Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper did everything he could to avoid looking as if he approved of capitalism in an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday.
Joe Scarborough cited Hickenlooper's success as an entrepreneur and a small business owner and asked him if he was uneasy with the Democratic party steering itself towards socialism.
"Most Democrats don't care about the labels," Hickenlooper answered, offering a non-committal response about putting down labels and getting to work.
"Well, would you call yourself a proud capitalist?" Scarborough asked directly.
Hickenlooper gave out an awkward laugh before saying, "Oh I don't know, you know again, the labels, I'm not sure any of them fit, but I do believe that ability to look at, you know, [things like] climate change, and figure out how are we really gonna create a sense of urgency and get people together..."
"Let me ask you, I'll just break it down even more," Scarborough asked, "do you consider yourself a capitalist?"
"Well again, the labels," Hickenlooper stammered, "I'm a small business person, so that part of the system that you would call capitalist, I get it, I understand it, uh, I worked very hard."
Hickenlooper went on about signing a lease for a brew pub, trying to steer away from the question. "Is that capitalism, sure I guess!" he said.
"Right, so... do you consider yourself a capitalist, and does capitalism work?" Scarborough asked again.
"Well I think, I don't look at myself with a label," he repeated, "and I certainly think that small business is part of the solution. I think right now the way capitalism is working in the United States, it's not doing what it once did, it is really not providing security and opportunity for the middle class and for poor people.
"And I think as a country I think we need to step back and look at that and say, 'how do we get America back to the place it was where if you worked hard enough no matter where you started on the economic ladder, you would have a chance to go ahead and create your own version of the American dream?'" he concluded.
Here's the interview on Hickenlooper and capitalism:
Hickenlooper Repeatedly Refuses To Say That He Is A Capitalist Or Admit That Capitalism Works www.youtube.com
Socialism has become a hot button issue since Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) challenged Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination in 2016 with a far left socialist platform. Many have noted that his socialist policies appear to have shifted the Democratic party to the left.