Ross Kaminsky Show, Cory Gardner, January 24, 2019

Station:     KHOW, 630 am

Show:       Ross Kaminsky Show

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:       January 24, 2019

Topics:      Reopen Government, Government Shutdown, Border Security, Pay for Federal Workers, Venezuela, Maduro, Appropriations Process, Mueller Investigation, Kevin Hasset, Council of Economic Advisors, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Most Dangerous Outcome of 2016 Elections, Socialism, Bernie Sanders,

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GUEST HOST KRISTA KAFER:  Right now we are joined by Senator Cory Gardner. Senator, welcome to the show.

UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM COLORADO, CORY GARDNER:  Hey, good morning. Thanks for having me.

KAFER:  So, I read this morning that you have decided to vote for both bills that are going to be put forward to the Senate today to reopen the government. Explain your decision.

GARDNER:  Well, look, I hope I only have to vote ‘yes’ on one bill, that’s the President’s bill to provide border security, to re-open the government, to address many of the solutions that we have talked about – that both Republicans and Democrats have agreed on over the past several years, up until this point. I hope that’s the only one because if it passes, that will be the only vote that is needed. But if it fails — for whatever reason – because Democrats have decided to change their position on border security – and they don’t want border security – then I think we have to re-open the government. And the next bill will provide a continuing resolution with the President’s 2018 border security request in it, and open up the government until February 8.

KAFER:  You know, Senator, I appreciate your position. All along, you have said we need to get government back up and running, people need to be paid. And I appreciate – you even had your own bill to restart pay for federal workers. What has frustrated me, Senator, is that this kind of negotiation for wall funding – for security funding – really should have been done during the appropriations process, not during a big — sort of – standoff, over the last month.

GARDNER:  Well, the problem is, every side thinks they have leverage.  Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer think they have leverage. The President thinks he has leverage. And in the meantime, the economy gets hurted [sic].  Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, today said that there may be zero economic growth. The economy may not grow at all [during] the first quarter of 2019.  We’ve had record – or at least, incredible – jobs reports that we haven’t seen for decades.  And yet, this is affecting our economy. And so, I just worry about it. We need border security.  I don’t understand why Democrats don’t want border security, but let’s not hold this government shutdown any longer.  Let’s do both. Let’s get it done. And that’s why I hope the first vote succeeds.

KAFER:  Well, thank you for your call for sanity, all along. And [I] appreciate what you’re doing today. You know, I think what gets lost over the last month – because obviously the headlines have been taken up by the shutdown and the standoff on border security – is that probably some other things are worth talking about.  Is there — what else is going on in Washington D.C.? What’s on your desk, right now?

GARDNER:  Well, look, I mean, you’ve got an incredible thing happening in Venezuela right now, where the United States recognized the sort of opposition leader in Venezuela, trying to take down Maduro. And remember what President Trump had said to the United Nations over a year ago:  he said Venezuela isn’t a failed example of socialism, it is an example of what socialism does to a country. And I think the most dangerous thing to come out of the 2016 election was this normalization of socialism by Bernie Sanders. And that’s what we ought to be focusing on as well, here: defeating those who want to espouse and bring socialism here to the people of the United States, people who are talking about 80% tax increases, people who say they’d rather be – something like – morally correct than factually right – or something like that. [chuckles] I mean, this is talk of a radical left that I don’t think represents the people of Colorado or this country.

KAFER:  I couldn’t agree more.  And it — you know, it scares me. I just read a headline saying that when people hear the words ‘Medicare For All’ – which is socialized medicine – initially, they’re for it, until they realize that they have to pay higher taxes and get less care. So, I know you’ll oppose such a thing, if it comes before the Senate.  But we need to get the word out that socialism — of any kind – impoverishes people, whether it’s healthcare, whether it’s economics. I – so, I wish them the best of luck in Venezuela. Um, the Mueller Report: is it [coming] anytime soon?  What is your thoughts on that?

