DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper slammed the Republican presidential nominee for his business practices, empathized with out-of-work Americans and touted Hillary Clinton's collaborative philosophy during a primetime address to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.

It was an unusual role for a governor who's made a point of his distaste for negative campaigning and partisan politics. A runner-up in Clinton's vice presidential search, Hickenlooper kicked off a final segment of the convention designed to highlight Clinton's economic plans.

He recalled being laid off as a geologist in the 1980s. "Tremendous changes in our economy are making people feel they aren't wanted anymore, and I remember that feeling," Hickenlooper told Democratic delegates who gathered in Philadelphia.

Hickenlooper said he was able to turn his life around by reinventing himself, launching a popular brewpub in then-blighted lower downtown Denver and then a restaurant empire. He touted Denver's hot economy and added: "Now compare that to Donald Trump's trickle-down economics where he doesn't pay his bills and small businesses go out of business."

The Colorado governor added that he's discussed his state's job retraining program with Clinton and that she understands the need to grow the economy for everyone. "The true mark of a successful businessman is not the number of times you say, 'You're fired', it's the number of times you say, 'You're hired,'" Hickenlooper said, referencing Trump's trademark line from his reality show "The Apprentice."

Thursday was the final night of the Democrats' four-day convention during which Clinton accepted her party's nomination.