Former Governor John Hickenlooper continued to double down on his anti-socialism warning for Democrats even after left-wing activists this weekend at California’s Democratic convention jeered him for saying President Donald Trump will win the White House in 2020 if Republicans can easily define Democrats as socialists.
“There’s an awful lot of baggage in this country attached to the word socialism,” Hickenlooper reportedly told the Washington Post after his speech, according to a Monday report. “Those of us who grew up in the Cold War saw firsthand the slow, continuous deterioration of the quality of life of people that lived under socialism and communism. That’s an experience that some of the younger Americans haven’t had.”
A majority of Democrats, according to a recent Gallup poll, have now embraced socialism. And younger voters on the left are far more receptive to “socialism” than the party’s older voters who, according to nearly every state and national poll, favor former Vice President Joe Biden at the moment.
Hickenlooper, who has barely registered in the polls, is trying to appeal to the party’s centrist wing and it seems like he used his speech over the weekend to try to make himself a household name to primary voters who are looking to back a moderate candidate.
“If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer,” Hickenlooper said before getting booed at California’s convention, echoing what he told left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow last week. “You know, if we’re not careful, we’re going to end up helping to reelect the worst president in American history.”
Hickenlooper said he was not surprised that he was booed because people who attend conventions, especially in such a left-wing state like California, tend to be more to the left than the average Democrat. And he reportedly added that he was “careful not to call any of the other candidates socialists.”
“What I was trying to do is make sure that we recognize – all of us, all 23 candidates – that it’s our responsibility to define who we are but also who we are not,” Hickenlooper told the Post. “The Republicans are going to use this against us, and we have to draw a clear line that we are not socialists. … Is guaranteeing everyone a federal job socialism? We can debate that, but certainly I guarantee you that Republicans are going to call it socialism.”