Hickenlooper calls 'Medicare for All', Green New Deal 'massive government expansions'

Democratic presidential hopeful John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperGun control group rolls out first round of Senate endorsements The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ Hickenlooper ethics questions open him up to attack MORE called “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal “massive government expansions” in a new interview.

“Well, I think they’re massive government expansions,” the former Colorado governor told The Washington Post on Sunday, referring to the two proposals, which many of his fellow 2020 candidates have embraced. 

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“Those are the kinds of things that Republicans will try to turn into ‘socialism.’ They’re going to call it ‘socialism,’ and they’re going to say this is taking away the freedom and independence of the individual,” he added. “They’re going to try and twist it in every way they can because that’s about the only card they’re left holding as long as they’re still supporting Trump.” 

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Hickenlooper’s comments came after he was booed at the California Democratic Party convention for warning about embracing socialism.

“If we want to beat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer,” he told the delegates gathered in San Francisco, one of the most liberal cities in the country, on Saturday. 

Hickenlooper later told the Post he was expecting the negative reaction.

“There’s certainly a liberal element that shows up at these state conventions, so I wasn’t surprised. I was aware that there might be some pushback,” he said.

Hickenlooper also criticized Medicare for All and the Green New Deal as not being the best approaches to health care and environment.

“Most Democrats share this notion of universal coverage. Most Democrats really understand the urgency of climate change,” he told the Post. “But I think we’ll get to better solutions faster by recognizing that big, massive government expansions are not going to be as successful.” 

Hickenlooper, a former governor of a purple state Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE won by just 4.9 percentage points in 2016, has presented himself as a moderate choice in the crowded Democratic primary field. He has struggled so far to break 1 percent support in national polls of the race.

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