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Are Dems pushing the US toward socialism? Citizens weigh in

April 29, 2019
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., attends the Alamosa County Republicans Lincoln Day dinner in Alamosa, Colo., on April 24, 2019. Republicans are warning that Democratic proposals aimed at providing universal health care and curbing greenhouse gas emissions show that Democrats want to turn the U.S. toward socialism. Among those making that pitch Gardner, who faces re-election next year. Conversations with more than three dozen Coloradans show that while some harbor concerns about socialism, few volunteer it as a top-flight concern. (AP Photo/Alan Fram)

ALAMOSA, Colo. (AP) — Republicans such as Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado are arguing the Senate must stay under GOP control in next year’s elections to prevent Democrats from pushing the country toward socialism . A sampling of comments from Colorado residents and others on the subject:

Terry Hammond, chairman of the Alamosa County Republican Party: “People depend too much on government rather than doing for themselves. Next thing you know it’ll be paying off people’s credit cards and mortgages.”

Helen Sigmond, Democrat and member of the Alamosa County Commission: “My goodness, they’re trying to make it sound horrible,” she said of Republican accusations of Democrats’ socialism. “But my goodness, who is Trump’s best friend? Putin.”

Paul Kelly, 64, accountant and unaffiliated voter from Denver suburb of Westminster: “I don’t think they understand where it will lead,” he said of Democrats’ views of socialism. “Democrats are innocents. They think a utopian world exists.”

Nicolette Jones, 20, Democrat, student at Adams State University in Alamosa: “I don’t see the possibility of the U.S. becoming a socialist country as a reasonable fear.”

Angie Horning, 50, Republican, real estate agent from Colorado Springs: “I don’t see socialism as having helped anywhere. It’s a concern. People don’t understand it. It takes freedom away.”

Nick Saenz, 36, Democrat, history professor at Adams State University: Republican warnings about socialism are “a dog whistle” aimed at older voters’ Cold War fears of the communist threat.

David Winston, Republican pollster and adviser to congressional GOP leaders, on next year’s elections: “In most of these states, it’s the political center that’s going to decide the outcome, and the political center is not fond of socialism.”

Geoffrey Garin, Democratic pollster and adviser to congressional Democratic leaders, on GOP attempts to woo suburban voters by warning about Democrats and socialism: “With suburban voters, Republicans are just playing a losing hand” because of issues like battling climate change and improving health care coverage.

Andrew Romanoff, former speaker of Colorado House and candidate for Democratic nomination to oppose Gardner: “People support Social Security and Medicare, public education and infrastructure. That doesn’t make you a socialist. It’s just common sense.”

Gardner, on his claim that the country faces a threat from socialism: “One of the leading candidates of the Democratic Party is a socialist. That’s the threat. One of the leading voices in the House of Representatives is a socialist. That’s not made up. That’s not pie in the sky.” His references were to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a Democratic presidential candidate, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who call themselves democratic socialists.

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