Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper talks with Jon Favreau about his life as a brewpub owner, his strategy for winning over Republicans, his plans to combat climate change and deal with automation, and what it’s like to govern in times of tragedy and crisis.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to pod, save America, I'm Jon Favreau
Next candidate, in our series of
presidential candidate interviews is John Hickenlooper,
into cricket headquarters. This week he and I sat down he's the form
two term, governor of Colorado. Before that he was
Denver and we had
great conversation about how he thinks we
get stuff done in Washington. We talked about
immigration. We talked about the
new deal. We talked about some of the gun safety
measures he enacted. While he was governor of Colorado, it's a great interview so
so check it out. This is Governor John
I'm here with former Governor John Hickenlooper, a candidate for the democratic nomination for President Governor welcome to parts of America glad to be on thanks. So much for having me back. I want to sort of the question that we some version of which we ask all the different candidate.
So you are a moderate former governor mayor, small business owner from a western state. You look at it this gigantic field of democratic
and it's and there are actually other moderates other former governor.
Former mayors, former small business owners, people from western states
what was it when you were looking at the field and thinking about running that made, you think something is missing in this field. I should run for president. This is this is my time
to run. Well, if you look at there's only one other mayor, that's true, and he certainly wasn't a governor right on and there's only one moniker was a former mayor, former man
So that's true, but he wasn't a governor right, that's true, two mirrors, but they weren't governor's and
in a funny way. I feel like I'm, the one person
that actually has spent
my life, both in small business, but my life is,
eight years of married years, the governor, my job,
is to bring people together, who often were at odds in conflict
and figure out how to get get them to put down their weapons and then get stuff done, and I looked at the whole thing
old and in a funny way I looked at it
most everyone else and you can, as you interview each one, you can ask whether I mean I feel like I never ran for two
counsel. I wasn't involved in student politics. I didn't want that. You know you didn't run until you were almost fifty years old, yeah, that's forty! Nine years old, when I ran from for Denver mayor is the first time I ever run for anything, and I feel that you know how it
in kids, in elementary school, you know chat, books or school books that they have
have like three different images. What which one doesn't look like the others yeah. I feel like that
within the all
presidential candidates on the one guy that in small business you know I
a restaurant in their work with all the other restaurant owners to change and transform
the whole neighborhood of Denver. What what they call now Lodo Back was was lower downtown. We got everyone to buy, get up right, yeah, it was a restaurant, the bruises don't be a. We were that that I think the tenth pub in North America, okay, and so we
open notepad. But we used it as a community organizing tool to build community community and then we'd
in a bunch of other cities like Omaha DES Moines, rapid City, South Dakota, always historic, building
in abandoned parts of downtown always trying to create community and then when.
When I ran for mayor. I got all the suburban mayors to work together and we did. You know fast track
the largest transit initiative in the history of the country and then when
After that, I got the environmental community to sit down with the only gas industry and we created these.
These regulations. Methane regulations to to stop
flaring and venting of methane, which is methane's, two thousand five hundred and forty times worse and then C two in terms of climate change. Each of these are
example, after example, of where I kind of felt like I was there to take
people from where they were and move them to a different place where they could
each other better, and they could actually work together, which again
realizes cynicism. That's out there today, I I listen to podcast America, I'm not a stranger to the challenges that we face in all this, but at a certain point you know
We have to be able to really going to address not just universal coverage, but may
I'm sure that we can control the inflationary spiral, health care of health care costs or deal with climate change right.
What, in what ten years or twelve irreversible of irreversible damage? Somebody somehow bring people together, bring people together, yeah, so you've clearly
had a lot of success, working with
looking in Colorado with people who disagree with you in Colorado
in DC. Of course, I was
the Obama White House for eight years and watch for
every single policy that President Obama proposed even moderate policies, even free market policies, tax cuts, you name it
What leads you to believe that you will have more success than Obama did working with Dc Republicans
hard if I'm gonna be bluntly, honest, it's hard to think I have so much admiration for, for President Obama. It's hard
to say? Well, I can do this, what he Didn'T- and I you know I look at someone like Mitch Mcconnell when he came in and said that he would do everything.
Humanly possible within his power to make sure that that, as President O
had no success is yeah. I mean that verges on that street.
Right, I mean that's someone who's, an elected official, saying that they want to work against the common good of Americans again
saying I can do anything with with Mitch Mcconnell.
That's what you are you yeah. I saw that you said that you would have to have a drink with him when you got to DC. Well, you say they're in the drink. I would I would reach out to you because you have to reach out right and you have to go to
their turf and
just to show all their followers that you're paying the respect to the system, but then you sit down
You try and figure out. Where is their self interest? And how can you find
some way to to to work towards some level of common ground and again,
You know we had the the
after the Aurora Movie, theater shooting we decided. We were first, we put thirty million bucks.
