Hickenlooper says Democrats are falling for 'Trump's execrable politics of distraction'

Hickenlooper says Democrats are falling for 'Trump's execrable politics of distraction'
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation | Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards | EPA watchdog may probe agency's response to California water issues McConnell gives two vulnerable senators a boost with vote on outdoor recreation bill MORE on Wednesday warned his fellow Democratic candidates to avoid falling for President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE's "politics of distractions" when it comes to immigration and the southern border.

"The way in which most of my competitors for the Democratic nomination have approached the issue of immigration is contrary to both common sense and the goal of achieving meaningful reform," the former Colorado governor wrote in an op-ed for the Miami Herald.

"This is another example of Trump’s execrable politics of distraction that too many of my Democratic colleagues have fallen for — and with alarming consistency."

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Hickenlooper, who is billing himself as a moderate in the 2020 primary, said the issue of immigration, in particular, is something other Democrats have mishandled.

"Most of my fellow Democratic candidates for president have followed Julián Castro’s lead in saying that Section 1325 should be repealed," he wrote, referring to the provision which makes crossing the border illegally a criminal offense. "While their intentions for taking this position are admirable, their logic leaves much to be desired."

"We need to be clear about our priorities: Americans overwhelmingly oppose President Trump’s unconscionable separation of children from their families. They also support by nearly two-thirds a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who are in the United States illegally," Hickenlooper wrote.

"But here’s the rub: Americans also oppose by 2-1 decriminalizing illegal immigration."

Hickenlooper is currently polling near 1 percent nationally and is at risk of not qualifying for the third Democratic debates in September.