The presidential campaign has become a full-fledged class war -- well actually, a war of declaring the other guy a class warrior. After Mother Jones released footage of Mitt Romney saying at a May 17 fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans don't pay income taxes and thus will vote for President Obama, the Drudge Report linked to audio of Obama saying in 1998, "I actually believe in redistribution." Romney referenced the audio Tuesday in his first interview after his "47 percent" video was released. "We have two very different views about America," Romney told Fox News' Neil Cavuto.
The Obama video is from an event at Loyola University on October 19, 1998. Here's the text:
What that means then is that as we try to resuscitate this notion that we’re all in this thing together, leave nobody behind, we do have to be innovative and thinking what are the delivery systems that are actually effective and meet people where they live. And my suggestion, I guess would be that the trick, and this is one of the few areas where I think there are technical issues that have to be dealt with as opposed to just political issues. I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure everybody’s got a shot.
It's not that much different than the last time something Obama said about redistribution became a campaign controversy. He told Joe the Plumber he wanted to "spread the wealth around" in 2008.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.