Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., said Wednesday he is "leaning strongly" toward running for president in 2020.
The comment followed what his political action committee stresses was a joke declaring his candidacy.
At Root's Cafe in Hooksett, N.H., where the governor is campaigning for down-ballot Democrats, Hickenlooper said, "I'm the governor of Colorado and I'm gonna run for president." WMUR, a local New Hampshire TV station, reporter, Adam Sexton also reported that Hickenlooper said to a different person during the campaign stop, "I'm John Hickenlooper and I'm running for president. You're the first person in New Hampshire I've said that to."
[Related: Here come the 2020 Democrats! 30 could compete for White House]
Shortly after making the statement, however, Hickenlooper clarified he hadn't "made a final decision."
"If I say I'm absolutely doing it, then there are all kinds of legal ramifications," said the governor, "so I'll say I'm leaning strongly."
Hickenlooper said in June to Kaiser Health News' "What The Health?" that he would make the decision about a 2020 presidential bid over the summer.
“My wife and I have been talking about it for a couple of months and talking to old friends whose opinions we respect and trust. We’ll try and sort through it this summer.”
Hickenlooper is term-limited as governor of Colorado. He is stepping down from the position after 2018. In an interview with Colorado Public Radio in September, Hickenlooper said he would not make an announcement until two or three months after he was out of office.
The governor also established a political action committee in September called Giddy Up, which raised further speculation that he might run for president.
In regard to the governor's statements in New Hampshire, the PAC responded saying, "The governor makes clear in the video that he is joking and in his next sentence that he has not made a decision yet. If he had, his wife would have been the first to know. He is in New Hampshire to support 2018 candidates up and down the ballot.”