One Republic front-man to Hickenlooper: ‘Stick to being governor’

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Gov. John Hickenlooper jams with One Republic front-man Ryan Tedder in a new web video from the governor's reelection campaign released Thursday.

DENVER — It’s no secret that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper enjoys (in no particular order): live music, playing music, poking fun at himself and showing a lighter side in his campaign commercials.

On Thursday, the governor’s campaign finally released a video that Hickenlooper himself has been showing off privately for a couple months in which he appears strumming a guitar with One Republic front-man Ryan Tedder.

The implied message: the guy is a terrible musician but a solid governor.

In the video, Tedder and Hickenlooper sit on a sofa, each holding guitars, as Tedder leads the governor in a rendition of the band’s hit “Counting Stars”; throughout, Tedder interrupts to tell the governor how bad he is.

“I would lose so much sleep if I sang like you,” he says.

After Hickenlooper attempts to hit the high notes, Tedder takes away his guitar.

“You are very good at liking music. You are not very good at playing it,” Tedder said. “If I were a voting man, I would vote that you stick to legislation and governing.”

Tedder, who lives in Denver, says he will be voting for Hickenlooper over Republican Bob Beauprez in the fall.

“John has always been a strong supporter of the arts in Colorado, both because he loves them, and because he knows they’re good for our economy,” Tedder said in a statement from the Hickenlooper campaign. “He’s a great guy who has helped turn our state’s economy around, even during some really tough times.

“He may not be a great backup singer, but he’s a great governor, and I really encourage people to get out and vote for him in this election.”

The two-minute video is vintage Hickenlooper, who has disavowed negative ads and who often shows up at concert venues to introduce bands or, as he did last month at Red Rocks with Old Crow Medicine Show, on stage to play along.

His campaign has shot a couple of these videos, which will mainly be posted online, aiming to remind voters of what they’ve long liked about Hickenlooper, his quirky personal political brand.

But as Republicans look to deny Hickenlooper a second term, they’re looking to turn what has been an asset into a liability, labeling the governor “Quirkenlooper” and trying to portray him as a likable, able “state bartender” but someone without the backbone to make the difficult policy decisions required of an executive charged with leading the state.

“Governor Hickenlooper is happy to make quirky videos about things that have nothing to do with the issues that matter most to Coloradans, but when it comes to actually tackling the tough issues, it’s clear he is in way over his head,” Matt Connelly, press secretary for the Colorado GOP, told FOX31 Denver Thursday.

“Coloradans are fed up with the governor’s indecision and his lies about gun control and his quest to further regulate Colorado’s energy economy. The governor should start focusing on Coloradans instead of quirky videos to prop up his flailing campaign.”