Hallquist Gets Irritated With Questions About Vermont Policy Proposals, Won’t Say if She’d Raise Taxes

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Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist grew irritated with questions Thursday about how she would pay for her various proposals and didn't answer if she would raise taxes.

Republican strategist Susan Del Percio read off a list of Hallquists's "really expensive proposals" on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," such as taxpayer-funded elections, connecting every home and business with fiber optic cable and increased education spending.

"As the governor of Vermont, how do you plan on paying for it?" Del Percio asked.

"Well you should know that's the Republican rhetoric as well," Hallquist said.

"No, it's a question. It costs a lot of money!" Del Percio said.

"Hang on, hang on, hang on. Let me answer your question. Let me answer your question," Hallquist said. "Connecting every home and business with fiber on the plan that I have actually costs less than the way it's done today. Your infrastructure costs are actually built into your bill."

She went on to say Medicare for all was significantly cheaper than any other proposed health care system.

"But on all of your proposals, I see increase in spending," Del Percio said. "Where are you going to have your funds—and that's not Republican rhetoric, as governor you have to balance a budget—so how are you going to provide all of the services … all the growth things that you talk about, how will you fund it without raising taxes? Or will you raise taxes?"

Hallquist replied that GOP proposals on education were more expensive, but Del Percio said she was "throwing political rhetoric around."

"I'm asking for a real answer," Del Percio said.

"Hang on, hang on, hang on," Hallquist said. "Our governor talks about our declining population. We connect every home and business to fiber optic cable at a plan to grow the economy. We're going to grow our economy. We have to put more food on the table. Otherwise, we're just fighting over the scraps."

Citing her experience running an electric utility, she said a good businessperson knows you can "cost control yourself right out of business."

Hallquist, who is trying to become the first transgender person ever elected governor, is challenging Republican Gov. Phil Scott. A Vermont Public Radio poll last month showed Scott leading by 14 points.

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