Nothing says “sophisticate” quite like running down the rubes who live in the sticks, does it? After all, Barack Obama got elected after calling rural voters people “bitter” and who only “cling to guns or religion” through ignorance and fear. Via Mary Katharine Ham, John Hickenlooper offers an Obama-esque assessment of the rural and exurban voters in Colorado and assigns to them the same motivations that played into the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming. The money quote occurs at about the two-minute mark in this interview (entire transcript here):

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.

Lane: We’re neighbors.

Hickenlooper: Right. And in a sense we’re all a community. And, at the same time, Denver has, I think, one of the more robust, politically active gay and lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered communities, really in the United States.

So a significant number of voters in rural areas suffer from “backwards thinking,” and Denver is the height of enlightenment? The voters in the “rural Western” areas of Hickenlooper’s state may find that rather surprising. They also may not appreciate a candidate for governor associating them with the hatred that resulted in the murder of Shepard. Not only is that in itself a form of bigotry, but it’s nonsensical, since the murder didn’t take place in Colorado at all.

Still, it’s good to finally know what Hickenlooper thinks of Coloradans who live outside the borders of Denver now, rather than discover it after the election.

Update: Misspelled “Shepard” in headline and article; corrected.  My apologies for the error.

Update II: It should be noted that this interview took place last year.  Not that it makes this better for Hickenlooper, but it was unclear earlier when this took place.