At DNC, Hancock criticizes Obama campaign’s tax return attacks


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – On the first day of the Democratic National  Convention here Tuesday,  every speaker who took the podium, every  surrogate doing television interviews, seemed to be on message,  celebrating President Obama’s accomplishments and drawing stark  contrasts with Republican Mitt Romney.

But Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, in an interview with FOX31 Denver,  went off the script, openly criticizing the Obama campaign for its  sustained effort to pressure Romney to release his tax returns.

“It’s unfortunate that this campaign has gone all over the place  where we’re talking about someone turning in their tax returns, things  that really don’t matter to me,” Hancock told FOX31 Denver. “Someone  else’s tax returns are not going to put food on the table of my neighbor  who may have been unemployed for a year.”

The answer came in response to a question that had nothing to do with  tax returns: “how do you think the president is going to win Colorado?”

“If you talk about the issues that matter to me the most: my safety,  my children, my education, my jobs, my health care, now you’ve got my  attention, and I’m going to tune in. So we want to turn that  conversation back to the things that matter most, and the president’s  been doing it. We want him to get more on that platform, and I think  you’ll see more of that in this convention.”

It was a Cory Booker turn for Hancock, who also named Booker first  when FOX31 asked him which other U.S. mayors he identifies with the most  (Hancock had just attended a U.S. Conference of Mayors luncheon prior  to the interview).

Booker spoke at the DNC on Tuesday night and electrified the Democratic crowd.

The Newark, N.J. mayor likely would have gotten a better speaking  slot had he not criticized the Obama campaign earlier this summer for  attacking Romney’s record as CEO of Bain Capital — a criticism echoed by  former President Bill Clinton, who, incidentally, speaks in primetime  Wednesday night.

Hancock is not a delegate, nor was he given a speaking slot at the  DNC. He traveled to Charlotte to attend meetings and to promote Denver,  which will play host to the first presidential debate on October 3.

Asked to clarify whether he was truly disappointed in the Obama campaign’s focus on Romney’s tax returns, Hancock said this:

“I think it’s my role as a Democrat, as a mayor who supports the  president, to say to the president and his people, ‘Listen, it’s not  about Romney; it’s about the American people’.

“And that’s just part of being an adviser and a friend and someone who supports you.”