Signs point to yes.
Although the Governor’s spokesman wouldn’t comment on the content of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s conversation with Denver Mayoral candidate Chris Romer, reading between the lines of his statement, it’s pretty clear there was more to the phone call than just “calling to check in.”
Late Thursday, Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown issued a statement.
“The governor’s view about negative campaigning is well known. He doesn’t like it. He will not talk about the private conversations he has had with Chris Romer or Michael Hancock.”
More after the jump, including how we think the Hick/Romer conversation went.
Romer claims that Hickenlooper was simply calling to say “what’s up?” And from the way Romer phrased his answer, it was Romer who raised the issue of the negative ad.
“We talked about a lot of stuff, and he did not ask me to take the ad down,” Romer said. “We told him the ad was coming down on Tuesday and he said, ‘oh, great. I just wanted to know what you are up to.'”
I imagine the conversation went something like this:
Governor Hickenlooper: “Hey, Chris! Just calling to see how you’re doing. How’s the campaign trail? I could just as easily turn on my TV and find out for myself, but being the hands-on governor that I am — but with a TON of time on my hands, evidently — I thought I’d call and shoot the breeze. You’re not busy running a campaign or anything, are you?”
Chris Romer: “Er, uh, hey, John! Just so you know that ad with all the lies in it is coming down now, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
Gov. Hickenlooper: “Aw, that’s alright, Chris. You know I don’t like negative ads, but that’s not why I was calling. I have enough time to just call you and say hi sometimes when I’m feeling bored. Be sure to tell your constituents that the governor they voted into office is so bored he has time to call and check up on the campaign of someone running for Mayor, okay?”
Chris Romer: “Already done. Thanks for saying hi. You can always facebook me. And hey, maybe we should go out dancing sometime. Did you know that I took dance classes at East High School? True story. Totally relevant.”
Gov. Hickenlooper: “Uh, gee… that’s… that’s really great. Say, I gotta go.” /hangs up
Mr. Romer’s answer seems a little questionable, doesn’t it?