AM Colorado, Cory Gardner, March 27, 2014

Station:   KFKA, 1310 AM

Show:      AM Colorado

Guests:    Gardner, C


Date:       March 27, 2014

Topics:     Obamacare, State Exchanges, Private Insurance Exchanges, Medicaid, Lost Insurance, Cancellations, Department of Interior Division of Fish and Wildlife, Rhea Suh, Sage Grouse, Endangered Species Act, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas Development, Liquefied Natural (LNG), Bob Schaffer, Contraception, Abortion, The Denver Post, Public Policy Polls, Democrats, Deadline Extension, Polling Numbers, Keystone Pipeline, Kathleen Sebelius

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HOST DEVON LENTZ:   All right, Cory.  What’s –.


LENTZ: Fabulous.  It was great to see you on Friday, late afternoon.

GARDNER:  Hey, it was a great time to see so many friends up in Larimer County.

LENTZ:  Absolutely, it was.  So, all right, let’s dive into things.  What is the hottest item you got going on right now in D.C.?  And then we will take it back to Colorado.

GARDNER:  Well, absolutely.  What we have today, of course, action is taking place on the Senate side with the nomination of a new head of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, of the Department of the Interior.  This nominee is going to go through the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the Senate.  Happens to be a Coloradoan.  Her name is Rhea Suh, and unfortunately, s her background includes a hostility toward energy development in the United States and particularly hostile to natural gas development.  Just at a time when we’re trying to increase our energy, increase our natural gas opportunities, the President has nominated an anti energy, anti natural gas candidate to take over a key position in the Department of Interior.

HOST TOM LUCERO:  Well, which is interesting, Cory, because with what you’re proposing, if I understand correctly, and what is going on in the world right now.  We look at the geopolitical state of the Ukraine, and Russia controlling the natural gas flowing into the Ukraine – or to the Ukraine and to Europe, as well.  You would think that at some point, these guys would get it!

GARDNER:  You would absolutely think so.  And in fact, we had a witness from the Department of Energy testifying on a bill that I have to help increase our export opportunities of natural gas, and she was testifying about the importance of exporting natural gas and recognized the eopolitical significance of it. And yet administration, once again,  puts people in key places – people who are going to be in charge of a Endangered Species Act and other things that can stymy energy development, hostile energy advocate –[correcting himself] uh, anti-energy advocate in place at the Department of Interior.

LENTZ:  But we already have the Secretary of Interior here trying to pass laws on the Sage Grouse, and she won’t even let press in, in a room with elected officials.  This sounds like just more of the same, then.

GARDNER:  Well, and it is, and particularly interesting because you have Senator Mark Udall, who sits on that committee, and today will be voting.  Now, Senator Udall has said that he supports exporting of natural gas but he may be voting for a Interior nominee who opposes the development of natural gas.  And I don’t know how you can mesh the two.

LUCERO:  […]  So the question is, what do we have to do to get the word out about Senator Udall and what he actually does when he is in D.C., not what he just says when he is in Colorado.

GARDNER:  That’s right, and I think if you look at actions related to the Keystone pipeline, um, he opposed the Keystone pipeline. If you look at actions that this particular nominee has made, has led to basically the blueprint of the ‘sue and settle’ strategy by extreme environmental groups who enter into the lawsuits against the United States, paid for by the United States, and then shuts down business opportunities that create jobs for the people who desperately need them.

LUCERO:  […] Hey, Cory, let’s switch gears.  You got a little bit of heat this last week in an interview you had with The Denver Post. Give our listeners a little more insight into what you were trying to tell them over at The Denver Post. 

GARDNER:  Well, you know, if you look at my position as a pro-life member of Congress, if you look what we did four years ago during the 2009, 2010 run up to the election [inaudible] the number of initiatives on the ballot, I had stated then that I supported an initiative known as the Personhood initiative.  But since that time, I have done a lot of work, done a lot of studying, and learned that that is actualy something that many pro-lifers agree, could ban contraception and is a step back for the pro-life effort.  And I believe the voters of Colorado have spoken –that they said ‘no’ to this on multiple occasions, and we ought to be working together on common goals that we can achieve, instead of fighting over a separate issue.

