House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is refusing to directly denounce socialism as so-called “Democratic socialists” like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) become more mainstream.
The California lawmaker’s sidestepping of the issue comes as she’s seeking another term as House speaker, Fox News reported.
According to the news outlet, Fox has asked Pelosi “several times” — to include “multiple phone calls” to her office — whether she opposes socialism and if she would allow “any self-described socialists elected in the Democratic caucus to hold leadership positions in the House of Representatives.”
“How hard is it to renounce socialism if you really don’t believe in it?” asked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) “The reason she can’t renounce it is because the mainstream of her party — deep in their soul — backs socialism.”
Other conservative lawmakers also condemned Pelosi’s failure to distance herself from socialism:
During a Friday press conference, Pelosi said there is a “difference of opinion” among members of her caucus, highlighting the growing chasm between moderate and far-left progressives.
“Our caucus has its differences,” she said. “I would not want to lead a caucus that was a rubber stamp — a rubber stamp, lockstep caucus. That’s the Republicans. We are the Democratic Party, and we have several exuberances in our midst, and that is representative of the districts that people come to Congress to serve, and we respect that.”
Fox’s report continued:
The subject of socialism is apparently becoming a growing concern among Democrats behind closed doors. A leaked recording from a Democratic caucus call showed Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., suggesting that socialism, in addition to “defund the police” rhetoric, were to blame for several congressional defeats as their GOP opponents used the ideology as a bludgeon.
The 80-year-old politician’s comments last week mark a major shift in her governing philosophy.
During a “60 Minutes” interview last year, Pelosi explicitly condemned socialism.
“I do reject socialism as an economic system,” she said. “If people have that view, that’s their view. That is not the view of the Democratic Party.”
Last week, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) said during a conference call with her fellow Democrats: “Don’t say ‘socialism’ ever again.” She claimed the left’s “Defund the Police” movement “almost cost me my race.”
Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, said during a recent interview she does not believe it’s the left’s radical policy suggestions that are costing them races. Instead, she claimed, it’s the result of poor campaign strategies and racist voters who want to keep minorities and women out of office.