TV Anchor’s Tough Questions Draw Disbelief From Obama Campaign

By Susan Jones | October 27, 2008 | 8:32 AM EDT

( – Here’s what happens when a reporter asks tough questions of the Obama-Biden campaign, using their own words to frame the question.

After it happened to Sen. Joe Biden in Florida last week, the Obama campaign pulled the plug on any future interviews, including the TV station’s planned interview with Jill Biden, the vice presidential candidate’s wife.
Here are the questions asked by WFTV anchor Barbara West:
“You may recognize this famous quote: ‘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’?”
“Are you joking? Is this a joke?” Biden asked.
“No,” said West.
“Is that a real question?”

“That’s a question,” West replied.
A short time later, the anchorwoman continued: “And you recently said, ‘Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama.’ But what worries many people is your caveat asking them to stand with him, because it’s not going to be apparent initially that he’s right. Are you forewarning Americans that nothing will be done and that America’s days as the world’s leading power are over?
“No, I’m not at all – I don’t know who’s writing your questions,” Biden replied.
Obama's Florida spokeswoman Adrianne Marsh was quoted as calling anchorwoman Barbara West "both combative and woefully uninformed about simple facts."
While critics on the left are blasting West for being a right-wing hatchet-woman, etc., critics on the right are asking if Obama, as president, would freeze out reporters who ask tough but legitimate questions.
Redistribution of wealth
There’s another new blow to the Obama campaign just a week away from the election, and again, it’s something Obama himself said.
In a 2001 interview with Chicago public radio station WBEZ, Obama called for “redistributive change.” He was taking about the “redistribution of wealth,” and an audio clip has been posted on YouTube:
“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… and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, 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. In some ways we still suffer from that.”
The audio clip makes it clear that redistribution of wealth, or “redistributive change,” is something Obama’s been aiming at for years, long before he told Joe the Plumber he wants to “spread the wealth around.”