Governor Hickenlooper is backpedaling hard after a series of off-message comments related to healthcare policy. In today's Denver Post, the Governor published an Op-Ed trying to lay out his position on healthcare policy, but glossed over the two healthcare mandates that have burned him recently.
In fact, the word “mandate” never appears in his editorial, nor does any mention of the mandates themselves.
Last week, the Governor got himself in trouble when he made remarks to Colorado Public Radio opposing an individual mandate — the key part of Obamacare being reviewed by the US Supreme Court right now. Hickenlooper tried to deny that he said it, but most reporters weren’t buying it, driving coverage that we’re sure the Obama campaign didn’t appreciate.
Then earlier this week, at an Aspen Institute speech, Hickenlooper embraced New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to legally ban sodas over 16oz. After Hick's remarks were picked up by the AP's Kristen Wyatt, the Governor went into full-on defensive mode, going so far as to tweet out a denial:
Rest easy: No plans to ban soda. We simply need to look at every idea in our pursuit to help make CO the healthiest state in the nation.
— John Hickenlooper (@hickforco) June 7, 2012
It’s striking that the Governor is even playing defense. So far he’s been happy to sit on the sidelines while the press writes the latest chapter in the “Hickenlooper is Amazing” storyline. Maybe if he just keeps his mouth shut, it’ll make it easier to do that.