Gov. John Hickenlooper decided Halloween in New Hampshire is as good a time as any to finally say he’s running for president — before immediately backing off the proclamation during a visit to a the charming-as-hell-sounding Robie’s Country Store on Wednesday.
Adam Sexton, political director at news station WMUR in New Hampshire, tweeted out a short video of Hickenlooper telling a woman at the store that he’s “the Governor of Colorado and I’m going to run for president.” Seconds later, Hickenlooper pulls back on the reigns: “To be honest, I haven’t made the final decision.”
A statement from the spokesperson for Hickenlooper’s PAC, Giddy Up, suggests the governor was just messing around.
“The governor makes clear in the video that he is joking and in his next sentence that he has not made a decision yet,” PAC’s director Brad Komar said in a statement. “If he had, his wife would have been the first to know. He is in New Hampshire to support 2018 candidates up and down the ballot.”
Hickenlooper further clarified his remarks to New Hampshire reporter Paul Steinhauser. Hickenlooper said he will wait until February or March to make a final decision and will be consulting with his family before making a decision.
“In terms of 2020, we’re certainly looking at it,” Hickenlooper told Steinhauser. “Most of the Democratic candidates are from the East Coast or the West Coast. Not too many are from the middle of the country and not so many that have been a mayor and have been a governor and have started a business.”
The 2020 field is pretty crowded already. It’s unclear where Hickenlooper stacks up against the likes of former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, though an unofficial ranking released earlier this month had Hickenlooper in the middle of the road (fitting for a guy who will likely end up running as a centrist).