- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Ben Jealous, former NAACP president and Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nominee, snapped at a Washington Post reporter when asked whether he identified as a socialist.

During a press conference Wednesday, Mr. Jealous hurled profanity at reporter Erin Cox after she pressed him on whether he supported socialism when he initially tried to skirt the question.

“Gov. Hogan and the [Republican Governors Association] made a significant amount of effort and investment in trying to paint you as a socialist,” Ms. Cox said, according to video published by the Washington Free Beacon. “They’ve actually called you a socialist and a far-left socialist, and that the state can’t afford you. What is your response first to the term ‘socialist,’ whether you embrace and identify [as] it to any degree, and secondly, the charge about whether the state can afford you?”

Mr. Jealous responded, “[Mr. Hogan] calling me a far-left socialist is what the Tea Party called President Obama. It’s what Barry Goldwater called Martin Luther King. And when you see conservatives like Hogan name-calling, you realize that they’re scared. That they are, frankly, afraid of the change that all of our families need. We need a more inclusive and robust economy.”

Mr. Jealous continued with his campaign pitch about improving Maryland’s economy before Ms. Cox repeated her question.

“Not to put too fine a point on it, but do you identify with the term socialist?” she asked.

“Are you f—king kidding me?” the candidate snapped back. “Is that a fine enough point?”

“Thank you, sir,” Ms. Cox responded.

The candidate laughed before moving onto the next reporter’s question.

Mr. Jealous has been endorsed by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist.

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