On Monday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper tried to brush aside President Barack Obama’s poor debate performance against Mitt Romney in Denver by comparing Obama to Abraham Lincoln. Hickenlooper explained that Lincoln was not a great debater even though Lincoln made a name for himself during what are now known as the “Lincoln-Douglas debates.” Even more confused, he then said Obama would be one of the greatest presidents in history.
“When Lincoln ran for re-election, it was…dead close, I mean really a struggle, really close, and he wasn’t a great public speaker,” Hickenlooper said on Monday. “I mean, Obama’s a great speaker. Lincoln wasn’t a great debater.”
And according to Denver’s Westword blog, the small crowd of “dozens of supporters and campaign volunteers laughed at the comment,” which prompted Hickenlooper to attempt to instantaneously walk back his remarks and then claim Obama would be one of the greatest presidents in history.
“I think he is a great debater, but the people, the grassroots rose up and re-elected Lincoln,” Hickenlooper said. “And he has, without question, gone down as our greatest president in history — one of our two or three greatest presidents. I think Obama is that good. It’s been a long time since we had someone that we can actually…say this is gonna be one of the great presidents in history.”
Hickenlooper then said he had heard Lincoln had a tough time keeping up with Stephen Douglas during their debates, and that is what he was referring to before again saying Lincoln was not the greatest debater.