Vice-presidential candidate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on Friday defended her former Economy minister Axel Kicillof, saying it was the Mauricio Macri government — not Kicillof — that was "non capitalist".
Kicillof will compete against María Eugenia Vidal for the governorship of Buenos Aires province, representing the Frente de Todos (Front for All) coalition with Alberto Fernández running to take back Peronist control of the Pink House from Mauricio Macri.
Last week, Senator Miguel Ángel Pichetto, Macri's running mate, described Kicillof, a former university professor, as a Marxist, a claim Alberto Fernández's economic adviser Guillermo Nielsen also supported. (Nielsen, whose comments prompted a rebuke from Fernández, noted he had had "very good" Marxist professors at university.)
The Mauricio Macri "regime", Fernández de Kirchner said, is "non capitalist. "They are the Soviets", she said.
"[P]eople cannot buy what they want or the amount they want. During our government, supermarkets were overloaded with top-grade products. Now you see the proliferation of brands... that nobody has every heard of. Instead of milk, you get diary products that contain milk", she told a crowd in Mar del Plata, where she presented her book Sinceramente (Sincerely).
The candidacy of Kicillof, who was present in the crowd, has sparked accusations that the youth movement La Cámpora, which responds to Fernández de Kirchner's son Máximo Kirchner, would try to govern the province. The governor herself has predicted Máximo Kirchner would run for the presidency if 2023, if La Cámpora is successful in their alleged plot.
On Vidal, Fernández de Kirchner lamented the impact that "coaching" might have on Buenos Aires into the future, suggesting Mauricio Macri's closest ally in the provinces was incapable of governing.
In reference to a recent interview in which Vidal claimed the rise in poverty was related to the growth in population, Fernández de Kirchner said: "She said it to skirt the issue or, if she's convinced of that then the people of Buenos Aires are in big problems.
"With coaching and a good interpretation of the character you're playing, you can win an election surely, especially in a context where certain factors favour you. The problem is later on, when you've got to govern, there's not coaching that can help you there", she added.
Fernández de Kirchner surprised many earlier this year when she announced she had chosen her former Cabinet Chief Alberto Fernández, from whom she had previously been estranged, as the candidate to lead her party and a broader coalition of Peronist and leftist groups to the presidential election.