Kelley & Company, Cory Gardner, April 30, 2013
Station: KNUS, 710 AM
Show: Kelley & Company
Guests: Gardner, C.
Date: April 30, 2013
Topics: Benghazi, Libya, Attorney General Eric Holder, Whistleblower Statutes, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, State Department, Embassy, John Kerry, Ambassador Stephens, Request for Increase in Security, Immigration Reform, Sequestration, Spending Cuts, Federal Aviation Association (FAA), In-state Tuition, Illegal Immigrants, Undocumented, Colorado ASSET Bill, Law Enforcement Notification Bill, Mainstream Media, Boston Bombings
HOST STEVE KELLEY: [commenting on potential whistleblowers involved in Benghazi incident, who are afraid for their careers because of threats from the Obama administration.] The suggestion that you would have to worry about your job for telling everything you knew, is absolutely despicable! What in the HELL is going on with this country? And I’m not one for cussing a lot, but this is beyond reasonability. It’s absolutely despicable! Congressman Cory Gardner is joining us now on Kelley & Company Live. Good morning, Congressman.
US REPRESENTATIVE CORY GARDNER: Good morning, Steve! How are you doing?
KELLEY: I’m mad! I’m mad! I’m mad, and you can tell! Would you comment on this, please. I mean, I cannot, I cannot believe this!
GARDNER: Yeah. Well, you heard Secretary Kerry the other day go before a committee [inaudible] a government oversight committee, and say something to the effect of this: “I don’t want to spend the next year coming up here talking about Benghazi.” And based on what we know and what we’re finding out, I wouldn’t want to come up here, either, and testify about Benghazi if I were him, because there’s a lot of information that’s yet to come out and it’s not putting them in a good light. The fact is, we have to make sure that these employees, as people who know what happened, who have information about the deaths of four Americans, as the report the House of Representatives put out the other day that said the failures of Benghazi go to the highest levels of the State Department. They have information on this that we need to know. And we must protect them from anybody who is trying to cover their tails, or cover their rears, because they’ve made mistakes within their own decisions.
KELLEY: There shouldn’t even have to be a whistle blower law, as far as I’m concerned, Congressman. This is all politics, though. It’s just politics, isn’t it?
GARDNER: Well, it certainly is politics. You’ve got a – you’ve got a[n] administration that is trying to protect the State Department. You have a[n] administration that cooked up an answer about what happened to — that led up to the Benghazi attacks. We know that in conversations as recent as just a couple of years ago that the Secretary of State herself, Hilary Clinton, said, “No, we will proceed with security reduction,” even though they had – the ambassador had requested more security in Benghazi and Libya. So, this is – we know this is not going good, not falling in line with the administration’s description of events. And there are four families who lost loved ones. There are four – we lost the ambassador of the United States of America on US proper – US soil. And we have to get those answers. And if that means that we have to use whistleblower statutes to protect people because there are those within the administration that want to do everything they can to stop them, then by all means we have to provide this protection to let the truth come out.
KELLEY: Why is this getting ignored?
GARDNER: What is getting ignored? What I think is getting ignored is the people who have the information, who are being [inaudible], who are getting [inaudible] who are getting shut out. I think what’s getting ignored is the right of Congress to get answers to questions.
KELLEY: Well, I guess I’m talking about the media, in general.
Oh, right! I’m sorry. Yeah.
KELLEY: Yeah, and you’re right, though! I mean, it’s not that the Congress, at least in the House, isn’t pressing. You’re certainly not forgetting about this. But, how is this—If this were George Bush, if this were a Bush administration, can you imagine what would be happening?
GARDNER: Well, could you imagine if somebody on the Republican side had threatened the people at Solyndra that there could be consequences if they don’t tell the truth about their solar panels, or – there’d be—you can imagine the outcry that would be developing out of that! But I think you’ve got a media that simply wants to move on because they don’t want to – a mainstream media that wants to move on because they don’t want to follow through what could be a very unsettling situation for this administration.
KELLEY: Eric Holder – what should happen with this guy? I mean, whether it’s Fast and Furious, Benghazi, voter intimidation, you know, Boston, you know, this “Miranda-ization” of this guy right in the middle of an interrogation, all of this stuff! You start to build this clear picture of the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the United States. What can you do?
GARDNER: Well, it seems that most people who have had the ability to find a different job, have found a different job within the administration. And Eric Holder is staying on within the administration, and not leaving as the second term begins. We have – Congress has dealt with Eric Holder’s refusal and reluctance to get to the truth time and time again. Whether it’s the possible censure from Congress over the issue of Fast and Furious, or whether it’s refusal to dive into an investigation of his administration on Benghazi. Again, this is an Attorney General who I think is more interested in keeping the façade of an administration, than [getting] the truth to the American people.
KELLEY: It’s almost like a hurricane. It’s – the wind is strong for a short period of time, but you wait until it blows over and then you’re still alive and you’re okay.
