CNN Host to Hickenlooper: 'As a White Guy' Is 2020 Really the Right Time to Run for President?

Governor: People think Colorado is a 'fly-over state,' but we've changed dramatically

December 10, 2018

CNN host Alisyn Camerota asked Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D.) if 2020 is the right time for him as a "white guy" to run for president.

Camerota began the discussion by asking Hickenlooper if it was time for Democrats to nominate a young, nonwhite candidate or someone from the "establishment."

"You know the debate that the Democratic Party is having right now. Is it time to have somebody of color and a woman and somebody younger or somebody more establishment?" Camerota asked.

"I think the Democrats across the country are going to help decide that," Hickenlooper answered. "I'm not sure it's clear what is exactly needed. But I do know there are a lot of strong options, and that list shows the strength of the Democratic Party. They're people from all walks of life."

"As a white guy, are you trying to calculate whether or not this is the right time for you?" Camerota followed up.

"This is the time it's worked out. I've finished my term as governor. I finish in one month and I have an opportunity to take what we've done in Colorado—we went from 40th in job creation to the number one in economy in the country, we've got one of the top rural economies in the country," Hickenlooper said. "I'm an entrepreneur. I'm a problem solver. I've been good at bringing people together that historically have been antagonistic. Maybe the country, someone that can bring the divided parts of the country and divided constituencies back together."

There is a debate among Democrats whether a white male is needed to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. A record number of Democrats are expected to run for president with many being minorities or women. During the 2018 campaign, Democrats who were not white males tended to do better in the primaries.

While Democrats have done well in urban areas, they have lost support among rural areas. Hickenlooper says he is able to see things "through a different filter" because people consider Colorado a fly-over state but that it has "changed dramatically."

"I look at things through a different filter than most of the other candidates out there. People say Colorado is a fly-over state, Denver was a cow town. Well, we've changed dramatically in the last couple of decades. And I think a lot of those changes and how we did it, how we worked together—it's a message that people should hear," Hickenlooper said.

Camerota asked what the chances are that he would run for president. Hickenlooper said it is around 63 to 64 percent.