Maxine Waters: 'The Democratic party is not a socialist party'

Maxine Waters: 'The Democratic party is not a socialist party'
© Anna Moneymaker

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersPrivate insurance plays a critical part in home mortgage ecosystem On The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony on lifting of sanctions on Russian firms MORE (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the rise of more socialist candidates doesn't mean the entire Democratic Party is embracing socialism.

In an interview with journalist John Harwood at CNBC’s Capital Exchange event, Waters, one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE's most vocal critics, said that democratic socialists such as Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day The Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Gillibrand uses Trump Jr. tweet to fundraise MORE (I-Vt.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are simply Democrats who focus more on protecting Americans from Wall Street.

"I just don't think that our party should be identified because we have a few people who seem to be to the left of the left. Yes, Bernie Sanders calls himself ... a democratic socialist, but he votes with the Democrats. He does not want to get out of the Democratic lane," Waters said.

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"I think — I consider him basically a Democrat who is focused on Wall Street and talks about Wall Street an awful lot and wants to make sure that Wall Street is not taking advantage of the average citizen," she continued.

Waters added that attacks from Republicans accusing Democrats of embracing socialism wholeheartedly were going too far.

"I think that's an exaggeration. The Democratic Party is not a socialist party," Waters said.

Democrats were rocked last month when the No. 4 House Democrat, Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.) was defeated in his primary by Ocasio-Cortez, who ran to his left.

Since then, Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders have teamed up to campaign for progressive candidates around the country, speaking at rallies in Kansas this week for a slew of local Democratic challengers in the traditionally GOP-held state.

“People told me Kansas was a Republican state. It sure doesn’t look that way," Sanders said told a cheering crowd last week.

“Whether you live in Vermont or the Bronx or Kansas, you are outraged by a situation in which three people in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of America,” he said.