The socialist label attached to President Barack Obama's name has been floating around for some time. On Sunday, it re-emerged when Texas Gov. Rick Perry made the familiar accusation during the NBC News GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire.
“I make a very proud statement, and of fact, that we have a president thats a socialist,” Perry said Sunday.
“I disagree with that premise that somehow or another, that Obama reflects our founding fathers. He doesn’t.”
Authorities on the matter are now taking aim at Perry's "fairy tale" claims.
"The notion that Barack Obama is a socialist ranks among the greatest fairy tales in American society -- right up there with the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the idea that if you work hard enough your children will live a better life than you," Socialist Party USA spokeswoman Lynn Lomibao said in an email to The Huffington Post.
"Socialists know what Obama is: another corporate funded politician placed in the White House to protect the wealth and status of the 1 percent," the e-mail continued. "When Americans needed a solution to mass unemployment, Obama gave away billions in cash to bail out the banks. When Americans needed a single-payer healthcare system, Obama promoted a pro-health insurance healthcare 'reform' package that forced millions into junk healthcare plans subsidized by public funds. And when American workers asked for the right to join a union without employer harassment through the Employee Free Choice Act, Obama showed who he really answers to by betraying the promises he made to working people during his campaign."
PolitiFact weighed in on the matter, examining whether Perry's claim was fact, ultimately ruling the statement to be a "Pants on Fire!" lie:
"After the debate, PolitiFact National explored the question of whether Obama is in fact a socialist, comparing the president's tax policies and major initiatives with this definition of socialism: support for 'governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.' The upshot: Obama policies such as the health care law and the economic stimulus add up to flimsy evidence for even beginning to show that he's a socialist.
Conservative economist Bruce Bartlett told PolitiFact: 'Socialism means public ownership of the means of production. Obama does not believe this. Therefore he is not a socialist. … Although it is true that the federal government did come to own some private businesses as a consequence of bailout policies initiated by the George W. Bush administration such as (the Troubled Asset Relief Program), the Obama administration sold many of them — such as its shares in GM — as quickly as feasible. A true socialist would have held on to them.'
Put to the Truth-O-Meter, Perry’s claim rates as ridiculous. Obama's policies may have expanded government, but they don't justify the hyperbole of Perry’s charge. Pants on Fire!"
Perhaps Socialist Party USA candidate for President Stewart Alexander will have the opportunity to debate Gov. Perry about his definition of socialism.
What do you think?
Can Rick Perry spot socialism better than the Socialist Party?