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Pelosi: Socialism 'is not the view of the Democratic Party'


Some members of her own party seem to disagree

Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that "socialism as an economic system" was "not the view of the Democratic Party."

What happened?

During an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes," correspondent Leslie Stahl asked Pelosi about some of the ideas promoted by the "self-described socialists" on the "left flank" of the party. Pelosi said that despite the "orientation they came to Congress with" even the socialist members know that the party has to "hold the center" and "go down the mainstream."

Pelosi also defended the Affordable Care Act — a.k.a. Obamacare — saying that it was better than the 'Medicare for All' plan promoted by some of the more left-leaning members of her own party.

"Well, Medicare for All, it's not only being pushed by some members of your caucus," Stahl noted, "but also by some of the presidential candidates, and it is allowing the president to say you're all socialists."

Stahl was referring to Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), and former-Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who have all come out in support of Medicare for All. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and former-Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) have all supported expanding Medicare beyond the Affordable Care Act, but haven't fully embraced Medicare for All.

Pelosi responded:

Do you know that when we did — when Medicare was done by the Congress at the time, under Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, said, 'Medicare will lead us to a socialist dictatorship.' This is an ongoing theme of the Republicans. However, I do reject socialism as an economic system. If people have that view, that's their view. That is not the view of the Democratic Party.
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