Dan Caplis Show, Cory Gardner, January 30, 2018

Station:   KNUS, 710 AM

Guests:    Gardner, Cory

Link:        http://dancaplis.podbean.com/

Date:        January 30, 2018

Topics:     State of the Union, Economy, Tradition, Constitution, Dems Boycotting, Wage Growth, Tax Plan, Tax  Cuts, Nancy Pelosi, Infrastructure Plan, Immigration reform, Border Security, “Slobbering Trump”, Chuck Schumer, Tom Tancredo, primary strategy vs. general election strategy, Mark Udall

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HOST DAN CAPLIS:: [00:00:00] Senator Cory Gardner will join us at 4:20 [p.m.] to preview the State of the Union. And Senator Gardner, as you know, has become very quickly– as a freshman — one of the most powerful senators in America. So it’ll be interesting to get his take on the State of the Union and chat. […] But right now, what a privilege to go to the VIP line and welcome Senator Cory Gardner back to 710 KNUS. Even though he’s a freshman senator, he has become one of the primary leaders in the GOP Senate caucus, and one of the most prominent voices nationwide. Senator, [I] appreciate the time today for a little preview of the State of the Union. How are you doing?

U.S. SENATOR FROM COLORADO, AND NRSC CHAIR, CORY GARDNER:: [00:00:37] I’m doing great. Good afternoon. Thanks for having me on, though.

CAPLIS: [00:00:40] Let me ask you: this sounds a little bit naive and school-girlish, but I’ve always wanted to attend a State of the Union. Someday I hope to. But still, do you get numb to all that? Or does it still mean something to you when you walk in there tonight and there’s all the pageantry?

GARDNER:: [00:00:55] You know, it’s a pretty incredible thing to be at, because it’s not just something that happens because a couple of decades ago they thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if this happens?” No. I mean, this is actually a function of our Constitution that talks about the Congress inviting the President to give the joint session of Congress an update on the State of the Union. This is something that’s been going on for, you know, since our country was founded through the Constitution, anyway. And so it’s pretty remarkable to be there tonight, knowing that this is something that we’ve had for 200-plus years.

CAPLIS: [00:01:26] Yeah, I would think it’s special. And what do you expect tonight? Because it seems to me — as a guy out here — that despite this ongoing, I think unprecedented level of opposition that President Trump has been able to accomplish a lot. So, what do you think the vibe is going to be in there tonight?

GARDNER:: [00:01:45] Well, I think this is a chance for the President to really talk about those accomplishments, to talk about the fact that we passed significant bipartisan legislation to make it easier for lifesaving drugs to get approved, that we passed legislation to repeal a whole bunch of bad regulations that were dragging the economy down, that we passed a massive tax cut for the American people allowing them to keep more of their own dollars in their own pocket. So this is a little bit of a chance for the President to say, “Hey, this is what we accomplished over the last year. As a result, we have more people believing we have the strongest economy in decades. We have more people seeing wage growth. We have more people being able to keep more of their own dollars in their own pocket. We have more people finding better jobs. And this is what we can now do together to make this next year even better.”

CAPLIS: [00:02:30] And what do you expect? You know, it’s always — every State of the Union has some surprise, some twist in it. Any feel for what that might be tonight?

GARDNER:: [00:02:39] Well, I think — you know, I don’t know. I mean, obviously you have people like Nancy Pelosi who continue to deny that a thousand dollars is a lot of money.

CAPLIS: [00:02:47] Right.

GARDNER:: [00:02:48] That — She continues to say that a tax cut is a dark cloud over, you know, the Congress or whatever it is, because apparently she believes Washington can do a better job of taking our money than the people who actually have earned it. But you know, is there surprise? Is somebody going to do something outrageous tonight? I certainly hope not. There’s been a lot of division in the country over the past year. I hope there’s no outbursts from people that will embarrass themselves. Again, this is something that’s in the Constitution. This is something that we should take the time to become a part of, to bring America together, and to talk about what we all are interested in, and that’s this president succeeding just as we’re interested in every president succeeding.

CAPLIS: [00:03:26] Senator Cory Gardner, obviously our special guest. It seems to me the President goes in tonight — and the GOP goes in tonight — with a lot of momentum. You know, the tax reform, the defeat of Schumer and the Dems’ shut down, just a lot of momentum on multiple fronts. And so, I expect — and it appears to be what the news stories are right now — that this is going to be Trump’s effort at a unity, healing, very positive kind of evening. Any particulars –any meat — you can put on those bones?

