Gov. John Hickenlooper joined BFF and Ohio Gov. John Kasich on a CNN segment released Friday to discuss why the two have decided to join forces to show Democrats and Republicans can be friends.
Speaking to CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour, Kasich, a Republican, claims the two are just “hanging out,” which he said is what happens when you “click with somebody.” And again, this is CNN, not an anonymous People magazine item about celebrities “stepping out.”
He downplayed the potential for the two being more than just friends, like ending up on a split ticket for the White House. There weren’t any direct questions about their respective futures.
“It’s just that we’re friends and we can maneuver through things and we don’t have that many problems anyways. It’s fun,” Kasich said
Amanpour asked them how the two have managed to continue their Kumbaya tour during a pretty contentious and bitterly divided era of American politics. Kasich said he and Hickenlooper don’t operate in a zero-sum game.
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, agreed. He said their “relationship” could be a model for others.
“I mean part of it is we’re trying to create a model that we can say, ‘You know, healthcare, big complex issue, but if a Republican governor and a Democratic governor who have to implement the federal policies, if we can find compromise, doesn’t that suggest that Congress should be able to improve things and move forward?” Hickenlooper said.
He doesn’t necessarily agree with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s suggestions earlier this week that civility will only be restored with a Democratic majority in either chamber of Congress. Kasich said he was shocked by Clinton’s comment that “you can’t be civil” with the current GOP.
You can’t just resort to anger and attacks against this administration, Hickenlooper said.
“There’s got to be a place there as well for pointing out a different way of doing things, a different approach,” Hickenlooper said.
Addressing healthcare will be their biggest goal.
The Johni agree that they don’t want to go “backward” on healthcare. They ultimately want to ensure more people are covered, though Hickenlooper said he’s fine with people arguing over a single-payer system or Medicare for all.
After President Trump was elected, Hickenlooper said he and Kasich didn’t want to roll back Medicaid coverage. Both sought to find private marketplace options to make it less expensive for residents.
The two have worked together well by identifying principles they agree on first when they’re facing an issue. It’s made things pretty, pretty easy for them.
“There are just some principles that John and I agree upon,” Kasich said. “If you have a preexisting condition, you shouldn’t be denied coverage. We believe that healthcare costs are too high. We both believe in the concept of paying for performance; pay for quality, not for quantity.”
Hickenlooper was quizzed on foreign policy, specifically what to do about Saudia Arabia.
The Saudi government is facing accusations that they may have been involved in the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. Turkish officials believe Khashoggi was killed and on Thursday the newspaper reported they had video and audio proving he was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
Congress has started pressuring the Trump administration to probe the incident.
Hickenlooper said they will “get the facts” on what happened eventually. He said if Saudia Arabia was responsible, they need to to be held accountable.
“The United States can’t look the other way and have any credibility, not even from a moral point of view — I mean, that would be first and foremost — but from a trade or a partnership in international commerce,” Hickenlooper said. “We’ve got to be the bellwether of doing and supporting what’s right and then denouncing and acting against what is clearly criminal behavior.”
Hickenlooper is on the national radar, but he’s facing a crowded field of possible candidates.
On Friday, data guru news site FiveThirtyEight released a ranking of likely candidates based on their behavior. Among potential 2020 presidential hopefuls, Hickenlooper landed in the middle of the pack.
He was listed under “Basically running right now” along with figures including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren. The rankings were based on seven criteria, including places they’ve visited, if they’ve gotten a magazine profile and if they’ve been campaigning.
The website suggests Hickenlooper is trying to present himself as a centrist, as is with Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. This is all well and good until Uncle Joe decides to crash the party.
“If Joe Biden decides to run, he will likely enter that centrist lane too, and I doubt there is room for both him and those other two,” the FiveThirtyEight story says.