John Hickenlooper

Read John Hickenlooper’s positions on all 11 planks of the Pledge Agenda.
Scroll down – or click a plank in the outline below to jump to specific positions.

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America
2. Invest in a Green Economy
II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality
4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism
5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality
III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All

6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University
7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security
IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
9. Close Wall Street’s Casino
10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests
V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America

  • Hickenlooper is has come out against the idea of a federal job guarantee as part of a Green New Deal. He criticized the proposal, saying “…the resolution seeks a job guarantee, with full benefits, for every person in the United States. That means the federal government would have to provide a job if the private sector did not. This provision, along with others, would produce a massive expansion of government that would likely be far too expensive and complex to execute effectively in the urgent time frame we are facing.” (Hickenlooper op-ed, Washington Post, 03/26/19)

2. Invest in a Green Economy

  • Greenpeace gave Hickenlooper a D- on climate change, putting him in 20th place in their ranking of the 2020 presidential candidates on the issue. According to the NGO: “Former Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper released a climate plan, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. He wants to rejoin the Paris Agreement and invest in clean energy, but has said the Green New Deal “limits our prospects for success,” although he supports “the concept.” Far from pledging to phase out fossil fuels, Hickenlooper has supported fracking, called for lifting the crude oil export ban, and opposed a citizen initiative to limit oil and gas production near schools and homes in Colorado. He un-signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge after learning it prohibits contributions above $200 from individual fossil fuel executives as well as PACs. Gov. Hickenlooper has a long way to go to prove his commitment to really tackle the climate crisis.” (Greenpeace)
  • Hickenlooper’s March 2019 op-ed in the Washington Post denounced the Green New Deal proposal, arguing that while he supports “the concept” of sweeping resolution to fight climate change, the Green New Deal “set unachievable goals” and would unnecessarily inflate the government. (Washington Post, 03/26/19)
  • “As governor, Mr. Hickenlooper — a former geologist — added Colorado to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of states working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to counter the Trump administration’s environmental policies. He also signed an executive order mandating, by 2025, a 26 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels, and emphasized the economic potential of renewable energy. He has called for a more aggressive response to climate change, and expressed tentative support for the Green New Deal.

    But in contrast to many other Democrats, he has supported the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and his policies as governor were generally friendly to the oil and gas industries. For instance, he opposed a ballot initiative in Colorado that would have limited where oil wells could be built. (Voters rejected the measure in November.)”  (New York Times, 03/04/19)

  • Hickelooper wrote in his 2016 memoir that fracking is “good for the country’s energy supply, our national security, our economy, and our environment.” He’s been an outspoken supporter of the industry throughout his career. (MotherJones, 03/25/19)

II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality

  • “A national strategy for the American workforce would mean an investment of historic proportions in skills training and apprenticeships. It would enlist labor unions, good corporate citizens, and civic organizations to join a national effort that ensures people have the skills companies need to drive our economy forward.” (Hickenlooper, CNN op-ed, 03/20/19)
  • “That’s why a national plan for the American workforce would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, would rethink the employment system so that it supports people in the “gig” economy, and create paid family and medical leave.” (Hickenlooper, CNN op-ed, 03/20/19)

4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With a Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism

  • “He also oversaw Colorado’s implementation of legalized recreational marijuana after voters approved the measure in 2012. Hickenlooper had initially opposed
    legalization, but said he would enforce the will of Colorado voters. He later opposed the Trump administration’s decision to enforce federal marijuana laws.(PBS, 03/14/19)
  • Hickenlooper signed an executive order as governor prohibiting the use of Colorado state resources to help implement the Trump administration’s family separation policy at the southern border, calling the policy “cruel and un-American.” (PBS, 03/14/19)
  • “We’ll undo years of efforts to disenfranchise African-Amerian voters and Latino voters and young voters. And end this assault on the foundations of our democracy.” (Colorado Sun, 03/07/19)

5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality


III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All

6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University

  • Hickenlooper’s website notes that he expanded pre-kindergarten, and created the Denver Scholarship Program, which provides donations to help low-income students attend college. (edweek.org, 03/20/19)

7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security

  • On a Medicare-for-All single-payer program, Hickenlooper has said that he “reject[s] the notion that it should become a litmus test of what it takes to be a good Democrat.” He prefers alternative methods to single-payer for achieving universal health care. Relatedly, he has said that the vast majority of [people with private health insurance] are happy with that,” and therefore does not believe in getting rid of the private insurance industry. (Washington Post, 04/11/19)
  • Hickenlooper has not indicated whether or not he believes all undocumented immigrants should be covered under a government-run health care program, supports partially expanding Medicare by allowing people ages 50-64 to buy into the program, supports giving the federal government the ability to negotiate Medicare drug prices, supports importing drugs from other countries, or whether or not he supports having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower the prices. (Washington Post, 04/11/19)
  • “Mr. Hickenlooper supports universal health care in principle but has refused to get behind specific proposals like “Medicare for all.” Speaking in New Hampshire last month, he said that there were “many different ways to cut the pie and work on the issue” and that intraparty arguments over the specifics were counterproductive.

    He did, however, explicitly reject the idea of eliminating private insurance companies, as promoted by Senators Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.

    During his governorship, Mr. Hickenlooper and Colorado’s divided Legislature expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a fact he highlighted as speculation about a possible presidential
    run
    increased.” (New York Times, 03/07/19)


  • While serving as governor, Hickenlooper led the effort in 2011 to create Colorado’s Health Benefit Exchange and expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. (PBS, 03/04/19)


  • “I also believe that we absolutely must achieve universal medical coverage, so that people can change jobs, change careers, or start new businesses like I did, without worrying whether they will have a gap in health insurance or access to a retirement savings vehicle.” (Hickenlooper, CNN op-ed, 03/20/19)

IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share

  • “We will close the loopholes, end tax cuts for the wealthy, and we will ensure every profitable corporations is carrying their weight.” (Colorado Sun)
  • “While we need to shut down tax loopholes and end the flood of tax breaks for the largest corporations, redistribution can never do as much for the middle class as the kind of broad-based growth our country has enjoyed during its best periods.” (Hickenlooper, CNN op-ed, 03/20/19)
  • “Hickenlooper has been critical of Trump’s tax law, which disproportionately benefits wealthier taxpayers…Hickenlooper’s record in Colorado, however, more often aligns him with major corporations and business interests.” (Colorado Sun, 03/07/19)

9. Close Wall Street’s Casino

10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests


  • John Hickenlooper
    does not support adding justices to “pack” the Supreme Court, nor does he support term limits. He also wants to preserve the electoral college.  (Washington Post, 04/11/18)
  • Hickenlooper stands with the rest of the presidential field in supporting automatic voter registration for 18 year olds, Election Day as a National Holiday, voting rights for the formerly incarcerated, and statehood for Washington, DC. It is still unclear whether or not he supports statehood for Puerto Rico. And he is open to the voting age being lowered from 18 to 16. (Washington Post, 04/11/18)

V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans
11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

  • “Mr. Hickenlooper supports trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a position that puts him at odds with both President Trump and some of his more liberal competitors in the Democratic primary.” (New York Times, 03/14/19)
  • “We appreciate the desire to revise and seek updated, fair and equitable trade agreements,” the pair wrote. “However, we strongly urge our negotiators to address these opportunities without closing markets, imposing tariffs or enacting government regulations that threaten to negatively affect our manufacturers and agricultural producers, as well as the businesses and rural communities so dependent upon their profitability.” (9news.com, 09/24/18)