Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) successfully managed to get Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to contradict herself during a tense exchange on Tuesday.
At a House Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday, Roy confronted Waters about past comments in which she voiced support for "socializing" certain industries.
The confrontation came as the committee discussed a resolution that would formally condemn "the horrors of socialism."
"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 began. "We can talk about these terms as if they don't matter, but they do. They do matter. They're actually at the core of who we are."
Then, citing comments Waters made in 2008, he continued, "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.' Simple question: Do you stand by that statement?"
In response, Waters failed to answer the question. Instead, she claimed the encroachment of socialism "is not happening" and called it a "non-issue."
"I'm not a socialist," she finally said. "I'm a capitalist ... 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."
Again reading Waters' words from the hearing 15 years ago, Roy pressed, "You disagree with that? You now denounce that statement?"
"I am not a socialist, OK?" Waters said.
What is the background?
Waters made her pro-socialism comments in 2008 when oil executives were testifying before Congress. While questioning then-Shell Oil CEO John Hofmeister, Waters demanded "guarantees" from companies to lower gas prices.
When Hofmeister gave Waters what she believed was an insufficient answer, she threatened to campaign on "socializing" oil companies, which she indeed explained as "taking over and the government running all of your companies."
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