GARDNER:  You know, it — I hope so. Look, the Mueller investigation needs to be completed as soon as possible. The American people need the information so that they can make up their own minds.  And I think transparency is in the best interests of the President. The President has said that. And you know, we’ve heard his Attorney General nominee say the same thing. And so, I think getting this information out, this will be – this is something that is important. So, this can’t drag on for four years. It needs to be done, and it needs to be done quickly. But going back to what you said earlier, too, just about Medicare – Medicaid For All.  I have talked to hospitals. If we go to a single payer system like this, they will cut services. I was just in Grand Junction, talking to their hospitals. They will lose services and healthcare programs if they move to this kind of a program – Medicaid — Medicare For All, I mean.  They just – they can’t make it work. And that’s why socialism is so dangerous, is it hurts the very people that they’re saying they’re trying to help.

KAFER:  Exactly. I watched a friend of mine die in England because of the care he got under their socialized system. It is – it is a nightmare! I know it is a lot of fun when people are travelling in Europe and they break a finger and they get a free service. But if you get cancer, or you have got an orthopedic issue, it is a really horrible system to be under. You know, looking forward – looking across the next year, it is going to be a tough one with divided government. Do you foresee that Congress can get anything done?

GARDNER:  I do. You know, the – this, uh, success we’ve had over the past several years addressing this scourge of opiate addiction around the country. We’ve had great bipartisan success on trying to find solutions to end this cycle of addiction. We’ve got an opportunity to help address traffic issues in Colorado. I mean, — gosh! – if you’re on the roads this morning, I hope you’re not stuck in traffic! It might be snowing a little bit, or getting ready to. But, you know, we have to address traffic. More and more people [are] finding Colorado — that most incredible place that we all know it is — and so they’re coming there!  And we’ve got to have an infrastructure system that allows people to get to and from work, so that they can get home with their family. You know, in Colorado, we like to live, play and work. And we can’t have a transportation system that doesn’t match those values.

KAFER:  Well said, Senator.  One last question — I know you’ve got to get back to work.  I think more than ever, we need statesmen.  Um, you’re one of my favorite senators.
Senator Ben Sasse and others are statesmen – and there are stateswomen [too], obviously – working – fighting for principles, fighting for us as Americans.  I worry that statesmen, though, are not only a bit rare right now, but also imperiled perhaps in the next election. It’s difficult to satisfy the demand of the hard right if you’re a statesmen, if you’re a person who believes in getting things done. Are you at all worried about 2020?

GARDNER:  Look, I think Colorado is always a tough place. And so 2020, we knew when we won back in 2014 that Colorado would be a difficult race. I’m excited about the next two years, to go around the state, sharing with people of Colorado the victories we’ve had for them, whether it’s the completion of the VA hospital and the massive changes we’ve had within the systems of the Veterans Administration as a result of that debacle that we were able to finally overcome; [or] the opportunities to get dollars that the taxpayers in western Colorado were rightfully entitled to, that for 20 years, nearly, hadn’t been sent back to them. We were able to get millions of dollars sent back to the people of western Colorado because it belonged to them. Those are things that people couldn’t get done in the past that we’ve been able to accomplish and succeed with. And we will continue to do that.  And I believe that Colorado continues to be a common sense place where they don’t want government running their lives. And that’s what we’ll be running against – somebody who wants to tell them how to live, where to live, and what kind of car to drive, or what kind of electricity to use. We ought to be in a society that values liberty, freedom, and opportunity. And that’s what I will continue to talk about over the next two years.

KAFER:  Well, you’ve got a mic here any time you want to use it, Senator. Thanks so much for coming on today. Thanks for all you’re doing.  Good luck today on the vote. I know you want border security and for government to get started again. We’ll see how it works out.

GARDNER:  Hey, thanks, Krista! Thanks so much for having me!

KAFER:  Oh, you bet! Have a great day!

GARDNER:  You, too! Thanks! Bye!