Gov. John Hickenlooper defended a state review of Planned Parenthood's practices on Monday, but added that an additional investigation -- as some Republican lawmakers have called for -- would be unnecessary.
Last week Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, pressed the state's chief medical officer over allegations that the organization illegally sold fetal tissue. The governor, a Democrat, told Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner that it’s within lawmakers’ power to push the state to re-investigate the fetal tissue issue.
But he added, "That being said, I think they’re wasting taxpayer money. I think that that effort’s been done."
Hickenlooper also talked about the attack on Planned Parenthood two weeks ago and potential new gun control measures; what he can do to prevent acts of ISIS-inspired terrorism; his efforts to stop the state attorney general from suing the Obama administration over environmental regulations; his search for a new lieutenant governor; and why he thinks he won't be chosen as a vice presidential candidate.
Click the audio player above to hear the whole conversation and read highlights below.
On President Obama's calls for more gun control:
"I think the president is trying to look at a national solution that he thinks might have an effect. There are millions of assault weapons in the United States and to outlaw something like that would be very, very difficult. I think that there would be a widespread reaction against it, and that kind of a ban would probably have some kind of grandfather clause in, or else you'd have, you know, officers or the military going in to try to take away people's weapons. I can't see that happening... I do think what the president was talking about people on 'no-fly lists,' how do we make sure that they don't have access to a weapon or the rights to own a weapon, I think that's closer to what we can get done and makes a lot of sense."
On whether he'll push for the state to abolish the death penalty:
"I don't think we're going to fight for it in the next [legislative] session [that starts in January]... If we're going to go so far as to try to outlaw capital punishment, it would take a broad effort in the state. I don't think that -- at least I haven't heard of it happening this session. I don't think it will."
On whether he'll continue to try to block Attorney General Cynthia Coffman from suing the U.S. government over environmental regulations:
“Our inclination would be to file a petition with the district court. We have to sit down with our attorneys and make that decision... [But] my general stance is that we need probably a few less suits and little more negotiation... We’ve reached out to the state attorney general and asked, 'Can we sit down and talk this through one more time and continue to try to negotiate?' And we’ll see."
On whether he wants to be vice president of the United States:
"I think that the job of governor of Colorado might be one of the two or three best jobs for elected office in the United States, and I'm not a very attractive candidate... Someone who has supported fracking or defended people's property rights in terms of leasing and oil and gas extraction. There are enough things I've done where we really were too moderate and probably removes me from consideration."