From an interview Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) gave to Newsmax:
KATHLEEN WALTER (HOST): This week a video surfaced of Barack Obama advocating redistribution of wealth back in 1998, which critics say confirms he embraces socialist philosophies. In another video which surfaced earlier in the week, Mitt Romney is heard stating that President Obama’s supporters, 47 percent of the electorate, want to live off government handouts and don’t care for their lives. Do you think the nation is at a tipping point right now? Are we on the brink of becoming a socialist country should Obama win reelection?
SOUTHERLAND: Well, let me say this. I did not need to see Barack Obama in a video about redistribution to make my determination that he believes in socialist policies. I think redistribution is the centerpiece of a socialist mindset. But if you look at his policies, if you look at the policies of redistribution in the name of fairness, and he says fairness over and over and over and over again, and what he means by fair is we’re going to take from those who work and we’re going to give to those who don’t, and as is evident in his most recent change to the TANF policies, that – where there was obviously a work requirement – I think what you’re seeing with this president is he’s a divider. He is not a uniter.
And I think that when Governor Romney made his statement— I need to be very careful here, I think there are many people who do receive checks from the federal government that have, that are retired, that served in our armed services, that paid into Medicare, paid into Social Security. So I don’t like the term entitlement, because many people that do receive government checks are entitled to those because they paid in. But there is a large, large portion of individuals who receive entitlements from the federal government and they’ve not earned them, or not worked to keep those. And so I think we have to be very careful who we talk about. Words can be dangerous, and so I think we need to be very specific.
What I believe the governor was trying to get across, as I listened to his video, is that we want a system of earned success where people are rewarded for their effort, they’re rewarded for their merit, they’re rewarded for their sacrifice and their hard work. And I think that that is clearly the fairest system ever known by mankind. Not a system where we have, you know, economic— we talk about economic fairness, where the government determines fair. I think what is more fair, and what is more moral, than a system of earned success? And I think that’s what the governor was alluding to. And clearly, Barack Obama, and you look at his body of work, he does not believe in that. He believes in redistribution, and I think that is evil, and I think it is wrong. And I think it’s glaring that he’s now getting more bold with his statements, because I think he knows there’s a great chance he could lose this election.