John Hickenlooper on Principles & Values

Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrew, Aug. 2019); CO Governor


Favoring socialism is a disaster at the ballot box

Q: You ran a Facebook ad that warned "socialism is not the answer." The ad also said, "don't let extremes give Trump four more years," are you saying that Senator Sanders is too extreme to beat President Trump?

HICKENLOOPER: I'm saying this notion that you're going to take private insurance away from 180 million Americans--many of them don't want to get rid of it. Or [with] the Green New Deal, make sure that every American's guaranteed a government job if they want, that is a disaster at the ballot box, you might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump. I think we've got to focus on where Donald Trump is failing. Why is it soybean farmers in Iowa need 10 good years to get back to where they were 2 years ago? Where's the small manufacturing jobs that are supposed to come back? Why are we lurching from one international crisis to another? All things that he promised American voters, we've got to focus on that.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) , Jul 30, 2019

I share progressive values, but I'm more pragmatic

Last year Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the House, and not one of those 40 Democrats supported the policies of our front-runners at center stage. Now, I share their progressive values, but I'm a little more pragmatic. What we focused on was making sure that we got people together to get things done, to provide solutions to problems, to make sure that we worked together and created jobs.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) , Jul 30, 2019

Kept "Mile High" in name of Denver Broncos stadium

John Hickenlooper asked if I would help him in his campaign for mayor of Denver. Now a real estate investor, successful restaurateur, and philanthropist, John had waged a winning effort to keep the words "Mile High" in the name of the Broncos stadium. Out of the eight or so candidates running for mayor that year, our polls had him starting the race in last place. John began making headway by stressing that his business experience could help Denver's battered economy grow.
Source: Land of Flickering Lights, by Michael Bennet, p. 14 , Jun 25, 2019

Socialist policies will not appeal to Americans

I don't think we're going to address climate change by guaranteeing every American a federal job, which is what part of the Green New Deal was. I don't think we're going to address the spiraling inflation in health care by forcibly telling 150 million people that we're going to take away their private insurance. These are what a lot of Americans look at as facets or aspects of socialism.
Source: NPR Morning Edition, "Election 2020: Opening Arguments" , May 27, 2019

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: BBC.com on 2020 Democratic primary contenders at 2019 SXSW , Mar 12, 2019

Suffers from mild case of prosopagnosia, or "face blindness"

I have always had a devil of a time recognizing faces, even movie stars or celebrities. This is not as rare as you might think, and in the extreme, it is a cognitive disorder called "prosopagnosia." More commonly it's known as "face blindness." I'm not at the extreme end, but it's presented challenges throughout my life. Try being in the social worlds I have been in and having a hard time recognizing people you should recognize. Makes for some awkward situations.
Source: The Opposite of Woe, by John Hickenlooper, p.110 , May 24, 2016

Governance needs compromise to work

Democracy wasn't designed to be argument-free--it's built on vigorous debate. But democracy also wasn't designed to be combative to its own detriment. Without compromise, the system stagnates under the weight of so many stalemates. This "you're either with us or against us" mentality hurts our state and our country, and it undermines our democracy. This isn't how our founders envisioned it. They weren't partisan to the point of paralysis. The system worked because they worked together.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Colorado legislature , Jan 14, 2016

Operate government with more common sense and less nonsense

I took what you might call an unconventional path into running for office. I started out here in Colorado as a geologist. During a downturn, everyone in our company got laid off.

Next thing I knew I was making beer and starting a brewpub business. It turned out pretty well. But as every small business person knows, it's not easy out there, especially when bureaucracy gets in the way.

I didn't run for public office until I was 50. Before that, I'd never run for anything. Not even in high school. I ran for public office as a small businessman. I thought government needed to operate with more common sense and less nonsense. So while we have been doing all we can to make it as easy as possible for business to succeed in Colorado we also have been streamlining the state government, making it more efficient.

Source: 2014 State of the State address to Colorado Legislature , Jan 9, 2014

Coloradoans' resilience due to shared values, community

We will come through this rough time. We'll do it by working together in the best tradition of the West. Like every river runner knows, when you get into rough water everybody paddles. There's a Yiddish word, 'landsman' which, roughly translated means 'a fellow villager'--a stranger, perhaps, but still someone you welcome because you know they share a common connection in the village of your ancestors. This value doesn't spring from government. But it can teach all of us to govern together.
Source: 2011 gubernatorial press release #1249674240451 , Nov 9, 2011

Certify 2020 Presidential election as fully & fairly counted.

Hickenlooper voted NAY blocking certification of the Electoral vote

Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.