Kelley & Kafer Show, Cory Gardner, March 9, 2016

Station: KNUS, 710 AM

Show:     Kelley & Kafer Show

Guests:  Gardner, Cory


Date:      March 9, 2016

Topics:   Secret Meeting, Georgia Island, Tim Cooke, Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, GOP Presidential Race, Iran, “Israel Must Be Wiped Out”, Ballistic Missles, Snap Back of Sanctions, Economic Development Funds Diverted to Green Climate Fund, Tech CEOs, Plot, Stop Trump, Huffington Post, Carly Fiorina, Senator Ted Cruz, World Forum Program, Partisan Divide, Ben Sasse, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Entrepreneurs, Innovation, Subsidies, Conference, 1982, China in Decline, Cabal, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Tom Cotton, Cyber Security Issues, Russia, European Union, English Parlaiment, AEI Movie, Conspiracy Theories, Election, Wonky Nerd Forum, Encryption, Privacy vs. Security, Putin, North Korea, Bread and Circus Problem, Ukraine Invasion, Syria, Nationalistic Fervor, South China Sea Islands, Taiwan, Iran Nuclear Deal, Veto, Congressional Treaty Powers, Iran Sanctions Act Extension, Adminsitration Discretion, National Security Waivers,

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HOST STEVE KELLEY:  It’s interesting.  We’ve got Sen. Cory Gardner coming up here, at 1:10.  Aong other things, we want to talk to him about Iran firing these missiles off.  And you remember what the President said, “Oh, we can just –.”  Listen: [Plays audio of Barack Obama]:  “This relief will be phased, as Iran takes steps to adhere to the deal. if Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place.”  Remember that? We can just ‘snap back’

HOST KRISTA KAFER:  Yeah! Snap ‘em back!  You’d think after those ballistic missiles were fired off, there would have been a [snaps] snap back.

KELLEY:  Yeah!  Is—Iran, excuse me, fires two missles marked with, quote— “Israel must be wiped out” — in Hebrew. Uh, let’s snap to it, here, Mr. Obama and your administration.  The aforementioned Sen. Cory Gardner is joining us on the 710 KNUS hotline.  Good afternoon, sir!

UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM COLORADO, CORY GARDNER:   Hey! Good afternoon!  How are you guys?

KAFER:  [We’re] doing great. So, I – acutally, just listening to your voice a little bit earlier, we were—you know, during prep time – you were really taking it to the administration about diverting funds from economic development all the way over to some Green fund.  That’s keeping them accountable.

GARDNER:  Absolutely outrageous! Absolutely outrageous!  I mean, the fact that the administration admits, before Congress, that they did not –that Congress did not authorize this Green Climate Fund and then they turn around and say, “But we have lawyers who say that we can do this.”  I mean, lawyers don’t replace the Constitution, and the Constitution requires the Congress to make spending decisions.  And I – we’re going to fight this.  We’re going to push back on this, and they’re going to be held accountable.

KELLEY:  This really got under your skin.  We were watching the video of that.  What is –.

GARDNER:  If they want to know why – If they want to know why the American people don’t trust Washington DC, it’s because of people like the administration go off, take $500 million out of funds to a Green Climate Fund that was never appropriated by Congress.  And then they wonder why the people don’t trust them.  It’s that evident, right there.

KELLEY:  Keep your foot on the accelerator, there.  I’m going to read from the Huffington Post, here, Sen. Cory Gardner, “A Secretive Meeting:  Tech CEOs, Top Republicans Comiserate Plot to Stop Trump.”

KAFER: [singing, with facetious sinister tone]  Dah-dah- dahn.

KELLEY:  So, you were part of this secret meeting off some clandestine island off of Georgia.  Is that right?

GARDNER:  [laughing] this is absolutely nuts, that the Huffington Post has – the liberal Huffington Post has conservatives questioning what is happening.  I mean, this is an organization that ends every story with, “Editors note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe/racist/misogynist.”  This is from the Huffington Post! So, it’s it’s pretty crazy, what people are saying right now.