The mental health stuff, but then we decided take on universal background checks that.
Process I mean we could not get the NRA to
compromise at all. They would I mean they barely talk to us, but-
and we just had to muscle through- and sometimes you just have to do that, but a
and again, you know when I got elected mayor of Denver in two thousand and three my credit
Yes Wellington Webb, who is a great American, I mean
when the great mirrors of the 20th century, he could not be in the same
room with the mayor of Aurora. They hated each
One of the other would walk out. They couldn't talk to each other and
Denver hit Aurora Aurora headed Denver. That was the sense, and when I first
ran for mayor. I said I'm going to, I believe Denver.
Never be a great city without great suburbs, and everyone said you can't say that Denver
Hey it's the suburbs, but the bottom line was the politicians hate each other,
This is didn't and when I got elected I went out to the Mirror Aurora and I actually,
down and spend an hour in his office. I didn't make him come to me and I just kept asking so what you really need, and how can we make this work and if we did a a light rail sis?
how could it really work for Aurora and what things would we have to change from that rough draft of a plan of a year ago? And you know, if you listen,
This is a tricky learning, the bar business right, having all the
brew pubs and you dealing with cranky irate customers, sometimes they're completely wrong,
but boy. You don't want to leave when, when they're really ticked off, because they'll go out and trash your reputation
and you won't hear about it until it's way too late, and so you, you learn to repeat back exactly their word.
When they're really angry. I know it sounds silly because politics is probably a different, a different universe, but I did do this with a bunch of the mayor's, not the
Aurora, but several of the other mayors I wouldn't visited too 'cause. It gets so angry at me right and you just repeat back the words to make sure they feel heard that they feel validated.
Funny at least with me when you say back when someone says something to you is really angry. There are certain
you know, but body rhythms or or your your chemistry that changes you you kind of closed down and you don't. I know I think, sometimes you don't really here people and when you repeat back there same words, you suddenly kind of
sure them many different sense. You actually really hear them. Maybe in the restaurant business we say so. The waiter drop soup on your lap.
Oh and the waiter wasn't looking where I was going. I hear oh and you
the soup was very hot and it back.
Updates them hearing it when you say it it it moves you in a different place, and you get to that point where you just have an inkling of trust. That again, I'm not saying that this will work with Mitch. Mcconnell
but something's gotta work with somebody right? Well, I mean, I guess I guess what I've come,
realize. Is that the problem with politics
in Washington, at least, is less a clash of person,
polities and Maur clash of sort of incentives. Right, like I always like you know, Obama didn't have a great relationship with Mitch Mcconnell. He did have a pretty good relationship with John Boehner, and I remember banners saying I want to do immigration reform. Let's, let's figure
this out together and they had this plan. They were going to do it and then you know Eric Cantor loses in Virginia and banner comes to Obama, and he goes I re.
We want. I, like you, I want to do this, but my caucus is a bunch of people in districts that are ninety plus percent white. They don't want to do immigration reform and if I push it, I'm gonna to be ousted speaker. So that's that and it's
there is no amount of golf with Bacon Obama. Could've played there would have changed that dynamic, and so I wonder, for the next democratic President like how you think about
passing a legislative agenda and how you think about power and power dynamics in this situation.
Well, you know power
and you're right. The dynamic surrounding power are a function of you know certain core elements of being human rights, so there's
There's that sense of of insecurity that pretty much
everybody has somewhere there's that sense of
did belong to a tribe and have some
sense of safety by by being part of that group,
You've got a line, utilize, those various kind of emotional values and attach them to positions where people feel they're getting some advantage, and it is,
I think, one of the most complicated things in life, but also you know
in politics it's always a,
about trying to hear clearly what the person really wants. I can't tell you how much
times that that you know one
once you get a little trust between people, then you can. Finally,
without that you can't collaborate, collaborate
I tell him, I tell our staff for years. You know we collaborate at the speed of trust
and there's really not nothing. I mean trust only comes from hard work. You've got,
take the effort and really listen and demonstrate that you hear people that you have some respect.
Are you care about him and you're going to strike out someone like Mitch. Mcconnell is just not going to, but then you have to look for somebody else and how can you find
I think immigration specially right now is such a perfect place because
I saw the Labor data came out a few weeks ago, where we now have seven dot: two million jobs unfilled and six dot. Three million
looking. So we don't even have as many people looking for work as we have.
Openings and of
The main reason more than half those jobs aren't filled, because we don't have the skills right well
We need more people right now. We left we left.
