White House does not need a 'strongman,' Hickenlooper says in 2020 policy speech




  • In US
  • 2019-05-20 18:05:39Z
  • By By Amanda Becker
FILE PHOTO: U.
FILE PHOTO: U.  

By Amanda Becker

(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."

Hickenlooper also criticized Trump for threatening to pull out of the NATO alliance, abandoning the Paris climate accord 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.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Erin Perrine disputed Hickenlooper's assessment of the president, saying that his "record on foreign policy is unquestionably a strength."

"The Trump sanctions on Russia are the toughest. He also imposed strong sanctions on North Korea and Iran, brought the North Koreans to the negotiating table, decimated the ISIS caliphate, stood up to China for decades of unfair trade practices, strengthened America's trade deals around the world, improved NAFTA, and steered NATO on the right path," Perrine said in an email.

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, such as former U.S. 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 2015 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.


(GRAPHIC: Who is running in 2020 - tmsnrt.rs/2Ff62ZC)


(Reporting By Amanda Becker; Editing by Bill Berkrot and James Dalgleish)

COMMENTS

More Related News

US restores some aid but vows no more without migrant action
US restores some aid but vows no more without migrant action

The Trump administration said Monday it is easing previously announced cuts in hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Central American nations of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala but will not allow new funding until those countries do more to reduce migrant flows to the United States. The State Department said that after a review of more than $600 million in assistance that President Donald Trump ordered in March to be cut entirely, it would go ahead with about $400 million in projects and grants that had been previously approved.

Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacks
Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reaching out to wary foreign leaders to frame alleged Iranian attacks in a Middle East oil shipping route as a problem for the world at large, especially for Asian countries vitally dependent on that oil. Pompeo, in a series of Sunday television interviews, emphasized the U.S. international outreach in the wake of what the U.S. says were Iranian attacks Thursday on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz . The world needs to unite," Pompeo said.

Trump to Stephanopoulos:
Trump to Stephanopoulos: 'I Like the Truth,' I Didn't Sit for Mueller Interview Because He'd 'Get Us for Lies'

President Trump appeared to be obsessed with the Mueller report during his wide-ranging interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, insisting that he read the special counsel's report while repeatedly claiming it says there was "no collusion" despite Robert Mueller stating specifically that no determination was reached on the concept of collusion.While speaking to Stephanopoulos in the back of the president's limousine, the president was asked what his pitch to swing voters "on the fence" would be, prompting Trump to quickly pivot to the Russia investigation, which he called a "phony witch hunt.""Mueller comes out-there's no collusion," the president declared. "And essentially a...

Times
Times' Russia report is 'virtual treason,' Trump says

US President Donald Trump on Saturday accused The New York Times of "a virtual act of treason," after it reported the US is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid. Current and former government officials have described the classified deployment of American computer

'Who is the a--hole': The congressman who missed his anniversary to keep lawmakers voting until 4 a.m.
'Who is the a--hole': The congressman who missed his anniversary to keep lawmakers voting until 4 a.m.

Rep. Chip Roy kept the House voting until 4 a.m. on Thursday as a form of protest - even though he missed his 15-year wedding anniversary.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.