Hickenlooper apologizes for resurfaced comment comparing himself to slave

Hickenlooper apologizes for resurfaced comment comparing himself to slave
© Greg Nash

Former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperRepublicans uncomfortably playing defense Obama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements Gardner says GOP committee should stop airing attack ad on opponent Hickenlooper MORE (D) has apologized after video surfaced of him comparing himself and elected officials to slaves on ships, comments he appeared to make six years ago while he was governor.

"Taking a look at this video from six years ago, I recognize that my comments were painful. I did not intend them to be. I offer my deepest apologies," Hickenlooper, who is running for Senate, said in a statement released by his campaign on Monday.

The congressional hopeful's apology came after Tay Anderson, a member of the Denver School Board, on Monday tweeted a video of Hickenlooper making the comparison. 


"If I was to describe a scheduler, a political scheduler, imagine an ancient slave ship with the guy with the whip, and you're rowing," Hickenlooper said to laughter in the video. "We elected officials are the ones that are rowing, and they have nothing but hard, often thankless things to do." 

Anderson, who has endorsed former Colorado state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in the Democratic Senate primary, said in the tweet that Hickenlooper had "some explaining to do." 

"Referencing my ancestors pain of being brought over here in chains to a political scheduler is utterly disgusting," Anderson said. 

Hickenlooper's campaign said the comments were made in 2014 but did not say where they were made. 

Hickenlooper is the front-runner in Colorado's Democratic Senate primary. The winner of that race, which is scheduled for June 30, will take on incumbent Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerFrom a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters The US military has options against China McConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill MORE (R). 

The development comes as protests and discussions about racial injustice take place across the country amid the police killings of unarmed black Americans, including George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. 

The issue has quickly become a part of campaign platforms in races up and down the 2020 ballot.