Gov. John Hickenlooper makes the business case for Hillary Clinton

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Gov. John Hickenlooper addresses the Democratic National Convention July 28, 2016.

Gov. John Hickenlooper addresses the Democratic National Convention July 28, 2016. (Screenshot)

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper used his coveted primetime speaking position on the last night of the Democratic National Convention to tell voters Hillary Clinton “gets it” when it comes to small business and job creation.

“Sure, it was my buddy and I who took the risk. But as Hillary Clinton says, ‘It takes a village’ — businesses, government, the community — working together to create opportunity,” he said. “She understands that even in Colorado, land of ‘rugged individualism,’ our economy is stronger together.

“As a small businessman, then mayor of Denver, and now governor, I’ve seen how partnerships drive economies,” he said. “Today, Denver is the fastest-growing big city in America, and Colorado has the second strongest economy in the country. Compare that to Donald Trump’s trickle-down economics — where he doesn’t pay his bills and small businesses go out of business.”

In a departure from his prepared remarks, Hickenlooper went harder on Trump and drew a parallel between his own experience getting laid off and that of people losing manufacturing jobs today.

“Whether it’s being laid off, being downsized or being fired, it’s not funny and it’s not a reality show punchline when it happens to you,” he said.

And:

“An entire generation of geologists lost their careers in that recession. It is hard when you feel that you aren’t wanted anymore.”

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, wasn’t the most dynamic speaker on Wednesday night’s program, but he seemed to endear himself to Twitter as a kind of Sitcom Dad-in-Chief who just wants what is best for you.

In contrast, Hickenlooper, who was also on the vice presidential short list, came off as a bit shrill. He chided millennials to “put down your Pokémon Go for just a second.”

Nonetheless, he made the case that Democrats in general and Clinton in particular will do more to create jobs and spur economic investment than Trump, and he cited the policies that he believes will help: tax credits that incentivize innovation, support for apprenticeships and job training, expanded access to loans.

Though he said he’s not particularly interested, there’s been a lot of speculation that Hickenlooper will join Clinton’s cabinet. Secretary of Interior is the traditional position for Western politicians, but with his close ties to the oil and gas industry, Hickenlooper would be a contentious choice among environmentalists. With his focus on business here, some are suggesting his next step might be Secretary of Commerce.

You can listen to his full remarks here.