Colorado Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper apologized for past comments comparing politicians to slaves beaten “on an old slave ship” and said he realized these statements were “painful” on Monday.
The video of the comments was revealed and tweeted by Tay Anderson, a black Denver school board member who was at the forefront of the protests after the death of George Floyd.
The video shows the former governor of the state, Hickenlooper, speaking at an event about political programmers.
“Imagine an old slave ship,” he says to the audience. Programmers say there are people tying the slaves to paddle the ship. “We are rowing the elected officials,” said Hickenlooper. He added that politicians are often asked to do “difficult, ungrateful things” similar to slaves.
In a statement published through his campaign, Hickenlooper said, “By browsing this video six years ago, I agree that the comments are painful. I didn’t want them to be. I present my deepest apologies. “
Anderson endorsed Hickenlooper’s rival, former Colorado House President Andrew Romanoff, as the Democratic primary for the Senate.
Hickenlooper was seen as the front runner to defeat the incumbent GOP Sen, Cory Gardner, but did not escape criticism from both left and right.
At one point, Hickenlooper, who was part of the previously crowded Democratic space for presidency, received orders from the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission earlier this month, as it did not appear in a mandatory hearing Thursday, and opposed orders to do so. A Republican complaint in the delegation considers that the Colorado governor’s private plane travels were dealt with while violating the state’s gift ban.
“The efforts of John Hickenlooper to avoid making statements about the use of private jets paid by the company and the Maserati limousine were disrespectful,” said Joanna Rodriguez, spokesman for the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC). “Hickenlooper’s disrespect for our legal system and state ethical laws makes it impossible for Colorado voters to trust him with re-elected authorities.”
Hickenlooper’s lawyer, Mark Grueskin, had entered the remote hearing 15 minutes after starting, showing problems with the internet connection. Hickenlooper was also sentenced to be seen by the commission, but argued that the remote format of the trial violated his right to face criminals.
But at the same time, when he struggled to define the “Black Life Issue” at the beginning of June, every life came under fire without a meaning.
“The Black Life Issue means every life matters,” said the former governor. Colorado Sun
“And the color of a person’s skin has nothing to do with the wealth of their lives and their location in their families, neighborhoods, communities,” he continued. “And every life is sacred, and every life deserves the protection of our public security system and justice system.”
He then apologized, saying, “I put on my words.”