"The notion that Barack Obama is a socialist ranks among the greatest fairy tales in American society -- right up there with the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the idea that if you work hard enough your children will live a better life than you," Socialist Party spokeswoman Lynn Lomibao said in an email. "Socialists know what Obama is: another corporate funded politician placed in the White House to protect the wealth and status of the 1 percent."
Perry made his claim during the Sunday morning Republican presidential debate, when asked if he considered Obama opposed to the "founding ideals" of the United States.
"I make a very proud statement and a fact that we have a president that's a socialist." Perry said. "I don’t think our founding fathers wanted America to be a socialist country. So I disagree with that premise that somehow or another that President Obama reflects our founding fathers."
Perry went on to say that states could do a better job delivering education, health care and environmental regulation than the federal government. Obama's signature policy accomplishment in his first term is a sweeping federal health care reform law that will in 2014 require uninsured Americans to buy health coverage from private insurance companies.
"When Americans needed a solution to mass unemployment, Obama gave away billions in cash to bail out the banks," Lomibao wrote. "When Americans needed a single-payer healthcare system, Obama promoted a pro-health insurance healthcare 'reform' package that forced millions into junk healthcare plans subsidized by public funds. And when American workers asked for the right to join a union without employer harassment through the Employee Free Choice Act, Obama showed who he really answers to by betraying the promises he made to working people during his campaign."
The Socialist Party's presidential ticket consists of perennial candidate Stewart Alexander and former Marine Alex Mendoza.