CNN’s Bash Presses Hickenlooper on National Emergency Against Guns

Wednesday was CNN’s Democratic Town Hall with former Colorado Governor and 2020 hopeful John Hickenlooper in Atlanta, Georgia. And while there were some funny moments, there were plenty of far-left questions sprinkled throughout. One of which came from moderator and chief political correspondent Dana Bash, who asked Hickenlooper if he would sign a national emergency to deal with gun violence.

Part way through the event and following a question from a mother fearing for her kids, Bash turned to the candidate and asked:

Governor, you in response to the President's national emergency on the border wall tweeted the U.S. needs to focus on real emergencies like our epidemic levels of gun violence. Would you declare a national emergency on gun violence if you were president?

A short time later, health care IT consultant and independent-turned Democrat John McCandlish said he liked how Hickenlooper could work with Republicans. But he wanted to know how tough Hickenlooper could get. “Republicans don't seem to want to give an inch whether it's gun legislation, climate change, voter registration, health care. So how tough are you prepared to be if they don't cooperate?

As a follow-up to that, Bash pressed Hickenlooper on why he wouldn’t confront President Trump, the bully. “On the issue of toughness, you were asked how tough you would be if you debated Donald Trump, and you said you don't believe it is smart to confront bullies head-on. Why not,” she wondered.

The questions only became more radical with one woman decrying the proliferation pro-life heartbeat bills, suggesting they’re “extreme”:

 

 

The heartbeat bill, as I'm sure you know, will outlaw women from getting abortion at about six weeks, which is when most women know that they're pregnant. It's currently the most restrictive abortion bill. The heartbeat bill is gaining momentum in several states including right here in Georgia. As president, how can you stop extreme bills like this on a national level and protect Roe V. Wade?

If that wasn’t wacky enough, freelance writer Elaine DeSimone demanded to know how Hickenlooper could justify voters supporting him, a white man:

Hi, Governor. Thanks for being here. We are at a critical time in history that asks those of us who are white or male to hold the door open for women, people of color, people in the LGBTQ community, and other minorities. We have good, qualified Democrats running who fit these descriptions. Why would someone vote for you over a woman or minority candidate?

Hickenlooper made a pretty bad blunder when answering Bash’s follow-up when she wanted him to commit to picking a female running mate. “[H]ow come we're not asking more often the women, would you be willing to put a man on the ticket,” he asked to the crowd’s apparent dismay.

The most bizarre moment of the town hall came near the end when....actually, on second thought, let’s just let Bash’s question speak for itself: “[W]e've been looking at your memoir, and you have a lot of interesting stories in that book. One of them is about the time you went to see an X-rated movie [awkward pause] with your mother.” The movie was Deep Throat.

The transcript is below, click expand to read:

CNN Town Hall with Gov. John Hickenlooper
March 20, 2019
10:16:01 p.m. Eastern

(…)

RAMIN ZAREIAN: All right. So in 2016 when Colorado was considering a ballot measure to make the state the first in the country to have universal government-run health care, you came out against single payer health care, saying that, quote, “it would be premature to dramatically remake our health care system at this time.” How do you expect voters to choose you over some of your contenders, like Bernie Sanders, who have had a consistent record of support for single-payer health care over their careers?

(…)

DANA BASH: Governor, you in response to the President's national emergency on the border wall tweeted the U.S. Needs to focus on real emergencies like our epidemic levels of gun violence. Would you declare a national emergency on gun violence if you were president?

(…)

JOHN MCCANDLISH: Good evening, Governor. You seem like a very reasonable, pragmatic person who can work across the aisle with Republicans, which I really like. However, at the federal level, unlike the state level, Republicans don't seem to want to give an inch whether it's gun legislation, climate change, voter registration, health care. So how tough are you prepared to be if they don't cooperate?

(…)

BASH: On the issue of toughness, you were asked how tough you would be if you debated Donald Trump, and you said you don't believe it is smart to confront bullies head-on. Why not?

JOHN HICKENLOOPER: Well, I mean this, you grow up as a skinny kid with thick coke-bottle glasses and the funny last name. Now, don't tell President Obama that I was saying I was the only skinny person with a funny last name. But the bottom line is--

BASH: I don't think he had the coke-bottle glasses, but maybe I’m wrong.

(…)

CURISTAN NEAL: The heartbeat bill, as I'm sure you know, will outlaw women from getting abortion at about six weeks, which is when most women know that they're pregnant. It's currently the most restrictive abortion bill. The heartbeat bill is gaining momentum in several states including right here in Georgia. As president, how can you stop extreme bills like this on a national level and protect Roe V. Wade?

(…)

ELAINE DESIMONE: Hi, Governor. Thanks for being here. We are at a critical time in history that asks those of us who are white or male to hold the door open for women, people of color, people in the LGBTQ community, and other minorities. We have good, qualified Democrats running who fit these descriptions. Why would someone vote for you over a woman or minority candidate?

(…)

BASH: Governor, some of your male competitors have vowed to put a woman on the ticket. Yes or no, would you do the same?

HICKENLOOPER: Again, of course. But I think that we should be -- well, I'll ask you another question. How come --

BASH: I'm asking the questions.

HICKENLOOPER: I know. I know. But how come we're not asking more often the women, would you be willing to put a man on the ticket?

(…)

BASH: We're back with governor John Hickenlooper for our CNN democratic presidential town we have one more audience question. But before we get to that we've been looking at your memoir, and you have a lot of interesting stories in that book. One of them is about the time you went to see an X-rated movie … with your mother. You have the floor, sir.

HICKENLOOPER: Thank you so much for that question.

BASH: Any time.

(…)

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