Vermont Democrat Christine Hallquist, who on Tuesday became the first transgender gubernatorial nominee for a major political party, Wednesday rejected claims that she is a socialist, and insisted she’s seeking election to focus on her state’s rural economic development.
“If you look at what’s happening in rural Vermont, it is the same thing that’s happening in rural America,” Hallquist said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“We’re seeing increasing rates of poverty, flights to the city, an aging demographic and we can change that.”
However, she does support the call for Medicare for all, and raising the minimum wage, and the Justice Democrats, which helped launch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, backed her as well.
“I’m not a person that’s big on labels because I found labels are used to separate people,” Hallquist told show co-host John Berman. “I look at the platform of a living wage and healthcare for all, that is called civilized society. I don’t know even how that became socialism or Republican or Democrat. Let’s be a civilized society.”
Hallquist also said she is not sure she knows “what socialism is. I don’t have the background to answer that question,” but when asked if she supports capitalism, she replied that measuring by gross domestic product is flawed “because the just encourages consumption.”
If she defeats incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott this fall, Hallquist will be the country’s first transgender governor, and she said Wednesday the “historic significance” of her primar win is sinking in.
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