GARDNER: They are counting on the American people having a short attention span. And that if something else happens that takes the news away from this, then they can stop working on this. They can shift to that, and the whole thing just goes away. I think the president himself – he mixed his movies, I think. What did he call it? He said, “I’ll mind meld and it’ll just go away.” [laughs] Star Wars and Star Trek.
KELLEY: Yeah. [It’s] got to be frustrating, I would think. I don’t know. I mean, how do you keep it all prioritized and straight? What is top of mind for you and the top of your list right now as Colorado congressman?
GARDNER: Well, in terms of Benghazi, I think we’ve got to — I am very, very interested in finding out what these four employees will reveal about what the administration knew, and what happened leading up to – [inaudible] three critical time periods of Benghazi: the month leading up to the attacks, the eight hour time period during the attacks, and of course, the time following the attacks as the administration sort of rolled out their attempts to explain or cover what had happened. So, we have got just to get those answers back, on this issue, absolutely of critical importance. On other issues I’m working on, it’s funny that you mention whistleblower, because as we have seen with the FAA, this president is making absolute political decisions to cause impact and pain on people who can feel the cuts, making decisions to feel the cuts in the worst way possible when it comes to these spending cuts. So, I just [inaudible] a bill that reassures federal employees that they have whistleblower protections, so that when they come forward and tell that their supervisors are making political decisions instead of good policy decisions, they know that they can keep their job.
KELLEY: You know, I’d hate to see, Congressman, what – we’re talking with Congressman Cory Gardner, by the way. What would happen if we had to make real cuts? These are cuts in projected growth. These aren’t even cuts in the sense that we would talk a draconian cut that would make a huge difference, here. This is a cut in the rate of growth, and you’re peddling this pain and this crap based on the sequestration. Yet, I see Sheila Jackson Lee, this morning, a $23,000 trip around the world, taxpayers paid for. She was supposed to go with a coalition, but she did not go on the same plane and flew privately, and all this. And yet, you know, military, of which I have – as you know well, I have two in the military right now.
GARDNER: Right. Yep.
KELLEY: And some of their benefits are being threatened if not cut back completely.
GARDNER: Well, I was just visiting with some people involved in providing tutoring assistance to our men and women in uniform, and those opportunities have been cut back because of the sequester. But they’re not cut back because of the sequester, they’re cut back because of a decision being made to make these kinds of public decisions hurt. And that’s unacceptable. It’s despicable behavior. And I never would have thought that people in our government would make those type of decisions.
KELLEY: Do you think there are moderate to liberal people that are finding some kind of eye-opening experience of what is going on here? Or, are we just pounding this conservative drum and it’s not really resonating or changing people’s minds?
GARDNER: Well, I think the FAA sort of reversal has to open people’s minds. When you had a president saying all along that this can’t be dealt with, this can’t be done, this can’t be done. You have us saying that absolutely, you can manage these in a way that doesn’t cause this kind of effect, and the Senate had to admit that it did. And they gave the president coverage by passing legislation. And so, I think that experience, in and of itself, blows the excuses of this administration. And people have to notice that.
KELLEY: Comments on Colorado, now. The governor, last Friday, rescinded a bill, repealed a bill on notification of illegals. This all ties together, by the way, the Boston bombings and all of these are connected. Obviously, you deal with these things on a federal level, but as a state, now, we’ve repealed this notification thing. And then, in-state tuition for illegals in Colorado, you must have a comment on that.
GARDNER: Well, I think we’re actually doing everything backwards. The solution has to come from the federal government on border security with an immigration policy that actually works to identify those who want to come into this country legally, who want to work here legally. But we can’t start putting in place in-state tuition, whether it’s other things that are being in placed [sic] by the states, without actually addressing the root problem that will only continue more illegal immigration into this country. And so, that’s why we’ve got to have a policy that actually works, and I believe it starts with border security.
KELLEY: All right. Well, listen, we have one minute. We’re talking with Congressman Cory Gardner. When you walk in – and a couple weeks ago we were there at CPAC, and I had never really spent any lengthy time in Washington. But we walked from the Supreme Court all the way down to the Lincoln Memorial and back. And I kept thinking, you know, you came to mind a couple times, and what it must be like to walk into that Capital on a daily basis and go in there, what is your attitude, just personally? Set aside – what do you go in there with an attitude to accomplish on a daily basis? I’m curious.
GARDNER: It’s an att – I take the attitude of service to the country, an oath to the Constitution, and a very humble spirit, knowing that those grani—those marble steps that have been worn out, they were not worn out by me. They were worn out by hundred years of people serving their country and we have an oath to them and to the next hundred years to do what’s right by our country and our Constitution.
KELLEY: Well, God bless you in that effort. It is absolutely disgusting what’s going on with respect to Benghazi. Keep fighting!
GARDNER: Will do!
KELLEY: All right. Thank you, Congressman. [I] appreciate it.
GARDNER: Thank you. Bye.
KELLEY: Congressman Cory Gardner, here on Kelley & Company. Seven-twenty on […]