Hickenlooper, A Superdelegate, ‘Can’t Imagine Changing’ Allegiance To Sanders

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Photo: Hickenlooper On CM Jul 20 2015
Gov. John Hickenlooper, photographed at his office on Monday, July 20, 2015, during a taping of Colorado Matters.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday he's not interested in changing his superdelegate vote from Hillary Clinton to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary.

Sanders won the state's caucus by almost 20 percent of the vote, but may tie with Clinton when it comes to the state's delegates, thanks to party officials like Hickenlooper. Still, for his part, the governor says he is not interested in changing his allegiance to reflect the popular vote.

The governor says he has spent significant time with Clinton. And while he has not met Sanders, he's convinced Clinton is right for the job.

"The voters elected me to use my judgment to make decisions," Hickenlooper told Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. "I can't imagine changing where I stand."

The governor also addressed the state budget. Revenues have not grown as much as anticipated this year, but Hickenlooper said the picture is not as bleak as a legislative council painted it last week. Economists said the state could be headed for a recession, given declines in the oil and gas industry and problems in the global economy. Hickenlooper is doubtful a recession is on the horizon in light of gains in oil prices and investments by China and India. The governor said the state is prepared and will likely not have to dip into reserve funds this year.

The conversation also covered new business opportunities in Cuba, the possibility of moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the state, the state's renewable energy goals, and his new pick for lieutenant governor.

Hickenlooper on whether he would support moving detainees from Guantanamo Bay to a high security prison in Florence, Colorado:

"I think it's a moot point at this point, I don't think it's going to come... I haven't had a chance to go down and talk to the people in that part of the community. Certainly if the community feels strongly that they don't want those individuals anywhere near their community, then I would support 100%... From what I've been able to gather, [the Guantanamo detainees] don't seem to be more of a threat than the people we already have [in the Supermax prison]. But I think that you have to recognize that public sentiment matters."

On his efforts to get a fee hospitals pay to the state, called the Hospital Provider Fee, to no longer qualify under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights limit:

"I think especially now, when we're in a situation where the economy has slowed down to the point where we're not going to have [TABOR] rebates [to taxpayers], that's a good time to fix it because you're not taking things away from people... Can I guarantee it's going to get done? No. And we're trying to find a way that we can find a compromise so that the Republican side of the argument doesn't feel that they're taking all the burden."

On whether he would consider an appointment by Hillary Clinton if she is elected president:

"I think it's very hard for me to imagine any cabinet position... again you never say never, but looking at how those jobs work, and how much good you could do... I think I can get more done here [in Colorado as governor]... I think it's very, very unlikely that I would go into the cabinet."