Ross Kaminsky Show, Cory Gardner, February 22, 2014

Station:   KOA, 850 AM

Show:      Ross Kaminsky Show

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:       February 22, 2014

Topics:     Leadership Program of the Rockies, Senator Mark Udall, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Minimum Wage, Income Inequality, Keystone Pipeline, Taxes, Executive Orders, Executive Action, Governor John Hickenlooper, Michael Bloomberg,

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[the following are notes from an interview.  All portions are paraphrased from the questions and responses between the host and the guest.]

HOST ROSS KAMINSKY:  District Description


  • If you’re in Park Meadows mall you’re in the same district as my hometown in Yuma
  • Big district

KAMINSKY:  Great to see you at LPR (Leadership Program of the Rockies) retreat this weekend


  • It’s great that all these people want to make a difference – true leaders
  • I thought it was a great event again
  • Alumni of LPR have a great history and reputation across the state

KAMINSKY:  Thrill to meet George Will

KAMINSKY:  Dems are desperate to change the conversation away from jobs, economy, & obamacare.  Top of their list to distract us right now – minimum wage.  Many Americans are ignorant about economic policy – they don’t know that it’s a bad idea.  It’s a popular idea politically, even tho’ in my view and that of economists, it’s a bad idea.  What’s your take on raising the min. wage as policy and as a politics


  • I think it’s very clear that the President knows that the politics of Obamacare are failing
    • The fact that Udall and others were the deciding votes to enact ACA
    • Obama knows he can’t come to CO to support Udall because Obama is so unpopular
  • He’s decided that “income inequality” is the ticket outside of Obamacare
    • Hence the Minimum wage debate
  • CBO report shows, economists validate that thousands of jobs will be lost as a result of an increase in the minimum wage
  • I do think the American people have a tremendous amount of economic sense
    • They understand that politics shouldn’t drive decisions coming out of DC
    • If there’s an issue with minimum wage, doesn’t it make sense that Colorado could address that issue best within Colorado
    • Because states are all different… local officials should make these decisions

KAMINSKY:  In your experience and interactions with voters, is Minimum Wage an issue that comes up, or is it what Dems hope ppl want to talk about?


  • One conversation – here’s how it went
    • We hire people for entry level positions and start them at min. wage
    • Keep them on board For a period of 30-45 days
    • If we think they’re going to stay, or we want them to stay, we give them an increase as an incentive to keep them on full time, permanently
      • Otherwise they probly leave
      • If min wage goes up – these companies just won’t hire these entry level people anymore
      • Goes to the heart of the CBO report that says it will cost jobs

KAMINSKY:  Will that answer will be compelling?  Is it Likely that the Senate will pass something on this.  Will it come up for a vote in the House?  If it did, what would happen?


  • We would insist in the house — that we’ve passed  bills
    • To improve the economy
    • To create jobs
  • If he’s serious about creating good paying jobs
    • Why doesn’t he sign the Keystone Pipeline bill?
    • Why doesn’t he sign bills to reduce regulation
    • Why doesn’t he sign legislation to reduce taxes
  • There are ways to increase economic activity and create jobs, to give ppl greater opportunity to make money
  • This pres has decided he doesn’t want to work with Congress
    • He doesn’t want solutions
    • He wants an issue
    • This president is really big on having issues

KAMINSKY:  Do you think that Congress might compromise on Min. Wage, or use it as a bargaining chip?  E.g.  $8.75 min. wage (as opposed to proposed $10) if you give us Keystone, or eliminating risk corridors from Obamacare or ??


  • I don’t even think that will happen
  • House recognizes that the overall economy could do so much more
    • If pres. would eliminate regs
    • If he’d eliminate trade barriers—this admin has even abandoned trade agenda now
  • Seems like the pres would rather be political than policy oriented
    • You’re right, this is a good political issue for the pres
  • Ppl realize the difference between Aspen and Burlington, between NYC and Denver
    • When WashDC tries to put one-size-fits-all solutions
      • Whether for wage regulation
      • Or for energy regulations
      • Those kinds of decisions aren’t always the best
      • That’s why people will simply say, let us make our own determinations
      • Including on the min. wage issue

KAMINSKY:  One of most Powerful person in the State – Hick –  has failed us in equating us with NYC

KAMINSKY:  Obama’s very aggressive Imperial approach to governing…. Exec.; orders.  Constitutionally, what do you think?  And the politics of this tack?


  • Constitution is clear, Congress makes law
  • Pres. Doesn’t get to make laws or change laws
    • Has to go to Congress to make law
    • Must ask Congress Change law
  • This pres hasn’t made productive relationships on either side – not with Dems nor with Rs over the past 4 years, has decided to do anything he can to end run around the Constitution and Congress
  • I think its:
    • Bad politics
    • Bad policy
  • People recognize that Failures in working with Congress – he can’t just blame that on Congress – he can’t get his own budget through the Dem majority Senate
  • People recognize that this is a weak president, a weak leader
  • In coming months
    • House will respond and react to this overreach
    • The supreme court will react to this overreach
    • People will certainly disagree with what the president is trying to do

KAMINSKY:  You’re in a safe seat, and you’re respected in Congress as strong principled conservative, so you have the advantage of being freer to actually say what you believeMany in conservative punditry are making noises about impeaching Obama.  Going down that road would be suicide for GOP going into November—I recognize he’s done a horrible job


  • Impeachment is the wrong way to go
  • We have to win at ballot box
  • Must win the argument with the American People – and we are that argument
  • The more he acts unilaterally – the better off we are of winning that argument
  • I think we need to take the president head on
    • Show the harm he is doing by failing to lead
    • On nightly news
    • In halls of Congress
  • That’s the direction we ought to go

KAMINSKY:  Thanks! Keep up the good work!  Great to see you at LPR


  • 20 degrees out by Holyoke CO
  • Hope it’s warmer there