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Jared Polis: Biden Shouldn’t Talk So Much About What He Can’t Do

An interview with the Colorado governor.
March 24, 2022
A Fun Chat With Political Unicorn Gov. Jared Polis | Not My Party with Tim Miller

[Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.]

Tim Miller: This one governor is showing that politicians don’t have to be such partisan assholes. So I had to meet him. This is “Not My Party,” brought to you by The Bulwark.

This week I wanted to try something different. I flew to my home state to talk to a Democratic governor who’s trying to break the hyperpartisan mold.

So I wanna start here. You are a gay progressive, who went against the party a little bit on some of the COVID restrictions and wants to get rid of an income tax, super into crypto. Are you a unicorn? Like, what’s your deal?

Charlie the Unicorn: What am I missing here?

Jared Polis: Well, I just try to do what’s right. . . . Colorado’s a place of refuge from [for] political dissidents from across the country. We literally have trans kids and families with gay people from Texas that are coming here. We literally have people from California that are upset with their high tax rate.

Maybe if you start making a lot of money, you’ll want to move here too, back here—because 14 percent in California? Is that what you’re paying, 14 percent?

Miller: We’re paying way too much.

Polis: We’re like 4 1/2 percent here.

Beelzeboot from South Park: Money, money, money, money.

Polis: Across the board, it’s a great place to live.

Tom Pusslicker from South Park: People from all over are flocking to Colorado.

Nikola Jokić: Yes.

Miller: What got us to this interview was last November, I’m sitting on Twitter, and I see a video come up, and it’s Jared Polis. And you say—

Polis (from a press conference): If communities want to wear masks, they can implement that. . . . It’s not something that we’re considering as a state.

Miller: Was your little inner libertarian sort of scratching at you during the mask debate? Or do you think it was really just, “I’m looking at the numbers”?

Polis: Well, certainly the government telling people what to wear is a very, very extreme step—

Miller: Right.

Polis: —saying you have to wear polka dots or you have to wear a certain kind of shoe—

Miller: A pearl necklace.

Polis: —or you have to wear a pearl necklace.

Tim Gunn: Make that work.

Polis: —you need a very, very high bar for that. Frankly, I think in the early days of the pandemic that was appropriate. There was no vaccine. People were dying. We quickly got past that stage. I think on both sides there were folks who put their ideology above the science.

Adult rabbi version of Eric Cartman from South Park: Who’s ****ing coming up with all this science?

Miller: Now we gotta do a little gay stuff before we quit.

Polis: A little gay stuff.

Miller: We gotta do some gay stuff. Okay, down in Florida, my not-so-friend Ron DeSantis has passed a bill recently, they’re calling it the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” What are they doing?

Polis: Yeah, it’s bizarre ’cause it’s obviously this dog whistle. Of course, every parent, including gay parents like you and like me, we don’t want our kids exposed to inappropriate content around that. But it’s important is [to] affirm the value of individual identity, and that all families count, you’re loved, you’re cared for. And that’s really the opposite of the message that Ron DeSantis is sending.

Student protester: We do not support an institution that does not support us.

Reporter (voiceover): Thousands of students left their classrooms on Thursday.

Miller: You seem to be making a conscious effort to try to talk to people that may not agree with you on everything.

Sandra Smith: Great to have you back on Fox News Sunday.

Polis (from a Fox appearance): Great to see you, Sandra.

Miller: This is kind of controversial among Democrats.

Polis: Of course I go on Fox when they ask me to, and it’s important. I mean, if you’re only speaking to people who already agree with you, what kind of conversation is that?

Professor Frink from The Simpsons: Tedious and annoying.

Polis: There’s reasonable people. Just ’cause you’re a D or an R doesn’t mean you’re inherently crazy or inherently sane. It’s more about what you want to do.

Kyle Broflovski from South Park: That sounds perfectly reasonable.

Miller: All right, we’re gonna do some fun ones. Are you ready? First one: 2010 @jaredpolis tweeted, “At Lady Gaga concert NYC! Gaga oo la la!” I retweeted you and said, that is “the gayest tweet ever by a congressman,” A-plus. First rapid-fire question. Favorite Gaga song?

Polis: Thank you for retweeting me by the way. “Poker Face.”

Lady Gaga: ♪ Can’t read my poker face ♪

Polis: P-p-p-poker face.

Miller: “Poker Face” is good. Okay, favorite drag queen?

Polis: Bob the Drag Queen’s great. Who doesn’t love Bob the Drag Queen?

Bob the Drag Queen: That’s right, mother****er.

Miller: Favorite South Park episode, or joke, gag?

Polis: ManBearPig. ManBearPig and Al Gore.

“Al Gore” on South Park: ManBearPig.

Kyle: ManBearPig?

Miller: Best [and] worst thing Joe Biden has done?

Polis: Well, restoring rationality and integrity to government is a pretty big deal.

Joe Biden: Thank you.

Polis: Worst thing, I think he just needs to move a little faster with stuff, adapting with the times. Don’t talk about what you don’t have the votes to do and can’t do. Just talk about what you’re going to do.

Floating Biden head: Come on, man.

Miller: You’re a big redditor. Best subreddit? Your favorite subreddit?

Polis: I’m a big League of Legends player. So I do League of Legends subreddit, and I’m an Anivia Main. So there’s actually an Anivia Main subreddit.

Miller: I don’t even know what that is.

Polis: And then I was—my hobby last year, too, was rock tumbling. So there’s rock tumbling subreddits I’m on.

Miller: Holy shit.

Slurms MacKenzie from Futurama: Rock on.

Miller: That was my interview with Governor Polis. I’d love to hear: Does his brand of politics speak to you? Swipe up and vote. Hope to get out on the road and introduce you to more politicians breaking the mold soon. We’ll see you next week for more “Not My Party.”

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.