KELLEY:  Well, it’s no secret that you’re not a Trump fan.  You are on record having said that.

GARDNER:  I’m supporting Marco Rubio.  You got it!

KELLEY:  What is wrong with not wanting—or endorsing one candidate versus another?  We’re going to hear from Carly Fiorina, who is backing Cruz right now.  What was this?  This was the AEI, right—the American Enterprise Institue?

KAFER:  World Forum Program.  You know, I actually where you were doing some speaking, and this sounds so incredibly subversive to me: “A conversation with Ben Sasse and Cory Gardner,” discussing things like “healing the partisan divide”, and “giving your unique experiences.” [facetiously] This is pretty dark stuff.  This is pretty scary.

GARDNER:  [laughing] Well, the AEI –.  The AEI, by the way, has done fantastic, conservative, free-market work about entrepreneurs and innovation and lifting people up and out of poverty, and not by government programs or subsidies but by innovations of the free market. And this is a conference that has been going on every year for – gosh– I think since 1982.  So, it’s a yearly conference. Not only was I on that panel to talk about the freshman class of 2014, but I was on a panel to discuss the rise — whether or not China is in decline, right now. And so I was on the panel of experts of China, and we were talking about the rise and fall of China and to think that anything else is discussed by me is absolutely untrue.

KAFER:  [facetiously] Well, it sounds like a secret cabal.  I’m just saying.

GARDNER:  Well, if you know the attendees–. I mean, I think if you know the attendees there, I mean, these are people who are from across the country, have an interest in policy, and you know, like Mike Lee, I mean, Sen. from Utah, Tom Cotton.  I mean, we were some of the folks from the Senate who went down and participated in panels.

KELLEY:  Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump didn’t come up. I mean, it’s a phenomenon that’s happening, here.  It has to come up. And what’s wrong with that? But the insinuation is that it was all about defeating Donald Trump.  Dispel that, will ya?

GARDNER:  Well, it’s simply not true.  I mean, this is a forum that we talked about the economic situation in the county.  We talked about the budget crisis we’re facing.  We talked about China.  We talked about cyber security issues.  There were conversations about Russia. I attended a panel that had several European — several members of Parliament from England there, had a European Union member there who were talking about the Brexit, talking about the strength or weakness of the European Union. There were conversations there about a movie that AEI is making about how we are going to lift people up and out of poverty.  So, again, this is their annual forum, and these conspiracy theories about what took place there are just way over the top, spurred by a Huffington Post, liberal outlet, that thinks people are going to be gullible enough into believing them that it’s something that clearly it wasn’t.

KELLEY:  Well, everybody likes a good conspiracy.  Go ahead, Krista.

KAFER:  I was going to say, yeah — and I’m looking at the agenda right now and I don’t see a single thing about – really, about the election, about – certainly, the word “Trump” is not mentioned.  And I do – but I do see something about a secret handshake.

GARDNER:  [laughs heartily]

KAFER:  But apart from that, this appears really to just be about economics, foreign affairs, and lifting all boats here, and helping with poverty.  It’s – it was like a wonky nerd forum.

GARDNER:  You know, that’s unfortunately probably the best way to describe it, a wonky nerd forum.  But you know, I know they’ve talked about the tech CEOs. And yes, Tim Cook was there talking about the encryption issue in front of Congress right now, and the very real challenge of balancing privacy with security.  Those – so, again, this is an annual conference that has been going on since 1982 and to think that there was some other kind of purpose for it is simply not true and a flat out lie.

KELLEY: Okay.  [I’m] reading from AP, here: “Although the US is warning Iran against violating landmark nuclear deal with the West, Iran’s new missile tests do not violate that accord.  The deal which led Iran to dramatically scale back its nuclear program does not include provisions against nuclear launches.

KAFER:  [snickers]

KELLEY:  [incredulously] WHAT?

