Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hickenlooper Trashes Rural Coloradans

Democrat nominee laments “backwards thinking” in “rural western areas” during interview

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO–Independent candidate for Governor Tom Tancredo today blasted Democrat John Hickenlooper for comments he made criticizing rural Coloradans as “backwards” during a 2009 interview.

During the video, posted today on the website of the political publication National Review, the Denver Mayor makes the following statement in response to a question from interviewer Eden Lane regarding Matthew Shepard.

Hickenlooper: I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico. (emphasis added)

“To suggest that people in rural Colorado are ‘backwards’ because they don’t share your left-wing values reinforces once again just how out of touch you are,” said Tancredo. “Mr. Mayor, you owe the people of rural Colorado an apology.”

"To compare all of rural Colorado to the monsters who killed Matthew Shepard is outrageous," added Tancredo. "The Mayor says he doesn't like attacks and name calling, which begs the question: why did he smear all of rural Colorado?"

Hickenlooper’s condescending comments are reminiscent of similarly degrading comments made by President Obama about rural communities in 2008. During a speech in San Francisco, then-candidate Obama told an audience, “You go into these small towns [and]…the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Tancredo’s conservative grass-roots campaign has surged in recent weeks, transforming what had looked like a sure landslide victory for Hickenlooper just a few short weeks ago into one of the most closely watched gubernatorial contests in the country.

Recent polls show the two candidates – Tancredo and Hickenlooper – in a virtual dead heat as the campaign enters the home stretch.

Video footage of Hickenlooper's interview can be viewed here.