- The Washington Times - Friday, August 16, 2019

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democratic presidential hopeful from Colorado, said Friday he took a “pivotal car ride” with John Hickenlooper and they discussed the former governor dropping out of the race and running for Senate.

“We talked about what it’s like to serve in the Senate, the frustrating parts of the job and the good parts of the job. Gov. Hickenlooper wondered whether he would be good at the job, and I believe that he’s been an excellent mayor and excellent governor. I don’t have any doubt that if he decided to run he’d be an excellent senator,” Mr. Bennet told CNN’s “New Day.”

While Mr. Hickenlooper didn’t receive a lot of interest as a presidential candidate, Democrats have pushed him to run for the Colorado Senate seat held by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, seen as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in 2020.

“My sense of it is that this is a moment when our democracy is really at risk, and it’s up to all of us no matter what job we have … to make sure our democracy gets through this, and we come out on the other side,” Mr. Bennet said.

When asked whether his motivations were to talk Mr. Hickenlooper out of the race was to have one fewer candidate, Mr. Bennet laughed and said: “Hickenlooper is smart enough to know of my self-interest and pointed it out to me.”

Mr. Bennet said he isn’t worried about not qualifying for the third round of debates in September yet, saying he’s “used to running from behind.”

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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