Colorado's John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet have mostly been describing each other as friends when asked about their dueling presidential candidacies.

Then each has talked a bit about how he just might, maybe, be better suited for the White House, if they've drawn a distinction at all.

Wednesday, Hickenlooper appeared to get a little more direct about his former deputy in comparing their differing qualifications.

As you'll see in the video above, the former Colorado governor did call Bennet, who was his chief of staff as Denver mayor and is now a U.S. senator, one of "my favorite people, one of my oldest friends," in a chat with Chuck Todd on MSNBC's "MTP Daily."

But Hickenlooper also suggested that the voters compare the two men's resumes:

"We've had very different lives. His experience is: He's a lawyer, super smart, super talented, super committed. But he's been mostly in Washington, he spent a few years working in private equity," he told Todd.

(In between those two resume bullet points, Bennet was Hickenlooper's top mayoral aide and also was superintendent of Denver Public Schools.)

"I was a scientist, and I worked professionally as a geologist," Hickenlooper added. "I was out of work a few years, that's relevant, then I opened a brewpub long before people knew what they were. I transformed a community by getting everyone to get to work together, was a top-5 big city mayor in America and then one of the top governors in America."

Bennet, in recent interviews, has been more guarded about comparing himself to his former mentor.

When Joe St. George of Denver TV station KDVR-Fox31 asked Bennet over the weekend to name "one policy difference between you and former Governor Hickenlooper," the senator replied, "That’s a good question, I don’t know the answer to that."

He added: "John and I are both going to have to contend with a lot of challenges other than the two of us running."

Bennet entered the race for the Democratic nomination much later than his former boss, but he told St. George he didn't think he had betrayed Hickenlooper because they were just two in a large field of candidates.

At a house party last Sunday in a Des Moines, Iowa, suburb, station WHO-TV reported Bennet saying of Hickenlooper: “We’re great friends. We always have been great friends. I’m glad he’s running. He was a great governor, a great mayor, and I think he will be a great presidential candidate. ... We have different approaches to the work, different points of view, and a very different experience. I think it’s going to be fun to have both of us in the field.”

Both Coloradans are vying for spots on the debate stage alongside other Democratic candidates starting next month; Hickenlooper has been doing marginally better in recent polls but both men are well behind the front runners.




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