Energy

Remember When Maxine Called For ‘Socializ-‘ … I Mean, ‘Taking Over’ Oil Companies?

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters rejected the notion Democrats were socialists during an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood on Wednesday, but 10 years ago, she was singing a different tune.

Waters called for nationalizing oil companies during a May 2008 hearing. She initially said “this liberal will be all about socializing” before correcting herself, and after a long pause continued to say, “basically taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”

Two lawmakers sitting to Waters’s right leaned back and smirked during her remarks. Waters was grilling oil industry executives testifying on Capitol Hill as oil prices topped $140 a barrel and gasoline averaged more than $4 a gallon.

WATCH:

Flash forward one decade, and Waters is distancing herself from a growing movement on the far-left of the Democratic Party to identify as socialist.

“The Democratic Party is not a socialist party,” Waters told Harwood at CNBC’s Capital Exchange event.

“I just don’t think our party should be identified because we have a few people who seem to be to the left of the left,” Waters said when asked about politicians who run as socialists in Democratic primaries. (RELATED: Maxine Waters: People Should Be ‘Out In The Streets Screaming’ Over Trump)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ran against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election primaries as a socialist. Sanders attracted a wave of enthusiastic, young supporters with his socialist message that included free college, nixing fossil fuels and Medicare for all.

More recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated a sitting Democratic lawmaker while running as a democratic socialist. Ocasio-Cortez’s unlikely victory has many speculating about the future of the Democratic Party.

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