Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California denied being a socialist Tuesday after Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas mentioned comments she made 15 years ago threatening a government takeover of oil companies.
“We can go around and around in circles about trying to talk about and defining socialism, but at its core I was intrigued by an op-ed that I saw not too long ago by a Democrat from Cuba commenting on one of our colleagues, an avowed socialist, and essentially pointing out the extent to which democratic socialism is a lot like the system my family fled except its proponents promised to be nicer when seizing your business. That’s the truth,” Roy said during a Tuesday hearing of the House Rules Committee to discuss H. Con. Res. 9, a resolution introduced by Republican Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida that denounces socialism.
Salazar and Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House majority leader, introduced the resolution to bring attention to the failures caused by socialism, including famines and human rights abuses, according to a release by Salazar, whose congressional district includes Miami. Passage of this concurrent resolution by the House of Representatives and Senate would put Congress on record as opposing socialism.
“I’ve got one question for… ranking member Waters in a 2008 hearing you said quote ‘and guess what, this liberal will be all about … this liberal will be all about socializing … would be about basically taking over the government and the government running all of your companies’ end quote,” Roy continued. “Simple question: Do you stand by that statement?”
Waters made the comments about “the government running all of your companies” during a 2008 congressional hearing when oil prices topped $140 a barrel and gas was over $4.00 a gallon.
“I’m not a socialist, I’m a capitalist and I commit to you that I am here to save Social Security, to save Medicare, to save seniors and Veterans and for some of you who have adopted certain kind of ways that you support what you now claim is socialism, I’m here to say to you, come on,” Waters said.
Roy pressed Waters over her 2008 quote again, asking if she denounced her threat to have the government take over the oil companies.
“I am not a socialist,” Waters said.
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