‘Are you f***ing kidding me? Is that a fine enough point?’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, a progressive Democrat, dropped an f-bomb on Wednesday when Washington Post reporter Erin Cox asked if he identified as a socialist, Fox 45 News reported.
He said, “Are you f***ing kidding me? Is that a fine enough point?”
Jealous tweeted an apology the same day.
I want to apologize to @ErinatThePost for my inappropriate language in response to her question earlier today.
As a former journalist, I know how important it is for a free society to respect reporters and answer their questions honestly.
— Ben Jealous for Governor (MD) (@BenJealous) August 8, 2018
The question came because his opponent, incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, called him a socialist due to past position as NAACP Chief and chief surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.
Hogan’s campaign seized on the use of foul language to talk about appropriate political discourse.
“The governor believes in raising the level of political discourse in our state and in our country, and cursing at reporters asking questions is the exact opposite of that,” Hogan campaign spokesman Doug Mayer said in a statement, according to the Washington Post. “We need more people in public office who understand that words and tone matter, not fewer — we already have plenty who don’t in Washington, D.C.”
Jealous denied the “socialist” label more vehemently in a series of tweets.
“I spent the last five years of my life working as a venture capitalist investing in small businesses and creating jobs in Maryland and across the country,” Jealous said in a tweet. “I believe we can make this economy work for all of us. That’s what this campaign is all about.”
He added that he would “not govern” as a socialist, though he has advocated radical policies such as Medicare-for-all and free college for all.
Watch Jealous’s foul slip-up: