Kelley & Company, Cory Gardner, December 11, 2012

Station:      KNUS, 710AM

Show:        Kelley & Company

Guests:      Gardner


Date:         December 11, 2012

Topics:      Fiscal Cliff, Sequestration, Congress, Taxes, Spending, Jobs, Working Families, Middle Class, Economy, Growth, Tax Increase, Lower Income Earners, Takehome Pay, Bully Pulpit, Obamacare Fee, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Susan Rice, Secretary of State, Nomination, “Lincoln”,  Partisanship, Compromise, Debt, Deficit, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Tea Party, Conservatives, Finance Committees, November Election, House Majority, Senate, Harry Ried (D-Nev), Budget, 13th Amendment, Abolish Statement,

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HOST STEVE KELLEY:  Why do you guys [Republicans] seem to be losing the PR battle [on the fiscal cliff]? I mean, it’s so easy to blame a Republican, but it seems to stick to you?

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE CORY GARDNER:   Well, you know, it’s tough. We’ve got to do a better job of messaging and explaining to people who are in the middle class, people who are lower income earners, that people who will be affected by this tax increase are people like you, people who are working hard to make ends meet, people who are struggling to pay the mortgage, because their business are going to be hard hit. That’s going to result in lower take home pay because the businesses they work with are suffering and struggling to bear the burden of the tax increases. That’s the bottom line and so the President controls the bully pulpit, regardless of who it is in the White House, whether it is a Democrat or a Republican. They have a tremendous opportunity to shape the outlines of the message.


KELLEY:  Back to the fiscal cliff, Obama vows, “No compromise, no compromise on taxes!”  Why can’t you come out and say, “Okay, no compromise on spending!”?

GARDNER:  Well, and that’s—you know, again, this is, to me—that’s where I’m at because we cannot agree to a tax increase. That is not the solution. That is not going to solve our $16 trillion debt. That’s what I am urging our leaders, Speaker Boehner and others, to make sure they are adhering to.  The president has increased this debt by over $5 trillion over the last four years, even with his tax increase we would still see the deficits increase by over $900 billlion a year for the next five years, at least.

KELLEY:  Yeah.  Speaker Boehner ‘s getting some criticism, here.  There’s some undercurrent, here, saying, “Look!” – there’s a sense that there is some compromise brewing, here, and letting these fiscal Tea Party conservatives go, basically, or taking them off these finance committees—this doesn’t look well.  Is there something going on behind the scenes about Speaker Boehner, sir?

GARDNER:  I don’t believe so.  If there is, he’s got a conference to not only deal with, but he’s got to fine the votes to pass tuhe package.  And I certainly don’t th—and I think he knows that the [Republican] conference does not support a tax increase, that there is no will to increase taxes amongst the Republican Party and the House majority.  And again, we got elected as a majority in November, just a month ago, because we stood strong against this president, saying, “His fiscal policies are destroying this country.  Here’s our plan.”  That’s why we think we have a better opportunity going forward.

KELLEY:  But you’re the House.  There is still the Senate.

GARDNER:  There is still the Senate, and obviously Harry Ried has been a major impediment to progress.  Part of the problem we’re in today is because they have failed to do anything over there!  They’ve  failed to pass a budget in three-and-a-half years!

KELLEY:  Yeah.  It’s very, very frustrating here on Main Street, trying to figure out what the heck is going on with you guys back in Washington, here.  What do you think is going to happen, Cory Gardner?

GARDNER:  I think we will start – if there is going to be a solution, I think we’ll start seeing the outline.  And I certainly hope that there is a solution, one that does not increase taxes but focuses on cutting spending and growing the economy.  I think we’ll start to see that emerge by that weekend of the 22nd and 23rd.  If not, again, my commitment is to be there throughout the holidays and making sure that we’re solving this for the American people.

KELLEY:  Did you see the movie “Lincoln” yet?

GARDNER:  It’s incredible!  In fact, I saw it with some other members of Congress and it is a very good show.

KELLEY:  You know, I bring that up because I’ve seen it three times.  It’s unbelievable, and I’ll be happy to see it four times!  What struck me, among other things, of course the tremendous acting, but was the contentious nature – of course, we weren’t that far removed from Britain at the time, but the contentious nature between you guys there on the floor over, in this case, the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery.  But you know, you used—in that chamber, you guys used to call each other names!  I think we need to get back to that!

GARDNER:  It’s interesting, too, because people talk about partisanship and name-calling, and you saw it over a hundred years ago, and you do see it today.  But, the bottom line is, it’s not going to solve problems.  We’ve got to put people together in a room and throw out the key and make sure that people are getting the job done.