The Drudge Report cropped comments President Obama made in 1998 about government's role in creating a society where everybody has a shot and used those cropped comments to portray Obama as a socialist.
Drudge linked to a YouTube video supposedly taken from an October 1998 conference at Loyola University with a picture of Obama and the headline, "I actually believe in redistribution." The quote was picked up by Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft who used the video to call Obama "America's Socialist In Chief."
But the quote leaves off the end of Obama's sentence: "at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot."
Obama was actually talking about the role of government in providing services, but also criticizing ineffective forms of government. For instance, Obama says in the audio, "[W]e do have to be innovative in thinking, what are the delivery systems that are actually effective and meet people where they live?"
He was talking broadly about pooling resources to make sure that everybody has a fair shot.
Transcript of the YouTube audio:
OBAMA: Let me just close by saying, as we think about the policy research surrounding the issues that I just named, policy research for the working poor, broadly defined, I think that what we're going to have to do is somehow resuscitate the notion that government action can be effective at all. There has been a systematic -- I don't think it's too strong to call it a propaganda campaign against the possibility of government action and its efficacy. And I think some of it has been deserved. Chicago Housing Authority has not been a model of good policymaking. And neither necessarily have been the Chicago Public Schools.
What that means, then, is, 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 in 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 that everybody's got a shot.