Pools and fruits, agricultural produce that couldn't be harvested by machines. It went last,
California Colorado of all across the country, because we didn't have the right labor. If
can't address right now: immigration and and say: listen, let's, let's go after all this stuff and let's
with deal with the issue of refugees at the border? Let's get an id system that works,
make sure we have the right, know, visas and and and figure out what the right pathway to citizenship is
and somehow make
sure that we go to those states where people worried that the immigration, the immigrants take their job and show them that actually
our economy and a
very real way is based upon having more immigrants,
if we can't do it now, we're never going to do it. What's that, what's what would your top legislative priority as president? You know? That's I mean
We look at things like climate change that are such an imperative. I look at all.
Nation and artificial intelligence. What that's going to do in the workplace turn it upside down, but I think in terms of what people feel the greatest urgency about it:
health care. That's the one thing in Iowa, New Hampshire, when I'm in South Carolina people
are so fearful of. What's gonna come next and so distrustful of Trump and the Republican Party that they're gonna to
just pre existing conditions and is not just it's not just coverage, they can't afford the covers. They've got, and so I
I think I think you have to do them all kind of together in a funny way that you know of artificial,
call Jensen. Automation is tied into health care which all kind of have Playlist
control and how we address climate change. But I think health care is probably at the
at the center of it all just because it is the emotional
or of so many Americans right now. What what would you do on health care, your for a public option or yeah? I think that the I
very cautious about you know,
you're going go Medicare for all and doing it all one swipe you're telling one hundred and fifty million people you know, and I realize that half them or maybe maybe even more than half of them, don't like there.
Private insurance, even even if it is through their workplace, they'd like to get rid of it and have something else, but the other half you know
and and don't want to lose it. At least in this country. We traditionally don't take something away from people were very careful
President Obama was very careful to try and make sure reassure people.
In every way that he could, as we did the affordable care act. I think
that same reassurances necessary now. However, you need a public option right
we got in Colorado. We did this bipartisan right. We expanded Medicaid
We got to almost one hundred percent coverage, almost ninety five percent coverage and if we had a public option and they're going to get a public
option. I think this year we did a lot of the of the foundation work. So maybe,
Medicare. Maybe it's Medicare advantage or some combination of best practices for the two, maybe part of it could even be
expanding Medicaid who qualifies for Medicaid?
on the on the other side of the spectrum, but either way. Let's, let's just say for the sake of argument, we're we're gonna, have a public option of Medicare and- and
go to it and is it as more people go into Medicare, it becomes even more efficient and the quality improves and more people want
Medicare and they all said everyone wants to leave the private insurance and they they flood into Medicare. Then we end up with a single payer all, but my take is ten
but we end up with a single pair through evolution
rather than revolution, and I think that's traditionally the way things
in in these kinds of transformations in America and do you think that's the best way also, as you mentioned, to bring costs down in the system, because, obviously it's not just coverage and it's first of all, there's a tremendous amount of cost in the system, but there's also a deductible that people can't pay. There is long term care, that's not kicking and like. How do you deal with all the serve extraneous cost?
People are grappling with, and health insurance and health care. What is it and that all your right to the aggregation, the the the accumulation of of the worry
anxiety around all these costs is, what's, I think, driving people nuts yeah. I think it's a big part of why we're seeing an epidemic of depression and all kinds of mental health challenges across the country. First, let me just say I think you start you have to start every discussion as
that health care is a right, not a privilege in one thousand nine hundred and seventy three, when I was a student at this little College in Connecticut, I helped a friend start, a community health center which now
still in business has over two hundred locations in Connecticut, but their basic argument was life. Health care is uh,
right, not a principle. I wrote a letter to the the Middletown Press, editor saying that you know in nineteen. Seventy eight. I think that was one Elizabeth Warren was
well Republicans. That's just kidding a minor, a soft soft hearted joke anyway,
You look at all that all the places that these costs swing into play. So why is it that people in America pay thirty times more for insulin than someone in Canada right? Clearly, we do
regulate the pharmaceutical industry. We got to make sure we have more access to generics. We gotta be able both have Medicare but, as as groups in the country be able to compete for better prices for pharmaceuticals, that's a significant cost. We also need transparency, that's probably a bigger place of savings. Every clinic every hospital they'll tell you that is too complex
the possible variations in in needs and service is provided. Make it impossible to predict what ah Thanh Selecta me would cost for their kid? That's nonsense. Walk in tow, walk in a WAL Mart.
