Obama Camp Blasts Fox News, Drudge Report for Driving Socialism Complaints

      The Obama campaign has decided to employ the shoot-the-messenger approach in response to comments he made about claims his positions are socialist. The quotes come from a 2001 Chicago Public Radio interview where Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama lamented that the Supreme Court wasn’t more proactive in redistribution of wealth as part of the civil rights movement.

      Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton came out with that defense on Fox News Oct. 27 broadcast of “America’s Election HQ” and defended a statement he had made earlier in the day:

 “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,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement issued Oct. 27.

      “America’s Election HQ” co-host Megyn Kelly expressed her disapproval of Obama’s camp for making the accusation.

      “You know what Bill – it seems that when I have you on and we talk about tough issues, issues that may be potentially tough for your candidate, this is what you do – you blame Fox,” Kelly said. “You come out with the best defense is a good offense and start ripping on us. You should know that in the polls as recently as this month, in one taken by Rasmussen, the majority of Americans think that Fox is the least biased network out there. MSNBC was first, CNN was second. Fox was last in terms of bias. Your guy is believed to be getting helped by 70 percent of the press corps according to the latest Pew poll, but you complain when you think Fox has the nerve to confront his candidate with his own words.”

      Burton maintained the charges of Obama’s socialism were just an effort by Fox News to “trump up” a non-story. He told Kelly Obama’s plans weren’t “socialist” because giving a tax cut to 95 percent of Americans wasn’t socialist.

      “But look, you know the bottom line is that the American people know Barack Obama has been crystal clear about his economic plans for this country,” Burton said. “And if he gives a tax cut to 95 percent of Americans is socialist – I don’t think that the American people agree with that. And so this notion that somehow Fox News has been fair on these points – it just does not hold up to the reality of this sort of coverage it has been getting.”

      However, Burton’s tax cut claim is not correct on two levels. First of all, as Politifact pointed out in the Oct. 21 Houston Chronicle – Obama’s “tax cuts” do not provide a tax cut for “95 percent of Americans” “It’s actually about 81 percent of all tax filers,” the article by Angie Drobnic Holan said. And second, under the Obama plan, 63 million Americans, or 44 percent of all tax filers, “would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year,” according to the Oct. 13 Wall Street Journal – hence the argument that Obama’s policy are redistributive and therefore “socialist.”

      The claims that Obama promotes “socialism” began with his now famous call to “spread the wealth around” in comments to “Joe the Plumber.” Fox News and the Drudge Report were the first outlets to report on the recently discovered 2001 Chicago public radio interview in which Obama expressed disappointment that the civil rights movement didn’t do more to establish “redistribution of wealth.”