GARDNER:: [00:03:56] Yeah, I think the President’s going to flesh out–keeping with the theme–a little bit more of his infrastructure plan. There had been the six page memo that was released on some of the 30,000-foot views of how he was going to come up with an infrastructure package. I think he’ll talk more in-depth about that. I think he’ll talk more in-depth about his plan to address immigration issues, including how he needs to have border security in order for him to move forward and what that means. I think it’s easy to say “border security”, but it’s more difficult to say exactly what it means. And I think that’s an important part of this conversation, is the President to say, “This is what I mean by ‘border security'”, because it is a very critical part of this debate. I think he’s got a chance to talk about the military. And you know, one of the things, Dan, that hasn’t been talked about much over the past year: the success that our men and women in uniform have had in the war against terror.

CAPLIS: [00:04:45] Yeah. Yeah, that’s right!

GARDNER:: [00:04:45] And I hope that that’s a big highlight tonight.

CAPLIS:: [00:04:46] Amen to that! Senator Cory Gardner, our special guest. Infrastructure: love the idea of it. I know that you are a fiscal hawk. How do you pay for it? How do you finance this infrastructure project? Because we’re talking really big numbers!

GARDNER:: [00:05:01] That’s a great question. And I think that’s what everybody is listening for — [what] that flesh should be, and how it’s going to be paid for. There have been ideas on everything from how do we take advantage of the resource development in this country, put that toward transportation infrastructure. There had been talk of other ideas in terms of, you know, using different resources the government already has to pay for infrastructure, using tax dollars that are coming back in from overseas to help pay for it — which we’re seeing a lot of those investments coming back in, now, as a result of the tax cuts — using some of that for transportation. So, I hope tonight that we’ll get a better idea of how to do that and maintain our fiscal responsibility.

CAPLIS: [00:05:38] Senator Cory Gardner, our special guest, [his] preview the State of the Union, tonight. You know, I see this and — I’m looking at a headline regarding Nancy Pelosi who you mentioned earlier. And, you know, there’s always a temporary aggravation. But then I just want to say, “Thank you! Thank you, Nancy Pelosi!” Because I think she’s just driving people in the middle away from the Democrats. Did you see this quote from her? “Pelosi tells Democrats not to disrupt ‘slobbering Trump during State of the Union.’ She tells the Democrats not to disrupt the address, saying the focus should be on, quote-unnquote, his slobbering self.” How do you even respond to something like that.?

GARDNER:: [00:06:15] Look, that’s beneath the dignity of any office, here. And people can complain about President Trump, but they should mind their own business too. If they don’t like it when he does something that they think is inappropriate, they shouldn’t then turn around and do it themselves. I mean, this is beyond the dignity of anybody in Congress.

CAPLIS: [00:06:33] Well said! So, Senator, as we head into the address tonight, what else should folks be looking for?

GARDNER:: [00:06:40] So, I think, really, what they should be looking for is — I think the President said it well — America is back! America is open for business! And it’s something that we’ve seen this whole past year. You know, there have been economic indicators that show that the business investment in this country had been going down up to 2017, as a result of the change. All of a sudden, business investment took off in this country again and started going even higher. I think the fact that you have people like Apple — businesses like Apple –putting 350 billion dollars into this country over the next five years, it really does show that this is not a country that is going to settle for second as I felt at times. Barack Obama was trying to get it done and what I think Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer would like to see.

CAPLIS: [00:07:22] Amen to that. Final question, shifting gears for a second. We’re fortunate to have you on a big news day here in Colorado, when Congressman Tom Tancredo drops out of the governor’s race. Any thoughts on that?

GARDNER:: [00:07:34] You know, I just saw the release myself not too long ago. And I know there’s going to be a robust race in the primary. You’ve got a number of candidates that are still in the race. I think what we have to do as Republicans is make sure that we’re rallying around the Republican nominee. This is a very important election, going into 2018. We need this. I think it bodes well for 2020, with a number of important issues coming up — from redistricting and beyond –that we have a Republican in the Governor’s office.

CAPLIS: [00:08:04] Yeah, and again, I think that’s so important. And I often talk to people about your race, because, you know, we’re so fortunate to have you as our U.S. Senator instead of Mark Udall. And on top of that, you know, the things that you’re accomplishing independently. And that race, I mean, you ran what I consider to be a virtually perfect race. And yet, if that had been a contested primary, how much tougher would it have been for you to roll into the general? Any perspective on that?

GARDNER:: [00:08:30] You know, you always run the risk of spending a lot of money in a primary. And then when you try to turn around and run a general election, that money is gone. And it’s very difficult to kind of get it back into stride. So, that can be a significant challenge and something that a lot of candidates around the country face — that challenge of spending all the money and then trying to run a campaign for the rest of the way against the actual opponent in the general election on an empty tank.

CAPLIS:: [00:08:55] Well, hey Senator, really appreciate the time today — the preview of the State of the Union. Hope that you enjoy it tonight and [I] look forward to the next visit.

GARDNER:: [00:09:02] Well, thanks Dan thanks for having me.

CAPLIS:: [00:09:03] Thank you my friend. Take care. That is a U.S. Senator Cory Gardner.