You got one hundred and thirty thousand. You know digits and widgets, and with sizes and colors you probably got four hundred thousand es que use. They can tell you the cost of everyone, and once you couldn't provide people a genuine on their hand, held device, their cell phone, they can look and see where they can get a high quality. You know get stitches removed from their kid's arm or get a tonsillectomy for their kid, whatever they can see, not only what the overall cost is, but what they're co pay is. Then you begin to harness the
that the the the leverage that the that open market allows you to get to so those are are, are obvious places right off the bat we have to say more importantly, our problem is we made healthcare, do a business and, like any business, goes where the money is. So it's only natural to to
suspect that you know we're going to get more more scans, more blood tests, more everything, because that's what that's? How the industry peers
things that they wanted in on a quality yeah, there's no way that we got. We should shift the system so that the health care system gets complicated for keeping us well and that that's. Why were huge in in Colorado? We pushed outdoor recreation social long way and I think I'm pushing
trying to get out to recreation, to get more integrated into urban areas and and get more people outside at and provide an incentive of. You know for kids just to get their faces out of the you know. I got a six year old son. His face is always in screen. Need help. Hate me for saying that. But
but mine too. It's a it's a problem. It is, but anyway, that's that is that preventative of of a getting people to lead healthier lifestyles of their own choice, but really giving them the incentives and making it attractive is a big part of getting to a place where we we have a system that can we can begin to contemplate. How do we were
ward the system for keeping us healthy side with climate change. You
an op eds that said that the green
new deal resolution introduced by Alexandria, Ocasio, Cortez and Ed Markey set us up for failure. How do you think
we should reach the goal of you know: net zero, global emissions by two thousand and fifty, which is what the intergovernmental panel on cloud
change, and you know I share one thousand percent- the sense of urgency that the green new deal communicates, and I and I celebrated for that. I think the problem I think we've got to be laser focused,
on climate change, and I look at that, especially the federal jobs guarantee that that would get caught up in Congress, and you can imagine the battles that will take place and even if the legislation got past, the implementation would require
almost certainly judicial challenges. Everything would come down the process I look at
at how we're going to address climate change and
and we know already. We know that things like, like electricity transportation buildings
we know that their ways that society as a whole can save money by doing the right things. We got we're closing to coal plants in Colorado. Right now, replacing the coal coal fired electrical generation plants with
been solar and batteries. No natural gas at all and the monthly electric bill for all those consumers are going to go down. That's when the market begins to change some
it's like, like agriculture and and large scale manufacturing is still we don't. We don't quite have the the final solutions there right, but we need to be the laser focused on everything on on you know: how do we get the re charging stations net necessary? For you know: rapid recharging, electric vehicles everywhere, right, every and and in real time you know we took out our our votes wagon diesel settlement money and put it towards recharging stations, and then we kind of stuck around and
convinced Governor Herbert in Utah that he should do it so drivers could get out to California, and then we got Governor Bullock in Montana to do it and we got
you know kind of went around and I went to Governor Matt Mead, who is one of my favorite mayors and but Wyoming is a pretty big. Coal stayed pretty good oil and gas state, and I
Madden said you know, you don't want people who drive around Wyoming to get to Yellowstone Park. Do he laughed, but the next day he said
now, we'll start will build. It will be part of the network as well. In the end, we got all ten western states. You know five republican five demo,
to all agree that they want to be part of that network. That's the kind of integrated work that gets done in the United States, but, as you point out, then we got to go globally. What we do in United United States is never to be the final solution or the the best solution for for climate change. It had be global. Well, so
your work this week released a plan that basically is in line with the targets set by the green new deal resolution, but doesn't have some of the economic
puzzles that you were talking about like the federal job guarantee. Is that something you think we should pursue? I guess I guess my big question here is like in a normal time we could like experiment with all these days:
sort of renewable energy, clean energy investments and incentives. Basically, they're telling us
within ten years. If we don't have a mass mobilization in this country than ten years, totally transform this economy
and probably do more even than the rest of the world since we're bigger emitters than
we're going to we're going to have just devastation from climate change that we're not going to be able to come back from so because of the situation. We're in. Would you be willing to sort of take. You know really significant steps, huge public investment of the scale that would
you know, get us to the solutions and the right technology in time would transition the economy into
what do you? What do you think about that? I agree wholeheartedly
and I think it's got to be the trick, though we are so polarized and again this
I get back to why I'm running for president- we are so divided. I mean where is divided is probably anytime.
The civil war- and
If we're really going to address climate change, a me
meaningful way would
to figure out how do we get everybody
king on their own home or everyone focused on what they can do and supporting
at a national level those big steps that you're describing and right? You know, I think, that's doable. I think it's going to take a day
current approach than just using the you know the stick you're going to need a little bit of a carrot in there as well to make sure people
you know they see the their own self interest there. Their benefit from fixing this and they've got to be the
I understand and and buy into that issue of of the damage that
be irreversible. If we don't get this done next, ten or twelve years, I think that the
one thing that is has been
seeing that people haven't talked about a lot that
Last year the Charles Coke said to the uh, the f, the merchant for prosper.