GARDNER:  Yeah, this is crazy. I mean, the administration is under this mistaken belief, I guess, that they’re developing ICBMs so they can put daisies on top of it and deliver flowers, or something else. This is simply outrageous, that the administration continues to ignore the belligerent behavior of the Iranians.  And we warned them that this would happen if they were to receive billions of dollars in sanctions relief before they actually proved that they had changed their behavior.  Now this administration is too afraid to impose snapback sanctions on them, because that would destroy the president’s legacy.  This is why we opposed– is why I opposed the Iran– one of the reasons I opposed the Iran Sanctions Act in the first place, because we knew Iran’s behavior wasn’t changing. We knew they would continue to violate it.  And we knew they would use this administration’s sort of a treatment as cover for continued bad behavior.

KELLEY:  So what — how do you snap back?  I mean, we’re supposed to be able snapback in an instant all the sanctions which everybody knows was a talking point.  Everybody was – you know, on the left and for this deal – kept repeating that, over and over again.  “We can snap it back.  It’s not a big deal.  And if they violate it, we’ll snapback.”  What about the snapback stuff?

GARDNER:  That’s exactly right!  I mena, this administration won’t snap back because they know that if they snap back then, gee, they’re going –Iran will just say, “Well, okay. It’s a full nuclear snap back.” This is — they created a settlement agreement, a Iran nuclear agreement, that was built on a foundation of sand, because the second the administration decided they wanted to do something, Iran is going to be, like, “Fine!  We’ve got our billions of dollars and we’ll just go back —.  This is the house of cards that the administration built when it came to the Iran nuclear deal.  And the bottom line is, for this administration–look how they have treated Iran.  Look what they tried — they tried to create an Iran-style nuclear deal with North Korea and the Kim Jong-Il regime, as reported by the New York Times.   The moral of the story is, to this administration, if you act bad enough for long enough you’re going to get what you want.  That’s an unacceptable strategic position for this country.

KAFER:  Now, I noticed that at the World Forum Putin came up and other world powers.  [Were there] any solutions coming out of this meeting with regard to a nuclear North Korea, a bellicose Putin, and then of course, Iran and them stretching the boundaries of this so-called agreement. What do we do from here?

GARDNER:  Yeah, and the panel I was not able to attend on ISIS and terrorism, and I did not attend the Putin panel, either. I think one of those was at the same time that I was doing the China panel, if I recall.  But the China panel, we talked about North Korea quite a bit because of China’s influence over North Korea. And one of the concerns I have with China right now is as their economy seems to be slowing down a little bit, and you have this slower growth, this declining growth, are they going to create what is sort of a bread and circus problem?  And that’s what we’ve seen Vladimir Putin do. As the nation runs out of bread because their economy is in shambles, they create a circus, like invading Ukraine, going into Syria.  So, they take the people’s minds off of the poor conditions in Russia, and focus it on this nationalistic fervor as a result of actions in Ukraine and Syria.  Will China do something similar if their growth slows down? If you see more people struggling in China to rise, are they going to start creating maybe a circus challenge in the South China Sea, by arming the Paracels and the Spratly Islands, by not doing what they need to do with North Korea, by challenging Taiwan?  And so that was a lot of discussions that we had, to make sure that we’re keeping an eye on the bread and circus challenge.

KELLEY:  Well, you’ve been huge on North Korea and keeping your eye on them — not taking your eye off that ball, as we try to juggle all these crazy balls that are in the air. Sen. Cory Gardner is our guest for another couple of moments.  The — but here’s the criticism: with the Republican House and Senate, as it regards Iran, we percieve you guys as in charge. What do you plan to do with Iran?

GARDNER:  Well, again, we could defund the Iran deal.  The President would veto that measure.  We still should do everything we can to stop it.  We have passed legislation to try to overturn the Iran deal.  The President vetoed that bill.  And the President did not submit it to the Senate as a treaty.  And so, we couldn’t defeat it because the President went around the Congressional treaty powers. And so –.

KELLEY:  But now you have evidence, Senator, with firing these missiles with words like– what exact words were used?  “Erase Israel” or “Israel must–.”  What is it?  I’ll find it, here.   Just a second.

