John Hickenlooper presidential run still looks unlikely

“I may not have voted for the president, but I’m an American first,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told Business Insider.

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper was just in Davos for the World Economic Forum. According to Business Insider, his name was being bandied about by the rich and important people at Davos for a 2020 presidential run. One person even called him the Democratic version of Donald Trump, which seems like it was supposed to be a compliment.

But the governor didn’t do much to encourage those hopes.

“Nope. I’m not starting a PAC,” he said in response to a question about future political ambitions. “I’m not going out there and putting together a phantom campaign. In two years, I think the workforce stuff we’re working on in Colorado really has the potential to be a national model, so I want to put a lot of energy into that.”

Here are a few other highlights from the Business Insider interview.

Protecting Colorado’s Medicaid expansion will be a top priority.

“Well, I may not have voted for the president, but I’m an American first. My entire administration is going to do everything we can to make him as successful as we can. We’re going to try to be active, strong partners with the federal government. That being said, we went through a great deal of work to expand Medicaid to a large number of people in Colorado. We cut our percentage of people who had no insurance — we cut it in half. We’re going to work really hard to protect that as much as we can, make sure that we have the support from the federal government to continue making sure people have basic rights, basic elemental healthcare.”

The Democratic Party can be the party of civil rights and the party of jobs — and the party of business.

“I think the political reality for the Democratic Party is, you know, there are two sides. There’s one side saying that we weren’t liberal enough and another side saying we’re too liberal. I think they’re both right.

The Democratic Party is always going to be the party of civil rights and fairness — everybody gets an equal, fair shot at the American dream. And we’re going to be the party that really fights to protect planet Earth — enjoy whatever time we’re going to get!

But at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with the Democratic Party that talks more about — and more loudly about — jobs, and cutting red tape, and bureaucracy, making it easier for entrepreneurs to start jobs, making it easier for businesses to grow and create more jobs. That has historically been the wheelhouse of the Democratic Party.”

In the Trump era, Democrats value states’ rights.

“People don’t realize that almost two-thirds of the population in the United States lives in a state where either medical or recreational marijuana are now legal. Two-thirds of the country. We’re looking at it as kind of a 10th Amendment, states’ rights issue. Although marijuana might be the wrong example for that. Medicaid is a better example. It’s one of the rare times where Democratic governors are saying, ‘Hey, states’ rights.’ We don’t want the federal government coming in and telling us how to do our environmental remediation or how we’re going to do our healthcare.”

You can read the whole thing here.