to divide us and that will only add up to failure.
    Vote Hope Not Hate
    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 19, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. wakeupamerica

    Way to go Obama! Keep on fighting back for our country, our people, our unity, our values, our moral, our domestic and international respect. Only you can bring us the change this country needs. Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama was the most cogent, rational, thoughtful endorsement I have seen, along with his admonishment of the McCain campaigns negativity. It made me swell with deep pride.

    McCain/Palin are on a totally different planet and can take their Fannings, Joe the lying noncertified plumber, and others seeking division and separation in this country along with them when they walk away on November 4 with their tails between their legs.

    Educate yourself people. Stop the ignorance. Obama and Biden are the real deal. Get out and vote, vote, vote!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 19, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. democrat

    This divide is the consequence when you have irresponsible politicians saying anything to get elected, it is a shame. They should realize the WHOLE world is looking at them.
    And history will be merciless...........

    October 19, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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