NBC's Chuck Todd interviews former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

NBC's Chuck Todd interviews former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on "Meet the Press" Sunday, March 31, 2019.

The former Colorado governor who typically eschews negative campaigning and opinions of people laid some judgments of his own on other politicians over the weekend.

On Saturday, the subject was health insurance, a topic President Donald Trump seems to be inviting into his 2020 re-election campaign, a race John Hickenlooper happens to be running in.

In a statement Saturday, Hickenlooper, a Democrat, called out Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican. He criticized her decision to privatize the state's Medicaid program.

United Healthcare, one of three companies in the Iowa expanded Medicaid market, is leaving over funding and the design of the Iowa program. 

"Nearly 500,000 Iowans are losing their health insurance provider because Governor Reynolds is treating healthcare as a privilege and not a right," Hickenlooper said in a statement.

"In Colorado, we got to near universal health insurance coverage by expanding Medicaid and building a robust, innovative exchange," he said. "We should be building on the Affordable Care Act's successes, not ripping healthcare away from working families.”

Then on Sunday, Hickenlooper took on fellow Democrat Joe Biden, the (so far undeclared) front runner in the polls for the party's 2020 presidential nomination.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," the Coloradan was asked about an allegation posted Friday by Nevada politician Lucy Flores, accusing Biden of having planted "a big slow kiss on the back of my head" while backstage before a rally in her unsuccessful 2014 run for Nevada lieutenant governor.

"I think the more important issue to recognize is that were at an inflection point, really a moment of transformation of the entire country, where women, in many cases for the first time, are having the courage to come forward and speak about things that happened to them that make them intensely uncomfortable. In many cases they feel they've been damaged unfairly. I think our first responsibility is to make sure we allow these... we recognize their bravery, and that we listen to them and that we believe them."

When host Chuck Todd asked if the matter "is disqualifying" for Biden, Hickenlooper replied:

"... I don't know all the details, but I think that's why we have an election. That's that process. But certainly, it’s very disconcerting and I think that, again, women have to be heard and we should start by believing them."

Biden on Sunday denied doing anything inappropriate in the 2014 encounter.

"In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort," USA Today quoted Biden as saying. "And not once – never – did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."

In the "Meet the Press" interview, Hickenlooper also said it's time to "re-evaluate our entire immigration system" and touched on other points.

WATCH the interview below.


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