Photo of John Hickenlooper

Remarks at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Event in Cedar Rapids

June 09, 2019

Hello, Iowa Democrats!

Thank you so much for having me.

I would like to, first off, acknowledge all those receiving awards tonight.

You all do the hard work – knocking on doors in the snow and the heat, phone banking late into the night.

It is difficult, and often thankless work, but it is essential work.

You all are on the front lines of the resistance. You protect our democracy.

President Trump reminds us every day that our democracy is something we neglect at our own peril.

We now live in a country where children are taken from their mothers and put into cages.

A woman's right to control her own body is under constant assault.

The sick and the elderly have to chose between paying their medical bills, or their utility bills.

Donald Trump is the worst President in the history of America.

But defeating him is far from guaranteed.

We have to take the right approach.

We must be progressive, but also pragmatic.

We need a dreamer, but also a doer.

We must present a bold vision for the future, but we also must acknowledge that the most effective attack the Republicans can level against us is one of "socialism."

Now, that does not mean that Democrats should shy away from big progressive goals.

Far from it.

A pragmatist doesn't say "no" to big ideas, they figure out how to get them done.

I know because it's what we did in Colorado.

Today, Colorado has near universal health care coverage.

All 64 counties have reliable broadband service.

We've had the number one economy for three consecutive years.

We were the first state to compel the oil and gas industry to eliminate methane emissions.

And we beat the NRA and became the first purple state to pass universal background checks and magazine limits.

When other states were limiting reproductive rights, we provided long-acting reversible contraception to any woman who wanted it. We cut abortion and unintended pregnancy among young women by two-thirds.

I am the only person running who has actually done what everyone else is talking about.

So I can tell you, you don't do big things with Big Government.

You do big things by bringing everyone to the table, by making the table bigger.

When I am president, we will make affordable healthcare a right, not a privilege.

We will do it by creating a public option, so the more than 100 million Americans who like their insurance can keep it, and the millions who do not will have another choice.

When I am president, America will not only rejoin the Paris Accord, but we will exceed its goals.

We will work with private industry and non-profits to do the massive research and development that we will need to rapidly address our climate crisis.

When I am President, every American will have the opportunity to create their own version of the American Dream.

We will make college more affordable, and we will also provide a path for the more than 65 percent of Americans who won't get a four-year college degree.

I will work with unions and businesses to do the biggest expansion of apprenticeships in our country's history. One million apprenticeships a year!

I am proud to be in the party that not only dared to dream big dreams but had the persistence to get them done - from creating Social Security and Medicare to putting a man on the moon.

I am a dreamer and a doer.

And we need both to make real progress.

Not just big ideas but getting them done. Finding common ground when it sometimes seems like there's nothing there between us but mountains.

That's my record.

And that will be my promise to you as President.

Thank you.

John Hickenlooper, Remarks at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Event in Cedar Rapids Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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