John Hickenlooper in Interviews during 2018-2020

On Drugs: As teen, grew his own marijuana before it was legal

One fun thing about John Hickenlooper:
Source: on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 22, 2019

On Civil Rights: Supports commission investigating reparations for slavery

At Al Sharpton's National Action Network convention in New York City, most of the 2020 contenders affirmed their support for a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for African-Americans. Hickenlooper, who began with a longer response to Sharpton's question about the bill, offered a playfully curt "yes, I'm gonna pass it!" when pushed by a shout from the audience to simply tell the crowd: "Yes or no?"
Source: CNBC: 2019 National Action Network & 2020 Democratic primary Apr 5, 2019

On Abortion: Against fetal heartbeat laws; favors access to contraception

Q: What is your reaction to fetal heartbeat bills?

A: I think those laws are unconstitutional. I recognize the difficulty of the question and I empathize with people on both sides. But I've always come down on the side of a woman's right to take care of her own health care. In Colorado we provided long-acting, reversible contraception. We have reduced teenage pregnancy and teenage abortion by over 60%. I think a woman has to ultimately have the right to make decisions about her own health.

Source: Meet the Press 2019 interviews for 2020 Democratic primary Mar 31, 2019

On Immigration: Need a comprehensive reevaluation of our immigration laws

We are a country built on immigration. We have more job openings than we have people looking for work. We've got to reevaluate our entire immigration system. We need more workers to help bring in our crops, where last fall we were leaving some of our fruits and vegetables in the fields and unharvested. Whether we need more electrical engineers to keep our tech industry at the front of the global competition. That's all got to be incorporated into a comprehensive treatment of immigration.
Source: Meet the Press 2019 interviews for 2020 Democratic primary Mar 31, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Drank a glass of fracking fluid to show it was harmless

Mr Hickenlooper's focus on bipartisan co-operation may have won him political success in Colorado, but it also made him some fierce critics.

Some environmentalists, in particular, weren't all that thrilled that the former oil industry scientist sat down with energy industry executives for friendly negotiations. In one particularly memorable instance, the governor drank a glass of fracking fluid to prove that it didn't harm humans.

Mr Hickenlooper explained that he was trying to gain their trust--and that the talks led to real regulation of methane emissions. "They're mad that I did stuff," he said. "We actually did stuff. So sue me." They won't sue him, but they might not vote for him, either.

Reception at the SXSW conference: Mr Hickenlooper is an affable man, and that came across in his appearance. They have a saying about where nice guys finish, though.

Source: on 2020 Democratic primary contenders at 2019 SXSW Mar 12, 2019

On Principles & Values: Work with Republicans to advance progressive priorities

The former Colorado governor echoed themes [from his campaign announcement speech at the SXSW conference], preaching his ability to work with Republicans to advance progressive priorities like gun control, environmental regulation and healthcare coverage expansion.

His biggest idea: During his hour-long interview Mr Hickenlooper said that the 2020 presidential race would be a "campaign of ideas". So, after his talk, I asked him which ideas set him out from the crowd. "I think I'm the one person that demonstrates the idea of action, of actually accomplishing things," he said.

"Action" isn't really an idea, I said. He went on to talk about healthcare, environmental regulation and workforce training. It wasn't exactly stand-apart-from-the-crowd material.

His biggest challenge: Mr Hickenlooper's focus on co-operation may have won him political success in Colorado, but it also made him some fierce critics.

Source: on 2020 Democratic primary contenders at 2019 SXSW Mar 12, 2019

On Corporations: Market must allow entry to new businesses

For several decades now people in the middle class and poor haven't had the security and opportunity that our economic system used to create for them. What is the reason why we're seeing such a large number decline in the number of startups? Maybe they're looking at that landscape and saying these companies are too big I can't get in. We have to make sure that we have a competitive system whereby little guys feel they've got an honest, a decent chance to succeed.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2019 interviews: 2020 Democratic primary Mar 10, 2019

On Drugs: Supports states permitting marijuana, not federal reform

Hickenlooper advocated for federal reforms to marijuana but said he does not advocate for blanket laws to legalize marijuana nationally. "I don't think the federal government should come in and tell every state it should be legalized." Hickenlooper, who originally opposed legalizing the drug in his state, said "the things I feared six years ago have not come to pass." "The federal government should reclassify marijuana so it's not a schedule I narcotic," Hickenlooper said. The former governor also argued for banking reforms so that businesses handling marijuana money "don't have to do everything in cash." However, he stopped short of fully endorsing a measure to legalize marijuana at the federal level and did not address calls to expunge the criminal records of those charged with possession.
Source: The Hill e-zine on 2020 Democratic primary Mar 6, 2019

On Health Care: Too soon to make changes in Obamacare

[Some Democrats oppose single-payer plans]. Nancy Pelosi recently told frustrated town hall attendees that "if you want to move to single payer, what you should do is support state options," referring to state-level campaigns for single payer.

Democratic governor John Hickenlooper said that "it would be premature to dramatically remake our health-care system at this time" while existing reforms were "just beginning to bear fruit." He complained behind closed doors to a powerful lobby of business leaders and political operatives that the "cost [is] going to be huge."

As California considered instituting a state-wide single-payer system on the eve of a possible GOP repeal of Obamacare, the state's Democratic governor Jerry Brown rubbished the idea, asking: "Where do you get the extra money? How do you do that?" He compared it to solving a problem "by something that's a bigger problem," which "makes no sense."

Source: Jacobin Magazine, "Single Payer," on 2020 Democratic primary Mar 29, 2017

The above quotations are from Interviews during 2018-2020, interviewing Democratic presidential hopefuls for 2020.
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Page last updated: Jun 10, 2019