Election 2020 Democrats Race

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{caption}The Associated Press

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is running in the 2020 presidential race.{/caption}

{standaloneHead}Election 2020 Democrats Race{/standaloneHead}

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If former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper becomes president, he will protect the nation by rebuilding international partnerships fractured by President Trump.

Hickenlooper rolled out his national security policy in what his campaign billed as a major speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as a part of the the independent think tank’s America in 2020 series. His 25-minute speech was followed by a Q&A with Brian Hanson, the council’s vice president of studies.

The leader with a nice-guy personality said he would lead as “an activist, not a pacifist.”

He went on to contrast himself with the current president, who has “shriveled” the nation’s security with his sketchy alliances and bombastic approach that has created a “crisis of division” at home and abroad.

“I will rely heavily on our most experienced intelligence, military and diplomatic advisers,” Hickenlooper said. “I will expand trade, not restrict it. I will support and speak out for democracy abroad rather than pretend we have no stake in its global success.”

Then he pivoted to members of his own party.

“Some Democrats are recoiling from past American foreign policy mistakes by looking to withdraw from our global leadership role. I refuse to join their retreat. I will modernize our military, not slash it.”

Foreign policy is perceived as a soft spot in the former Colorado governor’s resume. Hickenlooper didn’t enter politics, after all, until he was in his 50s, when he was elected mayor of Denver in 2003.

The second plank of his plan is to strengthen cybersecurity, including naming national director to take on the task.

“Trump obsesses about border walls; our cyber firewalls are far more important,” Hickenlooper said.

Hickenlooper said he would favor open and fair trade to build the nation’s economic security, and he would build up military and intelligence capabilities while fostering human rights.

— Colorado Politics staff writer Ernest Luning contributed to this story.

Contact Joey Bunch at joey.bunch@coloradopolitics.com or follow him on Twitter @joeybunch.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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