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. BobBarker

    That's not the "Ville" I know. FayetteNam

    October 19, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Ben

    I'm from North Carolina. This is Jesse Helms country. For Barack to be doing this well in these parts is a great testament to Barack. This country needs Barack and most of America is beginning to show that they do not care what his race is. This is a new day.

    October 19, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Margaret

    Fanning is a typical ignorant redneck. Thank God people like her are fast ebcoming a minority in NC.

    October 19, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. facts are facts

    It is simply amazing how so many Americans can get so upset by words like liberal and socialism when they likely don't have any idea of the philosphies behind either definition.

    Perhaps the news medias should be highlighting the standings of the different countries in the world and then maybe people would be able to see how there current political system has put them light years behind at least 28 other countries.

    In the final analysis if people don't vote to change direction they will surely drop lower in the global standings as the current track they are on will only lead to more oppression and wars.

    October 19, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Brant, TX

    The mumbling, naive, and conspiracy theorist SNL crazy lady is getting around!

    October 19, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Charlotte

    His platform is Socialistic. Colin Powells endorsement came as no suprise to anyone with half a brain. I knew that would happen when Obama won the nomination. Why the wait, is what I don't understand.

    October 19, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Jason Hussein, Nashville, Tn.

    I really wish that McCain supporters would stop and think about something. Even if (big IF) he wins the Presidency, he faces an opposing congress. Which means, his health care plan…DOA, his tax proposals…DOA, and for that matter, ANY of his proposals…DOA.

    I also watched what seemed to be the pathetic attempt by the GOP to be an "October surprise". It claims something I have seen over and over, that Barack Obama is not a naturally born citizen of the United States. This accusation has of course, been proven wrong. My firm belief is simple, how can a canidate that is a "terrorist", "non-citizen" be allowed to get this close to the presidency without warning from the FBI, CIA, and INS?

    The answer is simple, all of these accusations are completely false. McCain supporters, I know it's hard, but stop lying to yourselfs and the rest of us. You are losing, stop being sore losers.

    CNN moderators- Please post this. Thank You

    October 19, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. LT

    McCain has no legs to stand on when trying to state Obama's policies are Socialist. Obama needs to ask John McCain what the McCain proposed policy of the government buying up peoples homes so that people can stay in them and the entire bailout plan that McCain supports amounts to. Smells of socialism to me.

    October 19, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Irma in North Carolina

    I just hope the rest of the American people wake and see what Mccain and his vp are trying to do to our country. It will be very scary If Mccain gets in their and somehow he does not last the whole term and Sarah gets in there. If it was the other way around God Forbid something would happen at least we know that Biden could lead the country and we would not have to live in fear. Lets hope God has a plan to let Obama and Biden get the election.

    October 19, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. angela

    I believe and I want to believe that most Americans aren't like this women. Those of us who want real change for all Americans will vote Obama in and he will represent and take care of all of us, not just the 1% on wall street who stoled our money and paved a hard road for our youth and their children. But we Americans of all ethnicities will overcome what the 1% on wall street did to us. Vote Obama!!!!! Our future depends upon him to make us a respected govt again!!!!

    October 19, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. James

    The whole "socialism" argument put forth by McCain/Palin is pathetic.

    I don't see them complaining about socialized police forces, or socialized firefighters, or socialized libraries, or socialized traffic systems. Yet that's exactly what we have in this country. Socialism is not an evil thing.

    People need to stop confusing socialism and communism...they're not the same. And Obama's policies are hardly socialist.

    October 19, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Torsten

    As a European (and great and old friend of the US, even if also the sun has spots!!) I would love to lecture most Republicans on the difference between socialism and social democracy. My God, the panic that this word "social" spreads is incredible, but ignorance is dangerous! After having travelled for 20 years in your great country, I cannot count the times I have come across this incredible fear of everything in the American language that starts with the word "social". I would honestly not be able to find one single person among friends I have all over Europe, who would even touch Obama´s policy as being socialistic! Obama is simply very clever in his thinking of how to save as many problems as possible for as many working Americans as possible! As well as for those without work for the time being! That is NOT socialism!!!
    Many of us on the other side "of the lake" wish to see this bright, strong, innovative and respectful gentleman of Barak Obama as the next President of a great nation like the United States of America. VOTE and dump being scared!!!

