Democratic presidential hopeful John Hickenlooper on Friday attempted to explain his seemingly tone-deaf comment wondering why his rival female candidates weren’t asked whether they’d pick a man for their ticket.
The former Colorado governor made headlines on Wednesday when he was asked during a CNN town hall whether he would select a woman as his running mate. “Of course,” Hickenlooper answered, then asked why women candidates weren’t being asked if they’d put a man on the ticket.
He tried to clarify his point Friday on “CBS This Morning.”
“What I was trying to say, however inartfully … that the question itself in some way discounts the probability that a woman will actually get the nomination, and this is such a diverse and powerful field of candidates,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons I’m proud to be a Democrat.”
Hickenlooper’s spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, tried to clean up Hickenlooper’s message on Twitter shortly after his CNN appearance. She said her boss actually was calling out the media, which “too often discounts the chances of women winning the nomination themselves.”
Hickenlooper isn’t the only candidate who has had to answer for his comments about women.
Fellow 2020 Democrat Beto O’Rourke admitted last week to making a “ham-handed” joke about wife Amy O’Rourke, whom he said raises their children “sometimes with my help.”
O’Rourke also was criticized for his campaign announcement video, which showed his wife quietly at his side for three minutes as he spoke glowingly about his presidential hopes.
Both O’Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have suggested they’d pick a female vice president, and Hickenlooper told CNN directly that he would.