October 26th, 2008
05:02 PM ET
14 years ago

Biden to anchor: 'Is that a real question?'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/26/art.wftv.biden.jpg caption="Sen. Biden had an interview with Barbara West Thursday."]
(CNN)— An interview Sen. Joe Biden did with an Orlando television station is making headlines Sunday, after the reporter asked if Sen. Barack Obama's now famous conversation with 'Joe the plumber' about 'spreading the wealth' made the Democratic nominee seem like he was adopting Marxist principles.

"You may recognize this famous quote," WFTV Anchor Barbara West told Biden on Thursday. "From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs, that's from Karl Marx. How is Senator Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?"

Biden laughed himself out of the unusually tough interview asking in response, "are you joking? Is this a joke?"

"No," responds West.

"Is that a real question?" Biden continues.

"That's a question." West said.

With a chuckle, Biden firmly tells West, "He is not spreading the wealth around. He's talking about giving the middle class an opportunity to get back the tax breaks they used to have."

"We think middle class tax payers should get a break, that's what we think," Biden added. "That's a ridiculous comparison with all due respect."

Obama has responded numerous times since his October 12 meeting with Joe Wurzelbacher in Toledo, Ohio that the conversation was taken out of context.

Since the final presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, 'Joe the plumber' references have been a common line of attack from Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin - telling voters - Obama plans to tax the American people.

WFTV's news director told Conde Nast Portfolio.com that West had not been inappropriately tough, citing an even tougher interview she did with John McCain.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Nia Hussein - Phoenix, AZ

    Ancour woman franticly runs off the air after being viciosuly attacked by an older white male with thining white hair, who carved a backwards B in her face and gave her a black eye....

    I heart Uncle Joe

    October 26, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. Mike

    I just reviewed the link to Conde Nast Portfolio.com that you made and you made a HUGE ERROR. Nowhere does the WFTV's news director say she did "an even tougher interview she did with John McCain." The blog post you linked to was pointing out how she was throwing softballs to McCain.


    October 26, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Marie

    wah, wah, wah, the press core asked the Obama campaign a real question, how dare they. There only supposed to talk about how he's our savior!

    October 26, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. Ted:Canada

    Foreigners – you say – who cares!

    Yes! but can so many people be so wrong!

    Europe for Obama!

    Canada for Obama!

    Oct 23 2008
    According to a new poll for the International Herald Tribune.The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for the IHT and the news channel France 24, reflects the "overwhelming" support in Western Europe for Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate
    The poll was conducted online from Oct. 1 to 13 by Harris Interactive, in partnership with France 24 and the International Herald Tribune, among 6,276 adults, ages 16 to 64, in Britain, France, Germany, Spain… and adults, ages 18 to 64, in Italy.

    October 26, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. Dee

    Most interviewers idea of a "tough" question usually turns out to border more on the RIDICULOUS in actuality!

    October 26, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. desertique

    There is no relation between taxes and Marx. Socialism is not about allocation of tax burdens. It is about allocation of economic systems under governmental control so that each individual gets a fair proportion of the proceeds.

    The question was stupid.

    October 26, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. maria

    Interesting>i just read that Palin is complain about the K.Couric interview.That was no fair interview.Joe Biden was Interview with lies Questions.Words/Question lies from de McCain/Palin camp.
    West have show her real color ,her real face.
    She was sweet with McCain in her Interview,she almost kis him,
    yes so sweet was she with McCain.
    Those Question aren`t tough question ,they were punk`d questions.
    Biden did a good job.
    West just did show the world how a bad interview.. she is by showing
    her real McCain Rep..... color.

    Obama Biden 2008

    October 26, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Andrew

    This women is not a reporter she is a partisan hack. There is enough of this on both sides no wonder the media has become so disliked. What happened to real journalism? All we have is partisan pundits masquerading as journalist's.

    October 26, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    If helping the poor out, which is SuPPORTED by God, is Marxist, then helping the rich to be richer, the work of the Devil. God did say that 'money is the root of all evil'.

    proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy...

    October 26, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. Mike The Obama Voter

    Finally, we are about to free ourselves from the rancid, stinking claw of neo-conservatism.

    PUMA's; Get a grip!! you are betrayers of your own ideals and totally disingenuous. Go eat a carton of ice cream and some bon bons instead of trying to wreck america with the rest of the enimies of truth and freedom............

    October 26, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. Olivier, Paris, France

    This seems so unreal ! is this WFTV so illiterate that she could really think Sen. Obama is a marxist ? and that she finds this question is relevant ? This is not a though question. This is pure, and clumsy, manipulation . I cannot imagine anyone is taking this seriously, and I don't understand CNN is reporting this.

    October 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    Proverbs 16v52 Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city....

    October 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. Ryan

    He did handle the heat. The questions were ridiculous. Search it. She basically repeated McCain campaign talking points. It was disgusting from any political perspective.

    October 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. GeorgiaPeachforObama

    Ms West is married to a GOP strategist. I expect an interviewer to at least pretend to be unbiased. She certainly had an agenda and didn't have her facts straight.

    She should be fired over this Guess she won't be invited to the victory celebration.

    October 26, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Dee

    More name-calling? And this time by the so-called news interviewer no less!!

    October 26, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. k williams

    wasnt palin just convicted of a crime?, dealing with troopergate?, america is lost. so lost.

    October 26, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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