    October 19, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Vicki

    Diane Fanning is certainly entitled to her opinion. And my guess is she will be voting for McCain. However, the majority of us will be/are voting for Obama. Ms. Fanning will also reap the benefits that will be made manifest from our actions. Time will heal the deep wounds of this campaign and hopefully the anger will disappear (as spewed by Ms. Fanning and others of like mind). We've certainly experienced enough of that.

    OBAMA and BIDEN for the CHANGE WE NEED in this country!

    October 19, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Carmen

    That patron shouting socialist is a moron who doesn't understand what socialism is, she's just been told that it's bad and Obama believes in it. Pathetic.

    October 19, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Regina

    This is one instance that the church crowd cannot do what they are supposed to do. Remember the tongue, you know the rest.

    October 19, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Bitter Am voting Dem in NV

    See . . . Obama is cool enough, level-headed enough, to approach "the other side of the isle" (the side that screams falsehoods at him) just to make peace, to come to an understanding. Although he may not have won Fanning over, he listened, addressed her concerns and seemed to calm her down.

    How can you NOT be proud to vote for Obama ??

    October 19, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. tony

    I wonder does that Fanning lady know what a socialist is? She needs to be interviewed four years from now after Obama's first term and she how much she has benefited from his administration.

    October 19, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Steve from Dallas

    When you take money from 5% to give to 95%... thats socialism.

    We have not seen as large a redistribution of wealth.. since Lennon redistributed wealth in Socialist Russia...

    October 19, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Wondering?

    Seems odd that a man who served as a Republican in Several Administration is endorsing Obama? OR WAIT they are both BLACK! Kinda makes you think about the race card theory again! And Obama to actually accept the endorsement tells you alot about his charactor being as Powell signed off on the Iraq war right along with Bush! "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" the foal stench of hypocrisy has lingered in the air around Obama starting day 1 with Hillary. And by the way wasn't that Bill and Hillary sitting with the "undecided voters" at the 2nd debate? lol!

    October 19, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Bob

    Wow! I guess small-town values don't include politeness. What ever happened to southern hospitality? My grandmother was from Georgia so I think I know what happened to both examples of civility,........

    October 19, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. chris pennington

    oh man. some people cannot think for themselves. to not shake hands is just rude. shows her lack of character.

    October 19, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. mark (portland)

    I'll take Warren Buffet and General Colin Powell's word over McCain's any day of the week.

    October 19, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Mercedes

    This is a message to Diane Fanning or anyone who share her ideas,

    What a shame! Don't you idiots realize that even if you don't have the same political view you must have some manners and education! We all must have learned this at home when children or was it that you and your love ones were so bigot that couldn't see beyond race!

    October 19, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Beth

    Socialist? Obama is NOT a socialist.

    But here is a question for McCain, Palin and all those who call Obama a socialist: what exactly do you call McCain's plan to buy back the bad mortgages with taxpayer money? Isn't that redistribution of the wealth?

    I pay my mortgage on time, yet now McCain wants me to use my money to pay for the mortgages of people who are facing foreclosure – is that really capitalism? Isn't that redistribution of the wealth? McCain is out of touch, and I hope that he and Palin DO NOT go anywhere near the White House, for the sake of this nation!

    Obama's economic plan is better than McCain's. Obama is ready to lead and help this country get out of this financial mess.

    October 19, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Tyese

    I am guessing that Diane is a "real southerner" who supports the rich getting richer while Americans like herself and me continue to struggle. GROW UP DIANE!

    October 19, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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