De Blasio, admitting that the NYT headline saying that he "Was Once a Young Leftist" fit his own description of himself, in 1990 as being for “democratic socialism,” but that "I always described my philosophy of being made up of a blend of influences and ideas."
“I think that article didn’t fully represent what I feel except for one passage,” he said, “that very accurately noted that one part of me is a New Deal Democrat – just an updated version of it – one part of me is probably similar to a European Social Democrat, and I’m also very deeply influenced by liberation theology, which I learned a lot about in the years I worked on Latin America.”So in the interest of diluting his connection to "democratic socialism," he's calling attention to his devotion to "liberation theology." Alex Pareene at Salon plays defense:
De Blasio was working with the Quixote Center, a Catholic social justice group that fights poverty and economic inequality and that is inspired by liberation theology. This is actually very typical humanitarian work, and Catholic groups in particular have been doing it for years.
But the Times seems determined to make working for a Catholic social justice organization sound much more radical than it really was, or is. So unnamed “critics” make a few appearances, to suggest that de Blasio and his friends were Marxists — “its harshest critics accused it of hewing to a Marxist agenda” — or naive hippies: “Critics, however, said they were gullible and had romanticized their mission — more interested in undermining the efforts of the Reagan administration than helping the poor.” Which critics? Who knows! How accurate were these criticisms? You decide!