The transgender candidate who won the Democratic primary for governor of Vermont Tuesday admitted to not knowing what socialism is during an interview on Wednesday morning.
Christine Hallquist, 62, appeared on CNN Wednesday morning following his primary win, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
CNN host John Berman asked if Hallquist was surprised by the findings of a recent Gallup poll that showed that Democrats are more positive about socialism than capitalism.
“Well, you know, I’m not a person that’s big on labels because I’ve found labels are used to separate people,” Hallquist replied. “You know, I look at the platform of living wage and health care for all — that’s called civilized society. I don’t even know how that became socialism or Republican or Democrat. Let’s be a civilized society.”
Berman then asked if Hallquist supports capitalism.
“Obviously the long history of measuring ourselves by increasing gross domestic product is a flawed measure because that just encourages consumption, and we can see what consumption is doing to our world,” Hallquist said.
Berman pressed the candidate further. “Again, I know you don’t like labels, and this poll didn’t ask people to choose between capitalism and socialism, but when faced with the choice between the two, it does sound like you look more favorably — again, labels you have an issue with — on the ideas behind socialism.”
“Well, yes, and I’m not sure I even know what socialism is,” Hallquist replied. “So I just don’t have the background to answer that question.”
Hallquist was “born male in 1956 and raised as a boy named Dave in upstate New York,” according to a Politico profile.
As a young man, he studied engineering and moved to Burlington, working as a consultant there before getting hired at the Vermont Electric Coop in 1998. Hallquist worked his way up to CEO of the utility in 2005.
He was still in that position in 2015 when he decided to start living as a woman in public. Hallquist, who said he felt like a girl since childhood, changed his name from David to Christine and began wearing a wig and women’s clothing. He also started taking hormone replacement therapy, after which he said he “felt angry less often and began crying more,” according to Politico.
Hallquist received about 40 percent of the votes in the four-person Democratic primary race, more than double the total of any other candidate.
The political novice will now face the Republican winner, incumbent Gov. Phil Scott, in the general election.
Scott’s approval rating dropped in the second quarter after he signed new gun laws in April, but he has strong support among Democrats in the state, the Burlington Free Press reported.
“I understand I may lose support over the decision to sign these bills today,” he said at the time, “but those are consequences I am prepared to live with.”
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