Via US News:
Obama also defended himself against charges that he’s a socialist.He was a candidate for the socialist-leaning New Party of Chicago in the 1990s.
“People call me a socialist sometimes, but you’ve got to meet real socialists, you’ll have a real sense of what a socialist is,” he said. “I’m talking about lowering the corporate tax rate, my health care reform is based on the private marketplace, the stock market is doing pretty good the last time I checked and it is true that I am concerned about growing inequality in the system, but nobody questions the efficacy of a market economy in terms of producing wealth and innovation and keeping us competitive.”
Who was the New Party?
The documents reveal that the New Party’s central aim was to move the United States steadily closer to European social democracy, a goal that Mitt Romney has also attributed to Obama. New Party leaders disdained mainstream Democrats, considering them tools of business, and promised instead to create a partnership between elected officials and local community organizations, with the goal of socializing the American economy to an unprecedented degree.
The party’s official “statement of principles,” which candidates seeking endorsement from the Chicago chapter were asked to support, called for a “peaceful revolution” and included redistributive proposals substantially to the left of the Democratic party.
To get a sense of the ideology at play, consider that the meeting at which Obama joined the party opened with the announcement of a forthcoming event featuring the prominent socialist activist Frances Fox Piven. The Chicago New Party sponsored a luncheon with Michael Moore that same year.