The Robin Hood argument

Monday, October 27th 2008, 4:13 pm
By: News 9

By Samantha Hayes, for NEWS 9

Oct. 27, 2008

WASHINGTON -- In the waning days of the 2008 Presidential election, Senator McCain's final argument against his opponent is coming into focus.  He points to Obama's economic and tax proposals and says the Democratic nominee wants to "spread the wealth around." A kind of socialism. Obama counters, arguing that McCain wants to continue to give tax cuts to the wealthy and big corporations. In about a week, voters will make up their mind on this, and many other issues, when they head to the polls to vote, but Republicans feel that an old radio interview with Obama is bolstering their argument against him.

The interview on Chicago public radio WBEZ-FM is 7 years old. That's when Obama was a state senator.  Obama was talking about the Civil Rights movement in which he thought the courts were successful in awarding formal rights, but thought "the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society."  Obama went on to say that tragedy of the Civil Rights movement was the "tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change and in some ways we still suffer from that."        

Conservative bloggers have been buzzing online about the interview and it didn't take long for the McCain campaign to seize on Obama's "redistribution of wealth" comment. During a campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio, McCain said change to Obama means "taking your money and giving it to someone else." It's not a new argument, but one that is certain to get the attention of fiscal conservatives, a key part of the Republican base McCain needs to turn out.