"It was intense, long, arduous. They collect everything you have ever written, everything written about you, every speech you have ever given, they get all your financial information for the last 10 years, they want to know who your partners were, did anybody ever lose money on one of your business deals."
---Governor Hickenlooper on being vetted by Hillary Clinton for Vice President
John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado & Author of "My Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics", stopped by Kilmeade & Friends in Philadelphia to recap the Democrat convention so far, preview his keynote speech and give a behind-the-scenes look into what it was like to be vetted as a potential vice presidential pick for Hillary Clinton.
Plus, Hickenlooper explains why he feels running a business and running a government are completely different.
Governor Hickenlooper on being vetted by Hillary Clinton for Vice President
(HICKENLOOPER) It was intense, long, arduous. They collect everything you have ever written, everything written about you, every speech you have ever given, they get all your financial information for the last 10 years, they want to know who your partners were, did anybody ever lose money on one of your business deals.
(Kilmeade) Were there questions where you thought to yourself, I don't know the answer? Did you have to go research to find out their research?
(HICKENLOOPER) They were very clear, they said, listen, we are doing this as much for you as much as for ourselves. If you're the person, if we pick you for # 2 and something comes out that we are not prepared for, you are going to get hung out to dry. They were very clear on that and I agree with that so we tried to give them every single honest thing that we could think of that ever could be brought up out of my background somewhere. The interview was 6 hours. You go 2 hours and then you get a 5 minute bathroom break and then 2 more hours and another 5 minute (break). There is nobody asking hey, how did you get the environmental community and the oil and gas community to do methane regulations, the first in the county, how did you do that? No, it's all the stuff like, did anybody ever lose money on any of your deals. Did you knowingly have undocumented workers at one of your restaurants. Have you in any way supported something unethically?
Hickenlooper's impression of Donald Trump's children
(Kilmeade) What was your impression watching them?
(HICKENLOOPER) I think the kids are very impressive. I think it does say, a lot of people have a hard time reconciling the bluster, the bombastic and yet, he has raised pretty impressive kids which I think is an important measure of a person. I did think last week we saw in their convention though that they are politically inexperienced.
Hickenlooper on the differences between running a business and running a state.
(HICKENLOOPER) Trust me, I learned the hard way, you come right from business and government isn't business. There are things you would make a decision in a second in business and if you do it in government, it's a nightmare.
(Kilmeade) Give me an example
(HICKENLOOPER) Oh my gosh, I got elected mayor in 2003 and in 2004, actually it was the fall of 2003 and we were going to change the signs on the roof of City Hall, big, gaudy electric lights that say you know, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. And some of my Jewish friends always thought you know, Merry Christmas, what's it doing on top of City Hall. So they come to me, I am mayor for 3 or 4 months and say, hey, we are going to have to replace those signs and we are doing it anyway, they are all worn out. I say, maybe we will change it to Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, it will be more acumenable. Well, you know, somebody leaks it, public works people are outraged, they leak it to one of the newspapers and they call up and ask me off to the side, are you going to do this and I think they are going to write a story saying it's a good thing. So I say, yeah, we are going to be more acumenable, it won't cost the taxpayers a penny. The next day it's on the front page of the Denver Post.
(Kilmeade) We probably talked about it
(HICKENLOOPER) I am sure you did. I was just trying to deal with homelessness, we had big issues we were taking on and I told my staff, I said, we didn't mean this, we didn't want to cause any, and they said you are the mayor and you can't change your mind, you will weaken the position and I said of course I can change my mind. I called up Peter Boyle, he is the biggest talk show in Colorado and I said hey, just because there are 2 O's in Hickenlooper, it doesn't make me Scrooge. We are going to leave it Merry Christmas, we are going to put a new Merry Christmas sign up there. They couldn't believe it, they said, you're kidding? All of a sudden, instead of being a terrible disaster, it became very positive. Those kinds of things, if you haven't been in politics and you don't realize how closely held and emotional some of these issues are, you can get yourself into real trouble.
Hickenlooper previews his primetime speech tonight at the DNC
(Kilmeade) Did they give you a mission statement?
(HICKENLOOPER) No, they wrote a speech up, they drafted out something that I wasn't comfortable with so we pretty much wrote our own speech. Then we worked with some speech writers who wor with the convention trying to get things right. They have been great, really smart to work with. I wanted more humor, the guys are funny. You have got to have a little humor. I wanted to talk more from the business perspective of how a small business person looks at Hillary Clinton and what stuff we talked about when I was being vetted. That was one of the best parts of being vetted for #2, I got to spend several hours either one on one or with Hillary & John Pedesta really talking about policy.