Hannity again echoed Drudge's false account of Obama's 2001 WBEZ interview

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

Fox News' Sean Hannity again repeated the false claim that in a 2001 interview, "Sen. Obama said it's a tragedy, quote, that redistribution of wealth was not pursued by the Supreme Court." In fact, the "tragedy" Obama identified during the interview was that the civil rights movement "became so court-focused" in trying to bring about political and economic justice.

During an October 28 interview with Sen. John McCain on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity again repeated the false claim, originating on the Drudge Report, that in a January 18, 2001, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio interview, "Sen. [Barack] Obama said it's a tragedy, quote, that redistribution of wealth was not pursued by the Supreme Court." McCain responded: "That's what's scary." In fact, the "tragedy" Obama identified during the interview was that the civil rights movement "became so court-focused" in trying to bring about political and economic justice. Hannity also made the same false claim about Obama's remarks during the October 27 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show.

In the 2001 WBEZ interview, Obama stated: "And one of the -- I think the tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movements became so court-focused, I think that 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 coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change."

From the 2001 interview:

OBAMA: But 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.

And, to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and Warren court interpreted it in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties -- says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted.

And one of the -- I think the tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movements became so court-focused, I think that 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 coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And, in some ways, we still suffer from that.

From the October 28 broadcast of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: The issue of redistribution of wealth. It first came up with Joe the Plumber in an interview on Good Morning America, and then of course this tape from 2001 that came out yesterday. You've used the term, senator, redistribution. Explain what you mean by that.

McCAIN: Well, I mean, it's very obvious from a long record of being in the far left-hand lane of American politics. That's why he was -- he has a clear record of being the most liberal senator in the United States Senate. We've seen that act before. We saw it, with all due respect, with George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, and others in the liberal left. They think the solution to America's problems is to take money from one group of Americans and give it to another.

Now, that has been proven to be a very bad idea in America, but also in other countries. So, it's -- it's an idea that you can somehow help everybody's lives by taking the money from those who have, through hard work, through spending all their lives and building up some wealth so they can give to their kids, but more importantly, create jobs. When people in America like Joe the Plumber are able to buy his boss's business, he creates jobs and shares wealth and expands wealth that way -

HANNITY: It's amazing that -

McCAIN: -- rather than saying you can't have this money, I'm going to give it to somebody else.

[...]

HANNITY: Senator Obama said it's a tragedy, quote, that redistribution of wealth was not pursued by the Supreme Court. And --

McCAIN: That's what's scary. You know, a lot of people believe that there's gonna be three vacancies on the United States Supreme Court. And some of the thoughts and writings and statements by Senator Obama about how it's the job of the judiciary to be quote, redistributive. But I think -- let's fast-forward up to just a short time ago. Senator Obama opposed justices Roberts and Alito, and he said on ideological grounds. Now, Sean, true confessions: I voted for justices Breyer and Ginsburg. Not because I agreed with their philosophy, but because they were qualified to serve.

HANNITY: Even though you had --

McCAIN: Even though I had strong disagreements with their ideology. Now, Senator Obama wanted to filibuster the Roberts and Alito and oppose them because of their quote, conservative views. Look, are they qualified? Of course Roberts and Alito are. And so, I think, frankly, this is really revealing to Americans who understand the importance of Supreme Court justices.

Posted In
Economy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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