The attacks on private equity by the Obama campaign have left business-friendly Governor Hickenlooper in quite a bind. He can't pull a Cory Booker and trash the anti-business attacks and risk the Obama campaign's wrath, and he can't join them with his full-throated support either and risk alienating the business community in Colorado.
When asked about the Bain Capital attacks by The Washington Post, Hick did what he usually does when confronted with tough issues, he hedged.
From a WaPo article this weekend:
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat and a successful restaurateur, said he made a point of telling Obama stories during his recent visit about the local entrepreneurial spirit. Hickenlooper said he was pleased that Obama also wove some of those entrepreneurial stories into his public remarks that day. He is among those who support the president’s message about Bain but concede that they do not know whether it will work.
“Does it really outsource a lot of jobs?” Hickenlooper said. “Does it downsize companies? That’s a message that, if it takes hold, is something that voters are going to respond to.”
But, Hickenlooper added, “it’s too early to tell which arguments are persuading people.”
See what he did there? He made sure all of his business community supporters knew he did his level best to tell Obama about the importance of entrepreneurs and investors, while at the same time signalling to Democrats that he is on their side.
Hickenlooper also wasn't quoted giving his personal opinion that Bain Capital is bad, like Congressmen Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis hypocritically did at Obama's Denver fundraiser. He just dons his political analyst hat and says the attacks might work.
This has become a pattern when it comes to Hickenlooper and the campaigns of fellow Democrats.
While Hickenlooper continues to refuse to endorse Obama officially, he'll gladly raise money at private events. While Hickenlooper refused to officially endorse a slate of Denver School Board candidates, he had plenty of nice things to say about only one of the slates running. He even did this on the Prop 103 $3 billion tax hike, when he refused to take a position on the ballot measure, but dog-whistled liberals by saying he was "sympathetic" to those who want to raise taxes.
Which is it, Governor Hickenlooper? Are Bain Capital and private equity firms "vampire capitalists" or aren't they?