Hickenlooper Says White House Does Not Need a ‘Strongman’ in 2020 Policy Speech

Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Monday said there is an “authoritarian mentality” in the White House and the United States does not need its own “strongman,” as he delivered the first major foreign policy address among two dozen Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination.

“I think history clearly demonstrates that when you have a so-called strongman – a dictator – you don’t have rule of law,” Hickenlooper said when asked at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs if that was a better approach to foreign policy than multilateralism.

In his address, Hickenlooper said China “represents a generational challenge” for national security; that Russia “actively works against our interests” by propping up Bashar Hafez al-Assad in Syria and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela; and that North Korea’s nuclear program “threatens its region and beyond.”

“From Moscow to Beijing, from Ankara to Caracas and beyond, authoritarian strongmen now threaten not only the rights of their own people, but also the foundations of international peace,” Hickenlooper said.

“While no invading army is storming America’s shores today, this authoritarian mentality has already breached our defenses. Indeed, it has occupied the White House. We have a president who is not just ignoring many of the threats to our national security, he is aiding and abetting them,” he added.

Hickenlooper said President Donald Trump has “fawned over” North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and treated Russia’s Vladimir Putin “as his puppet master.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hickenlooper’s address.

Hickenlooper criticized Trump for threatening to pull out of the NATO alliance, abandoning the Paris Climate Accords and withdrawing from trade negotiations.

“We cannot hope to go back to the way the world was before Trump, too much has changed,” Hickenlooper said.

Hickenlooper, who trails in opinion polls, is trying to show how he stands out in a field of Democratic White House hopefuls that include many with years of Washington experience, like former Vice President Joe Biden.

Hickenlooper criticized other Democrats for wanting to “withdraw from our global leadership role,” and said he would use “constant engagement” to expand trade, modernize the military and form strong global alliances, taking an “activist, not a pacifist” approach to foreign policy.

Hickenlooper said he would reaffirm the country’s commitment to the NATO alliance, revive arms control talks with China and Russia and reject boycotts, divestment or sanctions on Israel.

He also said he would consider re-establishing the Iran nuclear agreement made by the Obama administration, and re-enter the Paris climate agreement. Trump has pulled the United States out of both of those accords.

Hickenlooper also proposed creation of the position of “Director of National Cybersecurity” to formulate a 20-year plan to coordinate efforts among existing security and intelligence agencies.

(Reporting By Amanda Becker; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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James
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Hickenlooper is correct. We saw first hand as #44 and his “pen and phone” scenario attempted to rule by fiat as America’s first Dictator-in-Chief. As America came closer and closer to its’ demise, voters elected Donald J.Trump to reverse course and get America back on track as a Constitutional republic from nearly being a Third World Sh**hole.

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