Both presidential nominees are facing more scrutiny for statements they have made in the past as the 2012 election is now less than two months away. Just this week, GOP nominee Mitt Romney faced criticism for his now infamous “47 percent” remarks, while President Barack Obama fought to downplay a 1998 video in which he voiced his support for “redistribution.”
And while some Obama’s remarks from his past have gotten a lot of media attention, others have seemingly slipped under the radar.
One of the videos that apparently went unnoticed is an unearthed clip from 1995, which originally surfaced sometime in 2009, which shows a visibly younger Barack Obama speaking candidly about collectivism and the history of America.
The discussion is titled “Strassman vs. Obama: ‘Corporate Power’ vs. ‘Common Ground.’” Obama announced his candidacy for Illinois state Senate in 1995.
“Technological change is gonna happen, scientific discoveries are gonna happen; I think with the collapse of communism I think we recognize that markets are gonna happen,” a young Obama says in the video.
“But having said all that, I insist — and in this I think I am inheriting what was probably the best part of the dream from both my father, my African father, my white American mother. I think the best legacy of theirs, my inheritance, is the notion that we collectively can decide on our fate…things like technological change, things like mass media, things like the market, are all subject to our control, that we can make decisions for better or worse and continue to move forward and progress.”
After being asked to clarify how government can make decisions as a “collective,” Obama explained that it would have to be a democracy with a “small ‘d’.”
Obama continued: “I would challenge a reading of American history that would say the entire history of America is towards concentration of power and oppression. I think that American history moves in waves and cycles. I think that recapturing the spirit that existed not just in the civil rights movement but in the union organizing movement, in the populist movement, I think there is a running thread, one of the better angels of our nature in this country which has been the notion that you know we can sit around the table and find common ground and make democracy work in the way that it should be worked.”
“Its not popular right now to say that and to believe in a kind of a common good but I think that notions of common good are the glue that hold our society together,” he concluded.
When looking at just this one video, it would be easy write it off and argue anyone’s views can change over a nearly 20 year period, however, this isn’t the first time that Obama has been caught on tape talking about controversial topics regarding a more socialistic path for America.
Watch the entire 1995 video here:
This story has been updated.