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David Gergen On AC360: Ronald Reagan Was A Socialist!

(Heather co-wrote this post) This clip has a lot of goodies in it including Palin bring up her clothes right before the election and David's shock

(Heather co-wrote this post)

This clip has a lot of goodies in it including Palin bring up her clothes right before the election and David's shock at the circling firing squad by the McCain camp directed at Sarah.

What is rare is to have campaign aides putting a harpoon in the candidate, and then some of the candidate's friends firing back.

But on a serious note, As McCain keeps attacking Obama as a "socialist" and a "Redistributionist in Chief," David Gergen reminds us that Ronald Reagan actually starting "spreading the wealth."

Gergen: Now, one of the most effective popular programs we've had in the last three decades. It's called the earned income tax credit. It's a program whereby, if you're a working person, a working couple and you're below the poverty line, the government will actually give you money. That's a redistributed program. It's a program which takes money from the upper classes and gives it to the lower -- to the working poor.

Now who started that program? The earned income tax credit? Ronald Reagan. It was one of the -- it was an achievement of the Reagan administration that Bill Clinton then built on.

The Republican Party has been dancing on Reagan's bones for some time now as THE conservative to emulate. Well, he did raise taxes when he had too and after this tidbit of information I guess he's just a typical socialist after all.

Full transcript available here.

(From Anderson Cooper 360 Oct. 27, 2008 a mash up of David Gergen's remarks.)

COOPER: And, yet, David, yesterday, they were surprised because Hasselbeck brings is up, and then Sarah Palin talks about it quite extensively, not just about accessories, but about the wardrobe. I mean, how damaging is something like this?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's damaging in a couple of ways, Anderson.

You know, we were -- just late last week, we were talking about the fact that -- that there was a very, very tight window in which McCain had to turn the momentum in this campaign...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Right. You said three, four days.

CROSSTALK)

GERGEN: ... Monday. Three or four days. And we were talking about that last Thursday, Friday.

Here we are on Monday night now, and we're still talking about Palin's wardrobe. I mean, that's exactly where they -- what they do not want to be talking about, if they're going to have a fighting chance to -- to win this.

And the second thing, you know, we have heard for the last few days, well, it's not unusual to have finger-pointing in a campaign, a lot of aides backbiting each other. What is rare is to have campaign aides putting a harpoon in the candidate, and then some of the candidate's friends firing back. That is -- that is extremely rare. It does seem to me that's -- that's disloyal to the candidate. It's unfair to the candidate.

Whatever else you think about Sarah Palin, she does not deserve to be taking shots from within -- within her own campaign.

[....]

COOPER: David, I see you kind of shaking your head.

GERGEN: Oh, it's just -- it's absurd. It's absurd that we're sitting here...

KING: Yes, it is.

GERGEN: ... talking about her -- her clothing and this and that eight days before a major national election.

COOPER: And, yet, she's talking about it. I mean, she's...

GERGEN: Absolutely. The McCain campaign...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: As far I was concerned, this thing was gone, and, then, this weekend, all of a sudden, they're both -- they're talking about it.

GERGEN: I totally agree. This was not manufactured by the media on Sunday. This was manufactured by the campaign.

But it's just an absurd place to be, if you have got a large national campaign, with -- with an economy in crisis.

[.....]

COOPER: David, I want to talk a little bit with you about some of the accusations being made now by John McCain, kind of hitting Barack Obama on this sort of socialism thing.

There was a very testy interview with an Orlando news anchor between the anchor and Joe Biden.

I just want to play a little bit of this for our viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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?

BIDEN: Are you joking? Is this a joke?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

BIDEN: Or is that a real question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is a question.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It's certainly a question the McCain campaign has kind of been hammering at, portraying Obama as a socialist. You hear that on -- on the Palin campaign as well.

Is it working?

GERGEN: They may be making some modest progress with it, Anderson. We did see some evidence of McCain coming up a point or two here and there. I don't think it's anywhere near close enough to win an election. And more importantly, I don't think the Democrats have really answered it appropriately.

You know, Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, was very much an advocate of what's called progressive taxation. Ad that is the rich pay more than the poor in terms of taxes.

Now, one of the most effective popular programs we've had in the last three decades. It's called the earned income tax credit. It's a program whereby, if you're a working person, a working couple and you're below the poverty line, the government will actually give you money. That's a redistributed program. It's a program which takes money from the upper classes and gives it to the lower -- to the working poor.

Now who started that program? The earned income tax credit? Ronald Reagan. It was one of the -- it was an achievement of the Reagan administration that Bill Clinton then built on.

So I think that these arguments are -- you know, some of them get so carried away that they don't recognize the realities of what we've been going through in public policy and the big arguments about why the wealth over the last 30 years has been redistributed. It's been redistributed upwards.

COOPER: John...

GERGEN: As we grow, the top 1 percent is getting a disproportionate share.

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