Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (D) apologized Monday for remarks he made in 2014 comparing elected officials to slaves being whipped aboard an “ancient slave ship.”

The apology from Hickenlooper, who is running for U.S. Senate, came after Tay Anderson, a Denver school board member, circulated a video of his remarks on Twitter.

“Well, once that happens, then the schedulers, who really — if I was to describe a scheduler, a political scheduler, imagine an ancient slave ship,” the video shows Hickenlooper saying at an event, drawing laughs from some in the crowd.

He continued to describe the imaginary scene, making a whipping gesture with his hand as he spoke of “the guy with the whip, and you’re rowing — we elected officials are the ones that are rowing, and they have nothing but hard, often thankless things to do.”

.@Hickenlooper you have some explaining to do. — referencing my ancestors pain of being brought over here in chains to a political scheduler is utterly disgusting. #copolitics #cosen pic.twitter.com/MKKT68LMeu

Anderson, who is the youngest African American ever elected to public office in Colorado, said in a tweet that Hickenlooper has “some explaining to do.”

“Referencing my ancestors pain of being brought over here in chains to a political scheduler is utterly disgusting,” he said. Anderson is supporting Hickenlooper’s rival, former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff, in the June 30 Democratic primary to face Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) in the fall.

In a statement, Hickenlooper apologized for the remarks.

“Taking a look at this video from six years ago, I recognize that my comments were painful,” he said in a statement distributed by his campaign, according to the Denver Post. “I did not intend them to be. I offer my deepest apologies.”

The video marks the latest stumble for Hickenlooper. The former two-term governor, who also pursued a short-lived bid for president last year, was fined $2,750 last week by the Independent Ethics Commission. The five-member panel found that Hickenlooper violated a state gift ban in 2018 when he accepted a ride in a Maserati limousine at a conference in Turin, Italy, and traveled on a private jet owned by a home builder to Connecticut for the commissioning of the USS Colorado submarine.

The U.S. Senate seat in Colorado is crucial to Democratic hopes of wresting the majority from Republicans, who hold a 53-to-47 advantage but are playing defense in more seats — 23 — including several in Democratic-leaning and swing states.

Anderson said in a follow-up tweet Monday that Hickenlooper’s apology was insufficient.

“Will @Hickenlooper commit to going through an equity and implicit bias training? — an apology isn’t good enough for me, because it should’ve been common sense not say things like that,” he said.

Jennifer Oldham in Denver contributed to this report.

The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

City advisers encourage Hong Kong universities to set up branches in Guangzhou

Education cooperation between Hong Kong and major cities in Guangdong is a major piece of Beijing’s plan to turn the Greater Bay Area into a major economic hub Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s Guangzhou campus is expected to…

Biden embraces order and routine in his first week. How will that fit this moment of crisis?

Almost every day of his young tenure, President Biden has entered the State Dining Room, a portrait of Abraham Lincoln looking down and wood burning in the fireplace. He speaks on the planned topic of the day. He sits at…

KT McFarland: Pelosi, Clinton comments on Russia show ‘willful blindness’ to China threat

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton call for a probe into the Capitol riot; former Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland reacts. Democrats’ interest in probing the Capitol riot to find a potential link to Russian intervention shows that…

Virginia Black Caucus boycotts Trump event

The Senate failed Monday in a bid to override a trio of vetoes issued by President Donald Trump, allowing the administration to move forward with plans to sell billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab…