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Maryland Dem asked if he identifies as socialist: 'Are you f---ing kidding me?'

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (D) denied that he's a socialist on Wednesday saying, “Are you f---ing kidding me?” when asked about it.

Jealous’s opponent in the race, Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.), called him a “far-left socialist” in an interview with The New York Times on Saturday.

Jealous was asked by a Washington Post reporter, Erin Cox, during a press conference if the label was accurate.

Jealous told Cox he nearly fell out of his chair when he saw the piece in the Times, but dismissed the comments as the average conservative response to opposition: “[H]im calling me a far-left socialist is what the Tea Party called President Obama. It’s what Barry Goldwater called Martin Luther King.”

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“When you see conservatives like Hogan name calling, you realize that they’re scared,” Jealous said.

Specifically, Jealous thinks Hogan is afraid of economic changes that Jealous believes “all of our families need.”

“What I am is a venture capitalist and what I do is invest in growing business,” Jealous said.

Jealous later apologized to Cox for his "inappropriate language."

"As a former journalist, I know how important it is for a free society to respect reporters and answer their questions honestly," he added in a tweet.

Jealous, during the primary, campaigned with democratic socialist Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Gabbard considering 2020 run: report Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa MORE (I-Vt.), who also endorsed him in June.

Sanders praised Jealous’s victory in the Democratic primary as a victory for a more progressive agenda: “Ben showed that running a progressive, issue-oriented campaign can bring all working people together for justice.” 

Sanders and Jealous share support for a series of economic programs, including tuition-free college, a $15 minimum wage and Medicare for all.

Updated at 3:28 p.m.