John Hickenlooper in Interviews during 2017-2019


On Energy & Oil: Zero score on "350 Action's 2020 Climate Test"

The environmental group 350 Action released a candidate scorecard known as the 2020 Climate Test to assess presidential hopefuls on three major metrics: support for a Green New Deal, opposition to new fossil fuel development and refusal to accept money from energy companies.

Three candidates have made firm climate-forward commitments on all three issues:

Four candidates have supported two of 350 Action's three benchmarks.Three candidates have failed all three of 350 Action's tests, attacking the Green New Deal or making no firm pledges to work against fossil fuel companies.
Source: Mother Jones, "On Climate," on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls Mar 27, 2019

On Abortion: Women have the right control their own health care

I think the vast majority of Americans believe that a woman has the right to control her own health care and that that should be first and foremost sacred and inviolate. We got $5.2 million per year for five years to provide long-acting reversible contraception, to allow 15- to 25-year-old young women to make sure that if they wanted to have that contraception. We reduced teenage pregnancy by 60 percent over the last eight years in Colorado.

I would make sure as president that every issue within any state that violated a woman's right to decide her own health care would be met with litigation immediately.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls Mar 20, 2019

On Crime: Record of being pro-active against police misconduct

We created an office of the independent monitor to make sure that any allegation of police misconduct -- outside the mayor's control -- got an independent assessment. We created a total comprehensive program to re-evaluate how police operated. We created the civilian oversight commission to monitor this. Then we made sure that every police officer got crisis intervention training so that they could understand when someone was in a different head, in a mental health crisis or from a foreign culture, and really began looking at, did they have non-lethal forms? I would try to make sure that the federal government was an active partner with communities all across the country to make sure that we stamp this out.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls Mar 20, 2019

On Crime: Suspend death penalty; it's too random & doesn't deter

I started out [believing] an eye for an eye. I spent 14 months getting the national experts on the death penalty. It makes no sense. It's not a deterrent. It's expensive. It prolongs misery. And it's random, depending on where that crime occurs, and in many cases, whether the killer is African-American or Latino, that has a lot to do with who gets tried on a death penalty charge. The random injustice of that is something this country should never stand for. I certainly would suspend the death penalty.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls Mar 20, 2019

On Drugs: Marijuana legalization works, but leave it to states

On marijuana legalization: I was opposed to it originally. We were worried about teenage consumption going up. We were worried about the risks of people driving while high. Most of our fears haven't come true. We haven't seen a spike in consumption. It's so much better than the old system when we sent millions of kids to prison, most of them kids of color, and not only imprisoned them, but made them felons, made already difficult lives much, much harder.

I would not ask the federal government to legalize it for everyone. But I think where states do the federal government should get out of the way and allow them to be able to get banking, which we can't legally get in Colorado, so everything is supposed to go by cash. My dream would be the federal government to make sure that the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration regulate whether pesticides are used, that we get all the legal barriers to doing medical research around marijuana [removed].

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls Mar 20, 2019

On Education: Free skills training & free community college

Look at the existing debt that kids have now--$1.5 trillion for college debt. The first thing is, "how do we structure those loans?" But the other question is, "why is it costing so much that these schools, every year, are raising their tuition by 8% or 12%?" That is a national issue that we all have to address.

We often forget about the 70% of kids in this country who are never going to get a four-year degree. We have backed away from all our vocational training at the very time when automation and artificial intelligence are going to turn our workplace upside-down. Now is the time to look at how do we make sure those kids get a chance to acquire the skills so that they can be successful in this rapidly evolving economy. In Colorado, we started with apprenticeship programs. Here's my vision. I think we should have the largest expansion of free skills and free community colleges in the history of this country.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls Mar 20, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Work with environmentalists & industry to get to solutions

Climate change is an issue that's going to disproportionately affect low-income people and people of color. We got the oil and gas industry to sit down with the environmental community for 14 months and we created the first methane regulations in the country that the oil and gas industry paid $60 million per year. It's the equivalent of taking 320,000 cars a year off the road. We announced that we were going to close two coal plants and replace it with wind, solar, and batteries.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls Mar 20, 2019

On Gun Control: Mental illness & weak gun laws both contribute to violence

On gun control: We made two decisions. One was we were going to begin to address mental health. In that next legislative session, we made the largest increase in mental health spending ever, $30 million a year. We also decided we'd take on universal background checks and the issues around large-capacity magazines. And it was a tough battle: If you work hard enough and listen hard enough you should be able to find compromise on almost everything. But the NRA would not listen to reason. In the end we not only passed universal background checks, but we also passed high-capacity magazine limits for the first time in a Western purple state.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls Mar 20, 2019

On Health Care: Against single payer; supports public option

We're at almost universal coverage in Colorado. We're about 95 percent coverage. And we did that by expanding Medicaid, by creating one of the most innovate and successful health care exchanges in the country.

I don't agree with the single-payer approach. I understand that we need a public option. Health care should be a right, not a privilege.

I want to support any way we can get to universal coverage. That should be our first and primary goal. But I also recognize that there are north of 150 million people that have insurance through your place of business. I am more focused on how we make sure that we get to universal coverage, but at the same time, maintain and improve quality and controlling costs.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls Mar 20, 2019

On Abortion: Supports access to abortion

On social issues; Hickenlooper supports gay marriage, LGBTQ rights, and access to abortion.
Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls Mar 4, 2019

On Civil Rights: Supports gay marriage and LGBTQ rights

Hickenlooper supports gay marriage and LGBTQ rights. As governor, HIckenlooper called a special session of the state legislature in 2012 to challenge Republican opposition to legislation that would have legalized civil unions in the state. A few months later, Democrats won a majority in the state Assembly and Hickenlooper signed the legislation into law.
Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls Mar 4, 2019

On Foreign Policy: Supports a strong NATO, strengthening ties with allies

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls Mar 4, 2019

On Free Trade: No tariffs on goods from China and Europe

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls Mar 4, 2019

On Immigration: Family separation policy is cruel and un-American

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls Mar 4, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Pro-environment but there's room for fossil fuels

Hickenlooper has served as an arbiter between oil-and-gas interests and conservation advocates. In 2014 he created a task force with members of both sides to remove ballot initiatives that could have severely affected the industry. He's pushed for stricter environmental standards that still leave the state welcoming to oil and gas. He brought together environmentalists and energy companies to make Colorado the first state to adopt rules to limit methane emissions from drilling.
Source: The Atlantic, "Antithesis" on 2020 presidential hopefuls Sep 18, 2018

On Drugs: Failed War on Drugs paved way for pot legalization

[On marijuana legalization]: "Let's face it, the War on Drugs was a disaster. It may be well intentioned but it sent millions of kids to prison, gave them felonies often times when they had no violent crimes. I was against this, but I can see why so many people supported it."
Source: The Atlantic, "Legalization," on 2020 presidential hopefuls Jul 1, 2014

The above quotations are from Interviews during 2017-2019, interviewing presidential hopefuls for 2020.
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Page last updated: Jun 10, 2019