Tax Session

Gov. John Bel Edwards answers questions after Louisiana lawmakers ended their third special session of the year with a budget and tax deal, Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Gov. John Bel Edwards joined other Democratic governors in Colorado last week for a discussion on divisive politics and how states can work to unite people.

“Folks are just anxious,” the Aspen Daily News quoted Edwards as saying Friday at the Aspen Institute event. “We ought not to vilify anyone. I don’t talk about Trump backers as crazy or racist.”

Edwards, who is running for re-election next year against an inevitable but still to be determined Republican challenger or challengers, was joined by Govs. Steve Bullock of Montana, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Jay Inslee of Washington and Dannel Malloy of Connecticut for the Aspen Institute's Democratic governors panel dubbed "Uniting a Divided Nation Starting with the States."

A day earlier, Edwards traveled to Bedminster, N.J., to meet with Trump and other leaders about prison reform efforts. Edwards was the only Democrat that the White House invited to take part.

During that meeting, Edwards gave Trump a written invitation to come to Louisiana to see criminal justice overhaul and tour the State Penitentiary at Angola. The White House has confirmed receipt of the invitation but no details of a possible trip have been announced.

The governor's office did not issue a public advisory ahead of Edwards' talk at the Aspen Institute, which was open to the public. 

Edwards administration sent multiple public notices ahead of his meeting with Trump, and released an advisory for a speech he gave last week to the conservative-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council, commonly called ALEC.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.