That they were no longer going to fund climate deniers. That was shocking right. I saw
it got picked up in one news place, but that's and now
x on all the major oil companies are saying there are no longer going to deny it that
allows us. This is a window where we can really mobilize public sentiment
right Lincolns old thing with with public sentiment, nothing can fail without it. Nothing could succeed now
the time to really mold public sentiment. Yeah, you released a new
today, your communications director
said that the Democratic Party has really struggled to respond to Trump's trade policy. Why do you think that is? And why do you think the last trade agreement that was negotiated by a Democrat, Barack Obama, with the Trans Pacific Partnership, was sort of divided the party
yeah well that trade is always been a tricky issue in the Democratic Party, for a variety of reasons that I don't
to drag out on on your show. I do.
Take that we're seeing in a compelling way right now how misguided president Trump's policies are
I mean you don't have to spend very much time in Iowa to run into a soybean farmer one of the,
Cultural auditors in the state of Iowa told us that a typical soybean farmer would need eight consecutive good years to get back.
Where they were two years ago and level. Will you look at the projections for bankruptcies in farms all across the country? There are gonna high, probably
you to see a dramatic increase, even in the next twelve months, the a lot of that says: Tara for and
it's not just the agricultural community. We have a bunch of manufacturing companies that are based on bringing components together from all different places.
And where do they finally get a sim assemble? Where who is what is the fine
place of manufacture right. Some of these automobiles go back and forth between Canada, the United States and Mexico back and forth back and forth. There's there is
If we really want to lift up the middle class and
have expand instead of shrinking. We want to make sure that our America
in form of business is
Vidz again a ladder, so the people at the bottom can
grab ahold that ladder and pull themselves up? I think trade has to be part of it. We just have to figure out how
We get trade in such a way that we protect in all countries. That are
part of any agreement that we protect workplace safety.
Workers rights protection.
The environment I mean you go down. That list of the basic ice
things that we needed an agreement that they can. They can be fair and they can be enforced, but some for
of trade is gone or is going to allow us the resources to deal with our health care situation to a to deal with climate change and those trade agreements lay the foundation. For I mean again as we as we've already said.
What we do around climate change in this country is never going to be enough. We have
to have the world working together and that comes from relationships and said you want to use trade agreements to you are put
it targets in the trade yeah. I think you have to. I think you have to have climate targets in the agreement and but all the just,
all the negotiations right? We used to believe in diplomacy right after world war. Two, our greatest generation created all these strategic alliances because they didn't ever want to see a world war. They had seen firsthand just how awful that kind of carnage
the destruction in a world war could be, and now it's
it's like. Well, we're gonna, take a little more rest towards that. We are. We don't care so much yeah the beauty about the trade agreements. What what? What start at a strategic agreement end up helping for trade? I think that collaborative ability is is almost like a muscle that
people, as they begin to work together towards one goal, can work together towards a
other goal- and some of the issues like you know, like pandemics, like Ebola, we have to have everyone working together,
proliferation and and and think about so
security. We have
to figure out a way that, as as
world, we working to
whether to make sure that we are not at risk and vulnerable to the cyber terrorists,
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That's it! You have the experience of being unemployed for some time in your in your thirties and then you've also had the experience of going on to become a very successful business owners. How have those experiences shaped
reviews of economic policy. Here I am unemployed again. You know that going for a very big job when I
It became a geologist and I want my into
a couple years ago told me that they are convinced I am the first professional geologist ever to get elected governor in the history of America
like a safe bet, yeah. Well, I I I think it's easy to I. I know for a fact on the first brewers and SAM out of the seventeen ninety two to get elected governor okay, but I think you know we're we're
but I came out to Colorado in the original late 70s I moved out permanently in eighty one. I thought I'd be a geologist for the rest of my life and then
you know the markets changed in commodity prices, tanked and our company and many other companies
sold in consolidated and literally thousands, probably
more than ten thousand geologists lost their jobs. So no one was hiring. I lost not just my job, but my profession, and
you know the story. I sometimes tell is it the first,
you have your natural resilience that most most people learn.
Through the early years of their life and
and you know my mom. My mom was widowed twice before she was forty and she told us. You know you can't control what life throws at you, but you can control how you respond to it, doesn't make you better or worse. So I felt pretty good, but after about, I know, sixty eight, maybe
ten months of being out of work, you begin to see a different person in the mirror and you don't have the same. The same framework of confidence you had and
just that little bit of self doubt I found
of having to really work hard
to change my attitude and
this time we had to know
we thought we might start this wild thing called a brew pub right
and no one knew a brew pub was I mean, like most entrepreneurial opportunities, there's a
thank you, because no one's ever seen it I mean I couldn't get my own mother to invest. It was just it was hard and
and having that doubt in my mind about you.
