Caplis & Kafer Show, Cory Gardner, November 8, 2018

Station:    KHOW, 630 am

Show:       Caplis & Kafer Show

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:        November 8, 2018

Topics:     Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Corruption, Incompetence, Elections, 2018 Midterm Elections, Defying History, Senate Majority, Marco Rubio, Broward county, Palm County, Maricopa County, Pima County, Pimal County, Sinema, McSally, Blue Wave, Tax Initiatives, Anti-Oil and Gas Measures, Colorado Blue Tsunami, Hickenlooper

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HOST DAN CAPLIS: [00:00:00] Hey, let’s go to the VIP line and welcome Senator Cory Gardner.

HOST KRISTA KAFER: [00:00:01] Oh, yeah! Let’s do it!

CAPLIS: [00:00:01] [Gardner is] one of the big winners on Tuesday night. We should all be grateful for that because we’re all going to benefit from this expanded Senate majority. Senator!

KAFER: [00:00:10] Hi, Senator!

GARDNER: [00:00:12] Hey, you both! Congratulations on the new show!

CAPLIS: [00:00:12] Yeah, thank you!

KAFER: [00:00:16] Thanks! And, great — [It’s our] second day, [and] we’ve got you on, which is absolutely fantastic. Congratulations [on the] 4 states pick-up!

CAPLIS: [00:00:21] Yeah, and uh–.

GARDNER: [00:00:22] Well, we’ll see. You know, we’ve got some close races in Arizona and Florida. So, you know, whatever number we end up with, we’re in the majority, and it’s going to be bucking history. We’ll see what that final number is over the coming days.

CAPLIS: [00:00:34] And Senator, let’s start with that if we may, because if anybody knows the latest it is you. We have Marco Rubio out there saying — and he’s tweeting it, as you know, “Hey, wait a second! Dem lawyers are down there in Florida trying to steal that Senate seat.” Where do things stand in Florida?

GARDNER: [00:00:50] Well, right now, you know, there’s lawyers from across the country converging on Florida [with] concerns over how Broward and Palm counters are carrying out — Surprise! Surprise! It’s like deja vu, here — how they are carrying out their elections. I mean, votes are showing up in boxes after midnight. This is the stuff of nightmares and corruption. So, this is, I think, a very alarming occurrence.

KAFER: [00:01:14] From the land of the hanging chad. That is pretty sketchy. What about Arizona? I thought McSally had that in the bag.

GARDNER: [00:01:22] Well, so I think, you know, their latest recount numbers just posted there. There’s still a lot of votes to be counted, and Sinema has taken the lead, as of right now. But there are still hundreds of thousands of votes to be counted. Now, Arizona and Florida, I don’t think they’re the same problems we’re dealing with. I mean, we know how many votes are out there. We basically know where they are in Arizona. That’s not the case in Florida, where there seems to be this shroud of incompetence or corruption over the election there.

CAPLIS: [00:01:50] Senator, let me follow up on that. Knowing, as you do, where those votes are still out in Arizona, are you confident that the GOP is going to have that Senate seat in the end?

GARDNER: [00:01:59] At this point, this is just going to be a really tight, close race. So, I can’t say with confidence, one way or the other. What I can say is that we have a legal team on the ground there, and we have people who are going to be in the rooms with people as these votes are counted and coming in. You know, Maricopa County is — there are pockets of Maricopa County that support Sinema, pockets that support McSally. So, who knows what pocket was counted. That’s part of the challenge, there. And so, we’ll see other numbers coming through there. I think Pima County reported tonight. That was not a good county for McSally but Pinal County will be coming in. That will be good for McSally. There’s 80-some thousand rural votes that should be favoring McSally over this. So, this is just a close race in a state that has seemed to struggle getting its votes counted.

CAPLIS: [00:02:47] Senator Cory Gardner, our special guest. If I may briefly, Krista — Senator, and I know Krista agrees with this, you so brilliantly navigated — you know — all of the Senate races around the country, around a lot of different hurdles, starting with the Roy Moore fiasco which I thought you very boldly and courageously stepped up and were able to save these candidates from getting immersed in. But tell us, that entire experience, what’s your big takeaway from it?

GARDNER: [00:03:15] Well, you know, history would show us that we should have lost the majority. And on average, the midterm elections, when we have the same party in the Senate as we do in the White House, we would lose about 3.8 Senate seats, more than enough to flip the control of the Senate. So, we defied history. We bucked history. Only a small — 3-4 times that’s been done in the past 100 years. So, you know, the keeping of the majority in the midterm, I think, is historic. And President Trump went out and worked his tail off in a lot of these states. And so I think those are the two key takeaways, how President Trump did more than I think any other president has done for elections and getting these candidates elected, and how we were able to defy history.

