Colorado’s governor, Democrat John Hickenlooper, took questions from Denverite as Hillary Clinton’s chances of becoming president started looking seriously grim.
What he saw happening:
“It looks like those midwestern states, what some people call the Rust Belt, Wisconsin, Michigan, there is a lot of anti-trade rhetoric there. That’s broken in favor of Donald Trump. We’ll see, but Secretary Clinton still has a pretty steep hill to climb.”
What are you thinking as you’re watching these numbers?
“I’ve spent a lot of time with Hillary. I trust her. I think a lot of what’s been said has been distorted, if not completely fabricated. So obviously, I’m disappointed. I will, no matter who is elected, I’m going to work as hard as I can for not only Colorado to succeed, but for our country to succeed. I think that challenge — whether it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton — is it’s going to take some real work to get this country back together again.
What does this say about where Colorado is moving compared to the rest of the country?
“We are a new, diversified economy. We’ve got manufacturing, aerospace, we’ve got technology, we’ve got tourism. We’ve got oil and gas. We are a truly diversified economy. I don’t think people here are as bitter or have struggled as much as other parts of the country. It doesn’t mean we’re not purple.”
Did it surprise you to see the level of rhetoric and of hatred in this campaign?
“I think it reflects a lot of unhappiness in the country. I think people ignore that. A couple weeks ago, we saw again and again, all over the country, and even in Colorado, people feel that their government isn’t working for them. People feel left behind. We’re trying to say, ‘How do we go and meet with some of these folks?’ And listen, I want to hear what their ideas are.”
He plans to go into Alamosa next week for a town-hall style meeting, he said.
Generally speaking, do you think facts matter less than they did four years ago?
“Oh, I don’t know. These are cycles. In any great campaign conflict like we’re seeing, we’re going to have as many fools as wise people, as many weak as strong. We’re seeing the same thing again. Facts matter here. I just think some of them got distorted.”