KAFER:  “Israel must die” or something like that.  So, they’re doing this.  If the administration does nothing, is there anything Congress can do to hold it accountable?

GARDNER:  Well, Congress must, I believe, extend the Iran Sanctions Act.  That is something the President has hesitated.  He has not been supportive of that.  But I think we should extend it.  I think we should implement it.  I think we should do what we did in North Korea, and that is take away the discretion of the administration to grant these wide discretions –these wide waivers, national security waivers.  And you know, the President can veto the bill.  But I think we’ve got to continue to pressure the administration to not turn a blind eye on Iran. We’ve got to pressure the global community who has somehow decided that they’d rather make deals with Iranian businesses than actually stand up for Israel and our allies in the Middle East that Iran is threatening right now.  So, we’ve got to continue the pressure and we have to make sure that the people who supported the Iranian Nuclear deal are held accountable.

KELLEY:  Well, and this – and by the way, the words were “Israel must be wiped out.”  That was inscribed on those missles.

GARDNER:  And you know, this is what is so outrageous about the deal.  John Kerry, in a letter to the United States Senate, admitted that nothing in this deal would change the behavior of the Iranian regime — behavior as identified in writing on ballistic missiles that are designed to deliver a devastating murderous payload to Israel.  They signed a deal that freed up billions upon billions of dollars to Iran to grow their economy and to guarantee a 10-year pathway to a nuclear –an industrial nuclearized program. It’s unacceptable. This president is wrong.  And he has empowered an enemy that has designs on a hege—basically, creating regional hegemony in in the Middle East.

KELLEY:  You’ve got to move to get him to veto that again.  I don’t know what it takes, but this is so blatantly obvious, in-your-face stuff that does this President needs to be held accountable.  Any plans to do so?

GARDNER:  Absolutely.  We — every chance we get.  We’re inserting measures on appropriations bills to defund, or putting forward other amendments that put the President’s actions in the spotlight.  But the other thing is, too, I think we have to recognize that there are Democrats right now who are really regretting their vote, and they want what — I guess you could call it, basically, a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card, where they’re trying to cover their bad actions with a vote that they know the President will veto.  So, you know, we don’t want to let people off the hook for what they’ve done to –.  We hold them accountable, as well.

KAFER:  Well, you’ve got a lot of agreement from us here in Colorado.  Sen. Cory Gardner, we sure appreciate your time today.

GARDNER:  Hey, thanks for having me.  Thank you!

KELLEY:  And the next time you have a secret meeting, can we be invited?

GARDNER:  [laughing] You know what?  This is a – actually, the forum, in terms of learning, was a great opportunity and I hope that people will check out the work that the American Enterprise Institute does, because I think they would be very impressed with it from a conservative standpoint.

KAFER:   I absolutely love AEI.  I actually give to them, and also really love their top policy experts.  And, I also have their decoder ring.  So, um, it’s good stuff!

[hearty laughter]

Thanks, Senator!

Hey, thank you very much!  Thanks!

KELLEY:  So long.  Yeah. Arthur Brooks —  we have calls in, by the way, to the AEI.  This is the thing.  Yeah, I mean, everybody likes a good conspiracy.  This is the beauty of Donald Trump in this whole race.  There are folks that are so entrenched for Donald Trump, and that’s a good thing — if you are of Donald Trump backer, you want to fight for the guy.  But the Huffington Post creating this this idea that there’s some vast conspiracy to undermine and to get rid of Trump by any means possible, I don’t know.  Obviously, if you don’t like the guy you’re going to want to get rid of him.  What’s wrong with that?  If you like the guy and you want to vote for him, fine!  Go ahead!

KAFER:   The Democrats would love for him to be the candidate because he’s the one that does the worst against Hillary, and so I wouldn’t put it past them for doing this on purpose just to gin up a conspiracy that makes Trump look good.

KELLEY:  Sometimes make your teeth grind, doesn’t it – politics?