Hickenlooper: Capitalist vs. socialist labels 'do nothing but divide us'

Hickenlooper: Capitalist vs. socialist labels 'do nothing but divide us'
© Greg Nash

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), who announced last week his bid for the White House in 2020, on Sunday dismissed as "silly" the effort to sort presidential contenders as capitalists or socialists.

"We define people by these labels that often have all kinds of associations and baggage with them in that sense. Do I believe in small business? Of course I believe in small business," Hickenlooper said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"I think it’s kind of a silly question," he added. "We should look at some of the reasons why we have less and less start-ups. We should look at the reasons why more and more people aren't wanting to start a business."


Hickenlooper attracted attention in some circles after he declined to call himself a "proud capitalist" during an interview on MSNBC on Friday.

On Sunday, he called it "ridiculous" for Republicans to attempt to label him and other Democrats anti-business socialists.

"Once you get back into these labels -- am I capitalist, am I socialist, how much of a capitalist am I versus how much of a socialist -- it becomes kind of silly doesn’t it?

"I’m happy to say I’m a capitalist, but I think at a certain point the labels do nothing but divide us," he continued. "And what I’m trying to build this campaign around is as a country we’ve got to stop finding every excuse to divide ourselves."

Hickenlooper formally launched his campaign last Thursday in Denver. He has embraced ideas like implementing universal health care, promoting a green economy and increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Republicans have attempted to portray progressive Democrats as in favor of socialist policies as the party's left wing pushes policies like the Green New Deal, "Medicare for all" and increased tax rates on wealthier Americans.

Candidates like Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenNew poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCandidates on Biden's VP list were asked what they thought Trump would nickname them as part of process: report Bass on filling Harris's Senate spot: 'I'll keep all my options open' Election security advocates see strong ally in Harris MORE (D-Calif.) have in recent days distanced themselves from the label of Democratic Socialism.