Democratic 2020 presidential candidate and Netflix's 'Idiotest' host Ben Gleib described himself as a “compassionate capitalist” who is not “afraid of certain socialist programs,” during an appearance on FOX Business’ “Varney & Co.” on Thursday.
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But before he explained the meaning, he had to set the record straight with the FOX Business host, who mistook him for a compassionate socialist.
“What is a compassionate socialist?” Varney asked.
“I have to correct the record,” he replied. “I define myself as a compassionate capitalist who is just not afraid of certain socialist programs.”
“Where did I our bookers go wrong?” Varney responded. “I thought you were a compassionate socialist but you're not.”
Gleib said he added the term compassion because American needs both capitalism and socialism to co-exist for a healthy economy.
“I put compassion in there because, while America needs capitalism to thrive, and to grow, and to create the robust economy that we need, we also do need socialist programs to be able to bring up those who are struggling, which should be a noncontroversial issue across party lines, because you need people on both ends of the spectrum to be able to thrive so that even people who are struggling, lower-income workers middle-income workers are able to put money back into the economy,” he explained.
Varney said while he agrees with the fact that you need capitalism to create wealth in order to create a less vulnerable society, he doesn’t think there are many capitalists that will say “oh the devil take the hindmost, you can get lost you get nothing.”
“But why is it then framed as a battle between socialism versus capitalism when in reality we are partly capitalist and partly socialist?” Gleib asked Varney.
“Well I wouldn't say you’re partly socialist, this is a capitalist society and we do have a welfare net that catches those people who might fall underneath it,” he replied. “We are a compassionate society wouldn’t you say that? I think America is a compassionate society and I say that as an immigrant someone who's looking at it from the outside.”
Gleib agreed but added that he’s running for president because “regular people keep getting left out of the conversation in this country.”
“All we allow in the conversation, and all we allow as candidates that are taken seriously is career politicians or the super wealthy who are removed from everyday Americans,” Gleib explained.