Colorado Gov. Forms PAC to Explore Presidential Run

September 18, 2018

By Carlo Versano

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's new PAC will allow him to "evaluate" the presidential landscape after he's term-limited out of the Governor's Mansion in January, he said. It will also help raise his national profile.

The "Giddy Up" PAC, which was established this week, could be a first step toward a potential presidential run in 2020, Hickenlooper said in an interview on Cheddar Tuesday.

The moderate Democrat, who has mixed socially progressive ideals with a business-friendly approach ー rumors flew after the 2016 election that he was considering a joint ticket for president with Republican John Kasich ー came out swinging against the Trump administration's latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods, saying, "This is perhaps the worst possible way to go about renegotiating trade agreements."

China said Tuesday it would slap tariffs on $60 billion of American imports, a retaliatory move after the Trump administration announced taxes on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at an initial rate of 10 percent ー that will increase to 25 percent next year.

Colorado's thriving agriculture industry and its more fledgling aerospace and electronics sectors will be hurt by the escalating trade war, according to Hickenlooper.

"I am absolutely certain at least 1,000 jobs in Colorado" will be lost because of the tariffs, he said.

That would be a blow for an economy that has been steadily adding jobs since the financial crisis. One contributor to that growth has been its marijuana industry ー since 2012, Hickenlooper has been at the forefront of Colorado's legalization efforts.

He said states, as the "laboratories of democracy," are the perfect incubators for testing pot laws, and he welcomes more federal assistance in gathering data at the state-level for a more national attempt at legalization.

"I certainly support looking at marijuana through this new lens," Hickenlooper said.

Colorado's experiment with a full-fledged cannabis economy is now in its fourth year and is largely seen as a success ー bringing in hundreds of millions in tax revenue. Hickenlooper said the wrinkles of legalization have largely been ironed out, and "we're beginning to solve a lot of these problems we were worried about."

For full interview click here.