Career and and and was I a failure- was my fault that all these geologist got laid off for at least that I had chosen to be one these geologists, and now I didn't have a career. I think that's a lot of what
went through the minds of so many of the people that voted for Donald Trump,
in the eighties and nineties there and
doesn't just all outsourcing right. That's what that's the anti trade people said. A lot of it was automation,
but eliminate a lot of those jobs. But regardless of where we did up, I mean his government malpractice. We did a terribly
job of retraining people and giving them tools to
create their own new future and
if we do that. Again we're going to see the same thing from
nation, an artificial intelligence with the whole are professional world going to get turned upside down. Whole professions are going to disappear,
we need to get out ahead of this, and we've got a partnership with Microsoft, now called skillful, dot com, just rude
entry so far but allow people, kids,
all ages to acquire a profile skills but, more importantly, hopefully, we'll be able to get to predicting three four five years out, which professions are likely to be at risk and not
Predator scare people but just say hey here, the skills you already have you go on to skillful dot com. These are new professions, click on a
session, see which skills you have they're useful. What skills you might be missing, what would you need to acquire and where you can get them and what it would cost and that's the part, I think
that we need to make those skills essentially free for people that can't afford them. It should be a sliding scale, but just like a community health center they've got to be
free? If you don't, have the money and let people
I mean what I learned from being laid off. Was the
anxiety and the frustration that I saw, especially in a lot of my friends, it was soda
tripped over see. I didn't have I didn't have kids, I don't have a family to support. There was much less pressure on me than that. Almost everyone else. I knew- and I think
can get people trained and get the skills before their their career? Their life is at risk
you eliminate that anxiety to a large extent, so we're
looking at a time of you know very low
He's growing and yet you know
reserve found last year that forty
percent of Americans couldn't pay a four hundred dollars
bill if there was an emergency expense. What
you for all the people who are working, but they still can't afford a basic middle class lifestyle. Sure- and I think you know I the statistic- that's even worse than that one is it. Eighty percent of the families in America today are having a hard time pretty much every month, balancing their household budgets
Every month they can't they can't make ends meet, that's not America, and so obviously that I think raising the minimum wage and maybe, in certain places it goes fast.
Than others, and maybe big cities what's really more expensive to live like New, Yorker or maybe San Francisco? Maybe you have an even higher than fifteen dollar minimum wage, but you tie it in some way to the cost of living, but but there's much more to it than that. I I mean this. Our system used to be when I was a kid. Our economic system was a place where you know the the not just the middle class, but but but people in the bottom of the economic ladder they could find both security and opportunity it
just by working and working hard and playing by the rules, and that's clearly not the case anymore, and you know part of it is, and these are not evil people, I'm not demonising. But there are eighty one thousand trade associations out there right: the sand and gravel
providers of America that Bridge builders of America, the Restaurant Association
are there. All these
associations have a lobbyist and again, I'm not against lobbyists right there, their hard work,
and and and representing there their the association's they work for, but their job is to find another.
Opportunity retained earnings or tax break their business can get well all those breaks. The vacuum,
Elated over all these years have added up- and you know the other statistic and then I won't say any more statist
that promise, because I know what good radio is. It is not statistically love statistics job. You like humor more this to test
but sometimes sometimes are relevant, and I think from now
one thousand eight hundred and forty six to nineteen,
Katie when Reagan got elected, basically adjusted for inflation. Every American doubled their income. That's an amazing to see the only people that didn't work, the very top of the
lammack ladder, the very wealthy only their income, only one up about eighty percent, but they start out so much higher that they still were doing great
and then there was obviously government was bad
trickle down economics. This is all going to benefit everyone else.
And more and more, if you go from nineteen eighty to the present day, fifty percent of Americans are making less now than they were before that's tag.
I mean. How clearly do you want to demonstrate that our system is broken so uh?
out of those things that the that the lobbying community created over many many years a lot of more loopholes. I think we should go in and address some and just try to make it a level playing field as much as humanly possible make sure that people get paid a fair, live, a fair wage for a fair day's work and make sure the car companies pay yeah. The I know if you saw the thing the other day,
that there are sixty the one more statistic: sorry, this is the last one. I swear I'll tell your sixteen fortune. Five hundred companies, which is, are paying no taxes for last year and that's double the number before trial
tax cut, I mean so, all of a sudden. Now we got more, he said, he's going to get rid of all the all the loopholes and all and and that we're gonna lower their taxes, but they pay more taxes right well, somehow,
that doesn't seem to have happened. You know I haven't heard
much of an hour or would you get rid of the Trump tax cuts? The tax cut that was passed by the Republican Congress
Certainly, I would look at. I thought that we needed to reduce the corporate tax cut a little bit somewhat, probably somewhere
queen word is now and where it was there, I certainly would have tried to take the
see and and put it towards something like infrastructure. You know some of that savings really dedicated torch transportation, broadband, no Colorado, it's going to be in by the end of twenty twenty will be the first state in America to have broadband, every city and town
hello, yeah, we're very proud of that. So we want our share back from the federal government or or pride that for everybody. So a you know: you've made this great case about house or the middle class has been hollowed out and obviously you know republican policies, tax cuts for the rich, not much for everyone else. Emma Kratz have been
been pushing for universal healthcare skills, training living wage all the time since you talked about- and yet we've seen this sort of exodus from the Party of White Working Class, Non College,
located. Voters, we've maintained, you know african american Working Class.
