It’s bad enough for an executive to have to perform a walk-back. How about when an executive has to walk back the walkback? Jazz took note of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s strange apology to law enforcement last week when his gun-control efforts backfired. Well, his apology has also backfired, thanks to Hickenlooper’s selective memory and the clear data record.
In this clip from Revealing Politics, Hickenlooper chides one questioner for asking why the governor talked about the gun-control agenda with Michael Bloomberg rather than the sheriffs. “Let’s stick to the facts,” Hickenlooper rebuked Weld County Sheriff John Cooke. “I never talked with Mayor Bloomberg.” Really?
No, not really, reported Fox’s Denver affiliate KDVR:
Complete Colorado, which first reported the governor’s statement, had already obtained phone records from Hickenlooper’s cell phone showing that he did speak with Bloomberg last year.
Additionally, the conservative website Revealing Politics posted edited video of the exchange.
On Monday afternoon, Hickenlooper’s office acknowledged that the governor spoke carelessly.
“The governor often jokes about his ability to put his foot in his mouth, because he does,” said Eric Brown, the governor’s spokesman. “It is well established that Gov. Hickenlooper spoke with Mayor Bloomberg, as well as NRA President Keene and many other stakeholders in the gun safety debate. In fact, the governor released phone records on this matter.
“When the governor told an audience of sheriffs that he had not talked to Bloomberg, the governor was attempting to convey he never had a conversation with Bloomberg that influenced the decision he made. In no way did the governor intend to mislead the sheriffs or anyone else.”
Really? The point of the question was to ask why Hickenlooper talked with Bloomberg rather than law-enforcement leaders in his own state. Clearly, the intent of the answer was to avoid answering that question by misleading Cooke and the other sheriffs into thinking that no such conversations took place. I don’t know how the dictionaries at the Colorado capital define “mislead,” but Merriam-Webster defines “mislead” as “to lead astray : give a wrong impression.”
This still leaves the question open to Hickenlooper. Why would he seek advice on a Colorado law-enforcement issue from a former mayor of New York City rather than the law-enforcement leaders in his own state, especially since the latter would have to enforce whatever law Hickenlooper got passed? The walkback from this walkback of the previous walkback should be fascinating.
Maybe Hickenlooper’s office can contract with the people who did the credits to this film. Either that, or they can start talking about llamas!