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John Hickenlooper held a really weird town hall where he talked about watching porn with his mom

Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper sure has an interesting strategy for winning over voters.

by Carter Sherman
Mar 21 2019, 3:39pm

Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper sure has an interesting strategy for winning over voters — like sharing stories of that time he took his mom to see a pornographic film in the 1970s.

During his Wednesday night town hall on CNN, host Dana Bash asked Hickenlooper about watching “Deep Throat” with his mom, an anecdote the former governor of Colorado first detailed in his 2016 memoir. Apparently, a friend had invited 18-year-old Hickenlooper to see the movie, then considered “pornographic chic,” during a visit home from college.

And Hickenlooper, at the last minute, invited his mom, since he didn’t want her to have to stay at home alone.

“We didn't know what an X-movie was,” Hickenlooper told the CNN crowd. “We thought it was a little naughty, but we didn't think it was that bad.”

Even after it became clear that the movie was, in fact, “that bad,” Hickenlooper’s mother refused to leave the theater. She’d already paid for a ticket, and she apparently wouldn’t listen to his pleas to leave.

Afterward, Hickenlooper said, his mother teased him by saying, “I thought the lighting was very good in the movie.”

Hickenlooper also seemed to put his foot in his mouth when Bash asked him whether he would pledge to put a woman on the ticket if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Of course,” Hickenlooper replied, before adding, “How come we’re not asking, more often, the women, ‘Would you be willing to put a man on the ticket?’”

“When we get to that point, I’ll ask you that question,” Bash said.

Hickenlooper’s question prompted audible groans from the audience, who interpreted it as a tone-deaf response to the historic lack of women in politics and in the White House. (In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to ever win a major party’s nomination for president.)

But afterward, Hickenlooper told a CNN reporter that he had only wanted to flip the expectation undergirding the question: that a man would win the presidential slot and need to find a female running mate to take the second-tier job. “Too often media discounts the chance of a woman winning,” he said.

"That is what I am talking about,” he went on. “People can take it out of context.”

Cover image: In this March 6, 2019, file photo, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks in lower downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)