Hickenlooper: Romney ‘Still Somewhat of a Mystery’

  • Share
  • Read Later

Shortly before he was set to speak in Charlotte on Wednesday night, I sat down with Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper. A rumored 2016 White House hopeful (though he demurs), Hickenlooper plans to emphasize bipartisan accomplishments in his state, with the message that “the bickering’s gotta come to an end” in Washington.

Hickenlooper predicted that the 2012 presidential vote in Colorado would be “very, very close,” adding that he expected President Obama to close the deal with undecideds on the basis of his personality and character. “People generally, in the end, vote on who they want to have a beer with,” he said, before arguing that Mitt Romney is flunking that test: “He is still somewhat of a mystery in terms of, Why is he doing this? What is his emotional core? What does he respond to viscerally? And what are his hobbies, his passions? Who is he as a person?” Colorado voters may like Romney, Hickenlooper said, “but they’re not as hooked to him as the President’s supporters are to the President.” That sounds plausible to me. I’ve heard Romney aides argue that even if voters wind up liking the Republican nominee less than Obama, the country’s economic malaise means that the share-a-beer test is less important than ever. Still, by my (admittedly subjective) count, the last candidate who was generally deemed less likable yet still won the presidency was Richard Nixon.

As for Obama, Hickenlooper praised his economic record, complimenting his Cabinet for working in unison to promote economic development. But he also fretted that the President “doesn’t speak the language. He’s not fluent in business. He says things that can be, I don’t know, misinterpreted” — a reference to Obama’s oft-repeated (and distorted) “You didn’t build it” remark.

Hickenlooper, meanwhile, struck me as a policy wonk, someone who genuinely enjoys talking about transportation and energy policy. You can hear him for yourself when he speaks in the 8 p.m. hour (E.T.) on Wednesday.

Update: Hickenlooper’s camp sent over the following statement, to make clear he was not criticizing the President:

President Obama is fluent in creating a strong business climate. By cutting taxes for small businesses 18 times and investing in our workforce and infrastructure, he has created the foundation for a stronger middle class and economic growth. That’s in contrast to Mitt Romney, who would take us back to the same failed policies that crashed our economy and devastated the middle class in the first place.

To my ears, Hickenlooper wasn’t saying the President lacks understanding of business, only that Obama’s language sometimes gets him in trouble.

17 comments
Marcus Giavanni
Marcus Giavanni

Mark my words!!! Hichenlooper will never be president!!! They won't buy that brown scooter in Washington or any other big city!!! Colorado fell for that one..and so did Denver, and they are $400,000,000+ in the RED!!!

brucew29
brucew29

If you can't beat them then join them!

The old proverb, "If you can't beat them, jointhem", was adopted by the Mafia years ago. The Mafia couldn't beatgovernment so the Mafia joined government! The old Mafia, now being a part ofgovernment, now call themselves "Republicans"!

Simple Math

Romney-Ryan = R-R

R-R = Rail-Roaded!

Democratic Party = For The People!

Republican Party = Scre_w The People!

Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/09/...

ahandout
ahandout

Yeah we know so much about Barry, his grades, his college writings, what

aliases he used, where he got those leftest ideas, I mean everything

right down to whether Barry preferred a reefer or had a bong. 

Oh he is Mr Transparent, hence the empty chair. 

pollardty
pollardty

Gee, tell me the one about the time you tied an onion to your belt, which was the style at the time.

anon76returns
anon76returns

Best episode ever.  And I'm proud to say I said that the day it premiered.  I watched it while walking to Shelbyville ...

Pnnto
Pnnto

Still trying to walk back poor Clint's speech? That's darling! 

brucew29
brucew29

If you can't beat them then join them!

The old proverb, "If you can't beat them, join them", was adopted by the Mafia years ago. The Mafia couldn't beat government so the Mafia joined government! The old Mafia, now being a part of government, now call themselves "Republicans"!

Simple Math

Romney-Ryan = R-R

R-R = Rail-Roaded!

Democratic Party = For The People!

Republican Party = Screw The People!

ahandout
ahandout

Yeah we know so much about Barry, his grades, his college writings, what aliases he used, where he got those leftest ideas, I mean everything right down to whether Barry preferred a reefer or had a bitchin' bong.  Oh he is Mr Transparent, hence the empty chair. 

Pnnto
Pnnto

Watching him now, made his way back from unemployment by making a craft brew. Gotta like that.

anon76returns
anon76returns

As much as I'd give thumbs up to a craft brewer, the fact that h falls back on the "who would you have a beer with" trope makes me severely disinclined for him if he runs in 2016.  People won't vote for Romney because, in the rare cases where you can tell what his policies will be, they are invariably bad.  Have a beer with the guy?  That's the kind of thinking that got us 8 years of W.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Romney is a rich pariah who simply can’t identify with ANY

average American through his fog of lies and network of havened money.  He’ll only continue to get booed out of the

room by every group of minority and middle class voters he comes across.  His religion and wealth is highly elitist and

everyone in this country has had it with his kind.  We’re telling Mitt he can’t buy this

election!  Read about the role of his money

and his Magic Mormon Underwear are playing in the polls at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

bebo
bebo

You could have been one of Hitler's boys.  If you cant get a take on Romney at this point, you are an idiot.  Nice tactic though.

StanleyCupp
StanleyCupp

 Did Mitt release those tax returns yet?

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

TaxCheatRomney = Financial Meltdown, WWIII, and NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST

Pnnto
Pnnto

"Hickenlooper. A rumored 2016 White House hopeful"

No way we elect a President with such an odd name.  Oh wait...

sacredh
sacredh

I'd rather take a shower at Penn State than vote for Romney.