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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper weighs in on Amazon HQ2. (Flickr Photo / GovJohnHickenlooper)

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper doesn’t think Amazon can be bought.

On an episode of CNBC’s Power Lunch, he said that his state is “never going to offer $7 billion of incentives,” taking aim at New Jersey’s proposal for Amazon HQ2. In a controversial move, Amazon included a preference for government incentives in its request for proposals for HQ2, the $5 billion second corporate headquarters planned for a to-be-determined city.

“We just don’t offer that level of incentives,” Hickenlooper said. “What we try to demonstrate is this is one of the highest qualities of life. This is one of the most desired locations for young professionals in America. Over the long term, that’s going to be much more powerful than whether they get a puny billion dollars here or billion dollars there.”

During the interview, Hickenlooper touted the engineers coming out of Denver’s universities, the city’s quality of life and similarities to Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, and investments in infrastructure as selling points.

Despite those strengths, Hickenlooper is realistic about Denver’s chances in a race with 238 contestants, all vying for the 50,000 high-paying jobs Amazon promises.

“There are a lot of great cities in America,” he said. “It’s a healthy competition.”

Watch the full interview below and read GeekWire’s full Amazon HQ2 coverage here.

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