McCain says "unscripted Obama" wants to redistribute wealth

Jake Turcotte

John McCain got a lifeline today and it wasn't even because of anything Joe Biden said.

The Republican nominee for President slammed Barack Obama for comments Obama made in a radio program seven years ago which surfaced early this morning.

The McCain campaign says these remarks are further proof that Obama's fundamental philosophy is one of higher taxes in order to spread the wealth around.

McCain's take

"It is amazing that even at this late hour, we are still learning more about Senator Obama and his agenda," McCain told a crowd in Ohio.  "In a radio interview revealed today, he said that one of the quote -- "tragedies" of the civil rights movement is that it didn't bring about a redistribution of wealth in our society," McCain said.

"That is what change means for Barack the Redistributor: It means taking your money and giving it to someone else. He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. He is more interested in controlling wealth than in creating it, in redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity," he continued.


The previously unknown interview was uploaded onto YouTube sometime yesterday.  The Drudge Report alerted visitors of its presence with a screaming all caps headline, "2001 OBAMA: TRAGEDY THAT 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH' NOT PURSUED BY SUPREME COURT."


In the interview, Obama discussed the impact of the civil rights movement noting that the Supreme Court "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society."

He goes on to say that " of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change."

What he meant

The RNC first sent out an email alerting the media to the link at 6:48am.  The McCain campaign followed with a statement seeking to clarify what Obama meant.

"No wonder he wants to appoint judges that legislate from the bench – as insurance in case a unified Democratic government under his control fails to meet his basic goal: taking money away from people who work for it and giving it to people who Barack Obama believes deserve it. Europeans call it socialism, Americans call it welfare, and Barack Obama calls it change."

No, what he really meant

The Obama camp shot back calling this is an "11th hour distraction."

“This is a fake news controversy drummed up by the all too common alliance of Fox News, the Drudge Report and John McCain, who apparently decided to close out his campaign with the same false, desperate attacks that have failed for months.

"In this seven year old interview, Senator Obama did not say that the courts should get into the business of redistributing wealth at all.  Americans know that the real choice in this election is between four more years of Bush-McCain policies that redistribute billions to billionaires and big corporations and Barack Obama’s plan to help the middle class by giving tax relief to 95% of workers and companies that create new jobs here in America."

Palin on message?

Sarah Palin, in contrast from remarks yesterday, was actually on message today and amplified the McCain message by bringing old friend, Joe the Plumber.

If you believe America is the land of possibilities and you don't want your dreams dashed by the Obama tax increase plan, and if you don't like the way our opponents have treated a guy that just asked a simple question, then you are "Joe the Plumber" too and we are all in this together, Virginia," Palin said.

"It doesn't sound like a whole lot of folks here on November 4th will be supporting Barack the wealth spreader," she continued.

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