Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper hasn’t exactly gained much traction in the first two rounds of Democratic debates and he seems unlikely to make the third. In the RealClearPolitics polling average, he’s currently at — say it in Dean Wormer’s voice — 0.0. That puts him last among all Democratic presidential candidates in a field where, quite frankly, there’s a lot of detritus just waiting to drop out.
The point is that if you’re a presidential hopeful and you’re polling that low, you’re probably not in the position where you can rage-quit a radio interview when they ask you about abortion. That’s exactly what Hickenlooper did — and the exchange was enlightening inasmuch as what it demonstrates about the abortion issue and the 2020 campaign.
The incident happened this week when the former governor was on Denver radio host Dan Caplis’ show, according to the Washington Free Beacon. It ended with Hickenlooper handing his phone off to a staffer.
“Listen, I thought you wanted to talk about gun safety,” Hickenlooper told Caplis after haltingly answering what seemed to be a question about whether a baby who survives an abortion ought to be given medical attention.
“Well, I absolutely do want to talk about that, but–” Caplis said.
“Listen, I’ve only got two more minutes,” Hickenlooper said.
“Two minutes, are you kidding me?” Caplis responded. “I’m sorry sir, that’s a joke. I ask you a tough question on abortion, which you refuse to answer directly, now you tell me you have two minutes.”
Hickenlooper insisted he’d been told that the interview would only be on gun violence, while Caplis said that he’d been assured by Hickenlooper’s staff that all topics were open.
“I apologize that you guys can’t be direct about what you want to discuss,” Hickenlooper said.
“Governor, we specifically discussed it with your staff,” Caplis responded. “Your staff told us no limits, everything is fair game. If you’re giving me two minutes and you’re limiting the topics, then this isn’t a real interview.”
When Caplis again posed the question about abortion, Hickenlooper said Caplis was asking inflammatory “hypothetical questions.” He then handed the phone to a staffer to continue the discussion.
So, it’s pretty clear that Hickenlooper isn’t going to survive the crucible of the presidential run. It’s also pretty clear from this exchange why he didn’t register in the debates and why he’s probably not going to get another shot at one. (You actually have to poll well to get into them and Hickenlooper, well, doesn’t.)
He’s also limited in his fallback plan to run for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner — seen as one of the better opportunities for a Democrat pickup in 2020, according to Politico. That’s because there’s already quite a number of Democrats in the race and they’ve piled up money and endorsements.
Plus, they don’t rage-quit on local radio hosts.
Whatever Hickenlooper’s fate ends up being, the upshot of the exchange should be an insight into what the Democrats want to talk about in 2020, particularly as it pertains to life.
When it comes to gun violence, there’s always a sickening rush to politicize the purported excesses of the Second Amendment every time there’s some shooting of note.
The most dangerous place to be in the aftermath of an event like El Paso or Dayton is between a Democrat legislator and a network television camera; it’s almost like getting between a mother bear and her cub. The opportunism is sickening.
Of course, the human lives taken in mass shootings matter. We grieve for them and we look for ways to prevent these shootings in the future. Yet, even though scant evidence shows bans of so-called “assault weapons” would play any role in that prevention, it’s something — really, the only thing — Democrats are willing to discuss ad nauseam.
Then we come to the life of the unborn. Well, that life doesn’t really exist, we’re told — not even in the third trimester when the baby has reached the point of viability. The termination of the unborn isn’t just an inviolable right in the Constitution, they argue, but some sort of inviolable human right.
The left doesn’t want to expound on this position too much, though. When asked this “hypothetical question” about a baby delivered alive during an abortion, an E-list presidential candidate won’t even complete an interview. In fact, he’ll angrily question why they can’t talk about gun violence, which is a much safer talking point for him, apparently.
Hickenlooper likely won’t be around the 2020 race long. This moral incongruence will, particularly given the Democrats’ complete abandonment of the “safe, legal and rare” mantra and their embrace of anything-goes abortion enshrinement laws. This is more toxic to voters than they probably care to admit to themselves.
For proof, I give you John Hickenlooper — a man willing to abandon one of the rare interviews he’s able to score when he’s confronted with the quandary.
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