Latino working class voters, but the white voters have
leaving and in a some people might say that help tip the election to trump in twenty. Sixteen, how do you? How do you view the US of a these these voters? We should be getting back or is there racial,
when cultural resentment there that we can't we can't get back. How do you? How do you see this
Well, there certainly there is friction
in the in the large generalities within within what you're describing. But you know
at least in colorado- and I think across the country, opportunities and opportunities and part of it is
Looking at? How do we.
How do we bring together the people that feel left behind and often times? It is not just black people that you know
closed. A lot of those rural white workers in small town.
Towns and in rural parts of our states, feel tremendously? It left behind part of
Are we push broadband in all parts of Colorado as we made a commitment when I first got elected, we
40th and job creation? I said we're going to be pro probusiness
the most pro business state, but with the highest
local standards, the highest environmental standards and part that,
all was to make sure we lifted up the entire economy, but we didn't leave the rural parts behind and so will
last year, Us News and World report ranked us for the second year in a row, is the number one economy in America's went from 40th and job creation to the number one economy. But we're going to
this year. I think we're gonna have the number one rural economy, one, the top rural economies
and I've got a bunch of of mostly republican
farmers out on the eastern plains that send me emails and text saying you to run for president and they want
hum campaign with me, and I would say: here's what he
did in Colorado, Colorado, here's what he could do in Iowa, imagine what he could do for the country and I think that's provide
Bing tools like skills, training, making sure that every small town has has broadband
we provided tax incentives and not that many businesses are entrepreneurs took took part of it. But if you
business in rural part of Colorado. For the first four
is: not only does your business, but also now
your employees pay any taxes of any kind to the state of Colorado for years. So again
I think it's eight hundred jobs or thousand jobs were created, but if you're in a town with sixty
one hundred people or two thousand people and it's been getting smaller and people are leaving harder for the grocery store to stay in business and suddenly
got twenty new workers.
Id and a new business or thirty that the feeling that
Someone cares and that there's hope and there's a future. I think it's powerful and I think I think their ways
Do that all across America you mentioned Aurora earlier in the wake of that shoe
thing you took on the NRA, you were able to pass universal background checks, bands on high capacity ammo, and this was with a Repub one of the
this was republican right in calling on other were at that time we have a one vote. Majority wanted me to send it. What lessons do you take from passing?
gun safety measures in Colorado that you we might be able to apply to the country, you know
one thing I have I hadn't thought through was the the power of local statistics yeah. I know the
funny story. My son Teddy at that time was in fifth grade and I made the mistake of complaining to him
when I got home because it was just a battle at the state Capitol
and he looked amigos dad. What do you do all day at work, this so hard make decisions? He goes dad
get the facts, make a decision check next. I areas not that easy dad get that,
make a decision check next, because every day
gotta go to school and learn something completely new that that idea,
I didn't even know, existed today before. If I don't get a perfect, the next day is misery 'cause every
based on the day before you, after five minutes, a Tedia right, fifth graders
other than being governor, but
next day I went in, I went in and I got the statistic
we had the national statistics for Gun safety in universal background checks, but we hadn't gotten the local statistics and even though every rop
Looking business person I knew was in favor of universal background checks. The rip
in the party at large.
Because of the NRA, wouldn't wouldn't give
and the NRA wouldn't compromise and based after
talk with Teddy, I went and we got the local statistics
in Colorado, just five and a half million people. There were thirty eight people. This is in twenty twelve. So the year before this legislative session, there were thirty, eight people convicted of homicide who tried to buy a gun and we stop them. We were getting to fifty percent of all the
purchases, which is what most states get to an we wanted to get to one hundred percent and the Republicans several crooks aren't stupid. Well, we went through one hundred and thirty. Three people convicted of sexual assault tried to buy a gun and we stopped on their one thousand. Three hundred people convicted of felony assault, try to buy a gun
stop them yeah. What do you are over three thousand people convicted felony assault and a hundred and forty people when they came to pick up their new gun? We arrested them for an outstanding warrant for a violent crime. So when you take those low
cool statistics. Let me just say once we laid those out a bunch of the Republican,
I just said I said: I'm not going to try and repeal this. So even when they came back, they repealed two Democrats to the state senators. So the Republicans got the majority back in the state Senate, but those statistics are so powerful locally and I think we've got to go all across the country and get the lok
statistics in front of the lawmakers and get him into the local media, so that I mean national statistics are powerful, but it's not quite the same.
