The governor of Colorado found himself in an awkward situation after he posted what his office called a poorly timed tweet following the Denver mayor's veto of a law that would have ended the ban on pit bulls in the city.
Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, posed with a pit bull rescue puppy ay the governor's mansion Sunday night, posting the photo on Twitter with the caption: "Freda, a friend’s new pit bull rescue pup, joined us at the governors mansion in Denver tonight (shhhh)."
The photo caused quite the stir as others on social media guessed that Polis was sending a subliminal message to Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat who just days before decided not to end the decades-long ban on pit bull ownership in the city, which stemmed from the death of a 3-year-old child who was mauled in 1989.
"Wow!!" Hancock tweeted in response to the photo.
Polis then responded with a GIF of Scooby-Doo, the cartoon dog, saying, "Ruh Roh."
Hancock said Friday, in a statement defending his first veto since taking office, that he "cannot, in good conscience" support an ordinance that would allow pet owners to own a pit bull -- despite requirements for them to register, microchip and spay or neuter their dogs -- because of the "real risk to severe injury that can result from attacks from these particular dog breeds, especially should they happen to a child."
He continued, "If we were to make this change now, and harm comes to someone as a result, then we have done a disservice to the people of this great city."
Following the eyebrow-raising tweets, the governor's office explained in a statement that a family friend of Polis had just received the pit bull as a puppy and brought it to the governor's mansion to play with his children, who also love puppies, and the photo was not intended to step on the mayor's decision.
"Unfortunately, what was meant as a light-hearted post came at a sensitive time," the statement continued.
Polis, a usual ally of Hancock, said Monday, "Even if he might not agree with every local government decision, the mayor and City Council did what they believe are the best thing for Denver."