KAFER: [00:03:59] You know, Senator, across the country they were expecting a blue wave. Instead it ended up being kind of a blue mist. But here in Colorado it was a blue tsunami. And, I mean, you’re kind of one of the last Republicans standing — obviously not up for election this time around. What can we do to bring our state back at least to purple, if not to red?

GARDNER: [00:04:17] Well, yeah, I disagree with the blue tsunami in Colorado. I mean, tax increases were defeated with significant margins. [The] anti-Oil and Gas measure was defeated with a significant margin. And I don’t remember the headlines saying that we had a red tsunami back when we had every seat but the governor’s seat in office. And so, I think, look, Coloradans made a choice. They decided that they liked the Democrats more. We’re still in an evenly divided state — a third, a third, a third — you know, maybe a few more unaffiliated voters. But we’ve got to go out and make sure people understand the economy is better because of our ideas and our principles and our tax cuts and regulatory reforms. We have to show what we’ve been able to do to protect jobs and bring money back in to put money more money into people’s pockets, bring jobs back from overseas. That’s what we have to do and sell to the American people. And they know it inherently because they’re feeling it. So, I don’t look at this as a state that all of a sudden no longer cares about balance or bipartisanship. I think it is the same state it’s always been when it comes to looking for balance and opportunity.

CAPLIS: [00:05:21] Well, Senator, 2020 is now on, obviously. If you would, give people an overview of what your campaign is going to look like. And for those in the audience who want to join in, tell them how they can help.

GARDNER: [00:05:32] Yeah, absolutely! You know, we haven’t– we’ve been just closing up the Senate races, like we talked about. There are still Senate races that are being counted so, you know, we’re still focused on our priorities within the Senate and the legislative matters that we have to wrap up before the end of the year. But obviously, we’d love to hear you. We’ve got our website out there you can go to and check out. And I think if you look at the work that we’re going to be doing, it’s going to be fighting for every part of the state. It’s going to be positive. It’s going to be optimistic. And it’s going to be focused on how we can actually create a better, brighter future in areas like education, the environment, the economy, and beyond. So, I think we’re going to have this radical left surge, people who don’t want to have border security agencies, people who want to have universal health care. That’s just not who we are. And I don’t think that’s who the people of Colorado are.

KAFER: [00:06:20] I think there’s a likelihood that sometime in the next two years — if not in the next administration — we could see another nomination to the Supreme Court. I don’t know who’s going to be retiring, but several are of great senior age. So I think there are some great opportunities there for you in the Senate. Is there anything that can be done though in the meanwhile, before the House switches over, that we can get accomplished before the end of the year?

GARDNER: [00:06:46] You know, I think we’ll take a look at making the tax cuts permanent. I think that’s an important thing to be doing. I think there’s a number of confirmations that still have to be done. That’s all on the Senate side, so that can continue before after the year, although I’d like to see it done before the end of the year so that they don’t lapse and have to, you know, start the process all over again. I think there’s some regulatory reforms that we could continue. I’ve got some legislation dealing with Colorado issues I’d like to see passed, some important land measures, and what we can do to protect law enforcement. I think that’s absolutely critical. We’ve seen far too much tragedy over this past year — several years — including in the last 24 hours. How do we protect our men and women in uniform in law enforcement? And gosh, there’s a lot of things we can be doing.

CAPLIS: [00:07:31] Yeah, and I love your bill — if I understand it right — that would allow a tax free contribution from employers to pay off employees’ student loans. But let me ask you this: the Attorney General’s job, you know, [is] now open, at least in terms of a long term appointment. So, what do you want to see? What do you want to see in the next AG?

GARDNER: [00:07:49] You know, I look forward to talking to whoever this is going to be. We’re going to talk a lot about states rights issues. We’re going to talk a lot about how they’re going to protect this country’s laws, what they see. I think we’re going to talk about criminal justice reform, where they are at when it comes to that. I think that’s something the President has talked about a lot. And so, this is just going to be a, you know, find the right person, go through the confirmation process and somebody who can find bipartisan support. I hope that — oh! go ahead.

KAFER: [00:08:16] [interrupting] Can we draft someone?

GARDNER: [00:08:16] Yeah, you know, I think if you have somebody — why not look at George Brauchler? Why not look at John Suthers?

CAPLIS: [00:08:20] [chuckles] Exactly!

KAFER: [00:08:20] You read our minds!

CAPLIS: [00:08:20] [That’s] exactly what we were going to say. Boy, he would be awesome! Senator, we’re so grateful for the time. I hope — and I know how busy you are and will be — but I hope you can be a regular with us, because Lord knows. there is going to be plenty to talk about.

GARDNER: [00:08:38] Well, I would love to be back, and look forward to it.

KAFER: [00:08:40] Thank you, Senator!

CAPLIS: [00:08:41] Thank you, sir. Take care.

GARDNER: [00:08:41] Thanks.