Thinking about who's, living down the road and who's trying to buy a gun who might do harm to your family. In addition to
The tragedy in Aurora
I read that in your first term as governor you attended more than fifty funerals
weather was natural disaster or shooting like Aurora. Did that change you did they give you a new perspective on on grief
it did for, for President Obama and all the you know, funerals that that he spoke at and attended. After all, the shootings that that occurred when he was in the White House yeah right, I don't think you could help a change. You
that ah- and I felt it was a blessing that he came. You know we had the Waldo Canyon fire. Ah, in the late spring of of uh of two thousand,
well and then we had the shooting in the or movie theater in July of twenty twelve and the president
generously came out both times to console the people losses in
and he has a gift. I mean I thought it was a gift at
asked him after we met with all the surviving family members of the twelve deceased victims of the Aurora Shoe,
he was so it was
most beyond words to describe what he was one with those families he knew just and he would stand with them, for it felt like minutes, but it was, you know at least
in seconds without saying something and then know exactly who to who to embrace and he
change, their I've heard several. Those people come and later tell me that that he transformed
something that was the worst experience in their life. There was still there
experience, but he trans
formed it in a way that somehow they they came out that you know that his his ability to connect with them transform the experience
experience in a positive way, still the worst experience at their lives. But, and- and I asked him, I said how
you do that. How do you have that talent says it's not a talent. It's a craft
once you've done it again and again and again, you begin to get a real sense of what it is people need and how different people expressed that need, and
It is true, you do you do get better and you realize you know I meant
my mom, her first husband died at the end of world war two and she had two kids. He got. He died in a in a freak accident. He was a pilot
Europe and he came back to United States in the day before he's going to get discharged, he died in a freak accident and then
met, my dad and she had two kids already and she had two more kids. I was the baby and then he got intestinal cancer after they've. Been married about six years, I think yeah, maybe seven years he
just just after I turned eight and my mom was so stoic. You know
really told us, you gotta, no one's going to create joy for you. You got take responsibility for yourself.
And you'll never be able to control what what life throws at you, but you can control how really, whether it does make you better or worse and stronger or weaker,
and I think in a funny way, when you go to that many funerals, as I did in those first four years, it was
and I'm not sure it was really. Fifty is what one point: that's what we thought. I went back and tried to check it, and I think we could. We can thirty. Four, that was a lot it felt like a
I can't tell you, and so often it's interesting and I was
sitting with the parents of a young soldier,
who died in Iraq, an at Gandhi's funeral and there's a reception afterwards and several of these families of state friends with my friends of mine to this day and we're just sort of talking and these kids, it was a may
The best. Looking kid, the one all his friends loved the one who wanted to Vaal.
Sure and serve and protect his country and as we're talking
it just came out that sometimes
times, God takes the very best, try to make the rest of us
realize how valuable and how precious not just life is, but how much we love each other.
And we're all just sitting here- crying ah uh a tte the same time. It's it's I mean. Obviously, Donald Trump has not played the role of consoler in chief or any sort of you know national leader, and while you know as president, you can do a lot of good by passing a lot of policies. There's also seems to be a role to play in bringing the country together and sort of being a moral leader. How do you? How do you see that role, especially in the wake of a Trump president,
well, I mean I never has common decency been in such short supply, and you know what Trump was running and he began to get traction and- and you know, I can't remember
feeling more anxiety around a political political wave and my biggest fear right from the beginning was
all the young people in America look to the president for their moral compass and for what it, what how do you define commandeer
and what? What are the lessons when you call them
fables from the Bible
or the Koran wherever
you get your moral compass. The president is has to has to
somehow illuminate those values, as President Obama did. As I think President George W Bush tit.
He seems determined to take any opportunity to vote to divide people as as to possibly can
that process of division that action that divides us. If that
Sultan. Somebody being bitterly Harper
worker or feeling more pain. He seems to embrace that, rather than have any level of empathy I haven't,
felt anything that he said as I'm, not I'm not
putting this house an attack of just I haven't felt he's expressed real empathy. He said empathetic type
words, but not in a context, not with the tone not in
way that I've ever recognized Israel, empathy governing looper. Thank you so much for joining us.
My pleasure and good luck would like out there in the campaign trump. Thank you very much right
Transcript generated on 2019-09-23.