LUCERO:  So, Cory, has your position on life changed, or just your position on – with regards to the Personhood initiative?

GARDNER:  Uh, that’s a, uh, yeah.  I mean, if you look at my record, it still is a pro-life record.  And many pro-lifers in Colorado, including Congressman Bob Schaffer, the Archbishop Chaput of the Catholic Diocese, hold the same position.

LENTZ:  So, it’s really, it’s more along the lines, if I’m understanding correctly, on what contraception is available for women, not – not abortion — for being abortion– it’s just more having the choice of birth control itself.

GARDNER:  Well, that’s one of the consequences that we looked at in terms of contraception, but this issue is, I think, a settled issue in Colorado and something that pro-lifers – you know, like I respect peoples’ difference of opinion on this, and I think there are a lot of differences of opinions on this, but I happen to agree that, with the things that I have learned, that I did something that was the right position to –uh, to take.

LUCERO:  So, Cory, what else is going on in the campaign, right now?

GARDNER:  So, we are getting tremendous support throughout the four corners of Colorado.  We’ve been excited by the level of support from east, west, north, and south of the state.  And if you look at the polling numbers, they continue to show, basically, a statistical dead heat in the race.  But those are Democrat polls!  Those are the Public Policy Pollings of the world, who are Democrat firms, and if the best that they can do is show us in a tie, we feel really good.

LENTZ:  Well, and so, Cory, Senator Udall is apparently out there defending how he voted for Obamacare, saying he’d do it again!  Does he really not understand the repercussions of this piece of legislation and what it is doing to individuals, especially here in Colorado?

GARDNER:  Clearly, Senator Udall does not understand what Obamacare has meant for the people of Colorado, because if he did, he would not continue to support a bill that Cost 335,000 Coloradoans their health insurance, that continues to cost women their doctors, that continues to cost families their pediatricians, that continues to cost more for Colorado businesses and Colorado individuals.  And so we have a problem in this country where people like Senator Udall insist on doubling down on bad ideas.

LUCERO:  So, what happens next after the administration granted one more delay on the deadline, from March 31st all the way up to April 15st ?

GARDNER:  You know, it’s a little bit like building a house.  If there’s no doors or windows, you have a problem with the contractor.  If the contractor continues to say, “Oh, just don’t worry about it, we’ll make that work.” And then, you know, they put the doors and the windows on, and you get inside and there’s no floor in there, you’ve got a problem.  The contractor says, “Ah, don’t worry about it, we’ll make it work.”  That’s the way this President is building Obamacare. It’s hurting the American people. And again, this is just one big “Ah, you know, whatever I say the law is, that’s what it’s going to be.” And the deadline getting extended is just one more side of that.

LENTZ:   Well, and we’re never really seeing the true numbers on the effect of this.   They’re claiming that they 5 million people have signed up of the 7 million they were looking for, but we don’t know how many of those 5 million actually signed up and have paid for their insurance, and how many of those 5 million people were uninsured to begin with, that now have insurance, or how many people used to have insurance but aren’t getting it now, and they’re falling into the “uninusured” [category].

GARDNER:  Just look at the Colorado numbers, I think something in the neighborhood – now, they may have updated the numbers, so maybe this is a number from a week ago that has since changed.  But I think in Colorado, the number of people who have gone through the private exchange in Colorado, the state’s exchange in Colorado, was around 120- to 130,000 people who have bought private insurance.  Now, there was an additional 100,000 or so who have gone on to the Medicaid side of that – of the state exchange.  But if that’s the case, we have 335,000 Coloradoans who lost their insurance.  And only 120,000 have gone through the state’s exchange.  Look, we know that Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius promised the same thing that the President did.  We know that Mark Udall promised the same thing the President did:  if you like your healthcare plan, you could keep it.  It was named the “Lie of the Year”.  But they continue to force the American people into their lie.

LUCERO:  Joining us on the phone, right now, Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District Congressman Cory Gardner.  Cory, we always appreciate the time!

GARDNER:  Hey, thank you so much for having me!