(CNSNews.com) – Democratic National Committee Chairman (DNC) Tom Perez told “Fox News Sunday” that the GOP calling the Democrats’ stance on issues socialism is something that they’ve done for years, calling it “one of the oldest tricks in the playbook.”
When asked how he defense President Donald Trump’s charge and effort to portray the Democratic Party’s tax and spend policies as socialist, Perez said, “This is one of the oldest tricks in the playbook, Chris. You go back 75 years, when Republicans don't want to discuss the issues that matter to real people, they call it socialism.
“Social Security, when it was being debated, you had Republicans calling it socialism. The minimum wage in 1938, you had Republicans calling it socialism. Medicare, Ronald Reagan said, and I quote, ‘Medicare will lead to socialized medicine. Medicare will lead to socialism in America.’ The Affordable Care Act, the Children's Health Insurance Program - all of those things were socialism, socialism,” he said.
“Why did they do that? Because they're wrong on the issues. They don't want to talk about pre-existing conditions. We're right on that issue. We want to make sure if you're diabetic you can keep your coverage. They don't want to. So they change the subject, and that's what they do,” Perez said.
Host Chris Wallace noted that the issue of reparations for descendants of slaves was raised by three Democratic presidential candidates, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is now floating the idea of reparations for Native Americans.
“You talk about some of these other issues and say, well, the Republicans have always called them socialist. Back in 2016, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders all dismissed the idea of reparations, and polls have shown that the vast majority of Americans are against the idea. Are you comfortable with some of your leading Democratic candidates talking about reparations, compensating the descendants of victims slavery?” Wallace asked.
“Civil rights is the unfinished business of America, Chris, and we've seen throughout our nation's journey that we have more work to do, and that's why Democrats are talking about it, but what Democrats are talking most about right now is, how do we build an economy that works for everyone and not just the few at the top?” Perez said.
“How do we make sure that if you have diabetes that we will bring down the cost of prescription drugs? How do we build an infrastructure program that's going to put people to work? That's what we're talking about,” he said.
“But specifically reparations. Do you think -- is that something that will be in the Democratic platform, the idea that we are going to pay the -- the country is going to pay reparations, compensations to the victims, the descendants of victims of slavery?” Wallace asked.
Perez didn’t rule it out. He said the issue of reparations was “something that will be discussed during the course of the presidential nominating process.”
“And what I think is going to be discussed at length during this nominating process is, how do we make sure America works for everyone,” he said. “The whole interesting thing about the continued use of the word socialism is that repressive socialist regimes, two of their most frequent qualities are, number one, they go after the press. They try to undermine the press, and number two, they have endemic corruption.
“And I find it very ironic when you hear this president using the word socialist all the time. I mean he -- Putin, Kim, Castro, what they all have in common is they were doing so many of the same things. You shouldn't be attacking the press the way this president does. It's unprecedented,” Perez said.
When asked whether he was putting Trump in the same class as Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Perez said, “I'm just saying authoritarian socialist regimes undermine the media. That is wrong. You shouldn't do that. Period. No footnotes. No exceptions.
“Authoritarian socialist regimes have endemic corruption. You should understand that. We -- Democrats won in 2018 in no small measure because of the culture of corruption engulfing this administration,” he said.