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. Average American

    McWar has been reduced to name calling which is nothing more than pathetic.

    Whatever plan Obama has can't be worse than how the republicans have screwed us over the last 8 years.

    October 19, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. David

    I suspect it unlikely that any other candidate would talk to someone that yelled angrily at him or her. But Obama did. He understands that talking to someone is the best way to relay ideas and perhaps change minds. And he did so without "pre-conditions".

    Although it is possible, even likely, that he did not change her mind, I would bet that she feels better about the prospect of an Obama Presidency. She should!

    October 19, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Texas by way of Pennsylvania for Obama/Biden

    McCain Camp has no Shame. And these poor little old ladies are listening to Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and Sarah Palin, and they are believing the lies and fear mongering! Too many Americans are ignorant enought to be swayed by a smooth talking huckster be they of the religious or political kind! They simply can't think for themselves even when they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. It's Pitiful... simply pitiful!

    McSame and McBarbie would not tell the truth if it came up and slapped them in the face. They are desperate, and the desperate have obviously sold their souls to the devil.

    October 19, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    What an image to the world these people are presenting. The courage of Obama to face these confrontations and dangers when he could be earning 100s of thousands of dollars in the privare sector speaks to his patriotism and love for his country.

    I don't know how McCain can look himself in the mirror or actually stand in front of his crowds and spew his lie and distortions.

    October 19, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. nrr

    Mr. Obama's views and beliefs are socialist and radical. He believes that the government should be bigger and take care of everybody. And he LIES when he says that he will have no tax increases for anyone making less than $250K. He has stated that he will not renew the "Bush Tax Decreases" that are set to expire in another year. At that time EVERYONE will see much higher taxes on their capital gains and death taxes.

    October 19, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Colin

    If John McCain were to come into a restaurant, I wouldn't yell "Fascist, Fascist, Fascist – get out of here!" While I don't agree with McCain on nearly every core issue, it doesn't mean I'm going to resort to the childishness seen in this woman. 54 years old and she sounds like a toddler just grasping onto the basic concepts of correct communication.

    October 19, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Independent

    Fanning, like Joe the plumber, are simply Mccain's creatures!

    October 19, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Beverlee (WI)

    The "S" word is going around... they have drilled it into their minds. My brother in law kept calling Obama a socialist..My husband hung up on him!

    October 19, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Jim Shortz

    I'd like to know what loving group of Christians the woman screaming "socialist! - get out of here!" is from?

    October 19, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Carolina Tarheel

    To Ms. Fanning: If you were with other members of your "church", I hope your pastor will preach on I John 4: 7-8. Please, please, ALL AMERICANS, let us come together for the good of our country ... the world is watching!

    Thank you, General Colin Powell, for articulating your reasons for the endorsement of Senator Obama. As an independent, I cast my vote last week in the NC early voting for Barack Obama.

    October 19, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Nikole

    How immature of her.

    October 19, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. David Minneapolis

    These buffoon republicrats would label Franklin Delano Roosevelt a Socialist as well with his New Deal programs. He was an essential part of our nation's history, he helped to dig us out of our Depression and paved the way for why so much of the rest of the world are still so inspired by our national narrative. Obama will carry on in the tradition of Roosevelt. Let the peanut gallery eat peanuts and then join ranks behind an Obama presidency and get down to work.

    October 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Jay

    GROUPTHINK at it's best. "Tell a lie–tell it OFTEN–and every Republican will believe it!" The Republicans and their ilk can cling to their lies and deceit. Only THEY are foolish enough to buy into it. It's really sad.

    PS. Colin Powell was very eloquent in his rationale for endorsing OBAMA.


    October 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. TM

    Is this one of the supporters that John McCain is so proud of?

    October 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. Jason ledet

    The Republican's inability to control the nation's economy has led to the biggest socialist move in the history of the US. The Republicans bill has bailed out Wall Street and the Nation's Banks with OUR tax money. And, they have the audacity to call Obama a socialist? Ignorance.

    October 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Greg Hodges

    Long live McCARTHYISM! The Republicans are getting more pathetic every day. They are obviously panicking, as Nov. 4 gets closer and closer and the attack ads are not working. This dog just won`t hunt no more boys. You are not going to scare people into keeping you in power after 8 years of gross incompetance. America is putting its dark history of intolerance behind it; FINALLY! You are going to be shocked when you realize that Barack Obama is going to be good news for all Americans. At least those with an I.Q. over 3.

    October 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Bring America Back!

    I think it is just plain ignorance on her part. The McCain/Palin ticket along with the other negative people in their pool have used scare, fear and terrorist tactics and played on the less fortunate knowing. SHAME on them! It is time to help people to make intelligent decisions by using the FACTS. Such a negative party they have become. It's sad. They ALL should be ashamed for placing THEIR interests ahead of the people of Americia THEY WORK FOR! Not like "That One". Yes, "That One" is the new face of Americas diversity, and, Our Next President for whom I am shall proudly to support.

    October 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. paul oregon

    ah the rep. really have to be proud of them seleves seems mccain supports are quite as sharp as they appear to be . what does one expect when they are led with a guy that has only one oar in the water

    October 19, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Henry Macman

    I am disapointed that Powell who has been Republican turn against endorsing MaCain, the only understanding I am getting from Powell is, he is more interested in endorsing Obama because of his personal reason? not for the sake of the security and the preservation of democracy, personally I do not believe Powell is chosing by putting the countries interest first, but for giving a chance to Obama on the race basis. So Powell realy can't take obama's side because obama is a fast talker and a good twister and flip floper, calculative and manipulative of American's young and old.
    Obama has not proven himself in any of the security area, if Obama is elected, and he can realy fix the economy, then America will become a socialist, and inveded? so Mr. Powel the decent thing is to reverse your bad influence on the voters, America freedom and democracy before the conomy, but I am sure McCain and Sarah Paline would do a better job dealing with the economy in any event.

    October 19, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. tigerakabj

    And Obama still went over to Fanning to shake her hand. Maybe in 2012 she will have a different attitude.

    Keep it going Obama. McCain is done.

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012.

    October 19, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. MEP

    Now Obama is responsible for comments made by patrons of random restaurants. Are you implying widespread racism? Better to just say so. Otherwise this story is not worth bothering about– John McCain refused to shake Obama's hand on television.

    October 19, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Meka


    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-'12

    October 19, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. B. Churchill

    Now that's what I call retail politics! Go O!

    October 19, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Lu

    It's not just John McCain who says he's a socialist, a lot of people say it because it's true. Just because Buffet and Powell support him doesn't mean he's not a socialist; the proof is in the pudding. Look at his record; listen to his plans, well, the little we can get out of him.

    October 19, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. M.K

    So,the woman was coming from church,apparently to worship God.I'm a christian but that's not the God I worship,I mean her god must be one of hatred.And these are the 'christians'who are pointing fingers at moslems?

    October 19, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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