DENVER -- Former Colorado governor and presidential candidate John Hickenlooper officially kicked off his campaign Thursday with his first rally in Denver’s Civic Center Park.
“It’s time to end this American crisis of division. It’s time to bring all Americans together. And that’s why I’m running to be President of the United States of America!” Hickenlooper told the crowd estimated by his campaign to be over 4,000.
Hickenlooper, acknowledging his uphill battle in the polls, hinted the length of his name should mean something.
“Now, I understand I’m not the first person in this race or the most well-known person in this race. But let me tell you: at four syllables and 12 letters, 'Hickenlooper' is now the biggest name in the race!” he said.
Hickenlooper, who was not afraid to yell and show a new fire in his belly during the speech, seemed to pass the first test of any Democratic candidate by attacking President Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump is alienating our allies, ripping away our health care, endangering our planet and destroying our democracy. The daily insults he hurls range from shocking to unconscionable. But it’s more than his tweet storms. Real people are being hurt. He’s closed down the government. Hate crimes are up. He’s forcibly taking kids from their parents," Hickenlooper said.
Hickenlooper committed in his speech to rejoining the Paris Accords and establishing health care as a human right.
Also on hand for his speech were protesters.
A plane, likely connected with a conservative group, flew over the rally with a sign “Big Hickup for 2020: Jetgate scandal,” alluding to the ongoing ethics investigation into his traveling while governor.
Interstate 70 protestors, upset with his position in helping expand I-70, also rallied in opposition.
“I call him Governor Howdy Doody,” said Brigid Walsh, a Bernie Sanders supporter.
As for those who witnessed the speech like Austin Edwards, an undecided voter, he says Hickenlooper surprised him.
“It’s too early to tell right now. I thought it was really good. He had the crowd going really good,” Edwards told FOX31.
Hickenlooper heads to Iowa Friday.AlertMe