Steffan Tubbs Show, Cory Gardner, June 11, 2019

Station:    KNUS, 710 am

Show:       Steffan Tubbs Show

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:       June 11, 2019

Topics:     Air Force Academy Graduation, Donald Trump, President’s Commencement Address, Tariffs, Mexico Trade Agreement, Border Security, Humanitarian Crisis on the Border, National Security, Allies, Coalitions, Department of Interior, Secretary David Bernhardt, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Combs, Bureau of Land Management, Headquarters, Space Command, Campaign, Conservative, Energy, Constituents, First Responders Victim Compensation Fund, 9/11, U.S. Senate, Immigration, New York Times, Tax Cuts, Social Issues Warrior,

Click Here for Audio


AUDIO CLIP OF SENATOR CORY GARDNER ADDRESSING THE UNITED STATES SENATE FROM THE FLOOR ON JUNE 11, 2019 [00:00:00] “[…] never forget that smell, [the] burning, acrid odor. These men and women didn’t just visit it once, but time and time again to carry out the cleanup of Ground Zero. Unfortunately, thousands of first responders and survivors — including many who reside in my home state of Colorado — now suffer from illnesses and diseases from these toxins that they inhaled day after day after day in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero. It is unacceptable for this Congress to fail these heroes and their families.  It is unacceptable to fail these families and the heroes of September 11th. There is no time to waste. As Congress debates this issue more and more people are becoming ill. More and more people are suffering. And today, people like Lou Alvarez came to Washington D.C, postponing a chemotherapy treatment to advocate for his fellow heroes. The fund expires at the end of this year if we do not act. These men and women have already been forced to reduce their compensation, and we’ve seen a reduction in the compensation to the 9/11 first responders due to the impending insolvency.”

HOST STEFFAN TUBBS [00:01:25] [That was] Colorado Senator Cory Gardner earlier today on the United States Senate floor talking about trying to get the passage of the 9/11 compensation bill through, and swiftly. Senator Gardner joins us on the news line. Always a pleasure to have you, my friend. Thank you so much.

UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM COLORADO, CORY GARDNER [00:01:42] Hey, thanks, Stefan. Thanks for having me on.

TUBBS [00:01:44] You bet. I want to stick with this to start, and that is: how in the hell is this even an issue in D.C.?

GARDNER [00:01:53] It’s pretty incredible. You know, we had — the bill passed, years ago.  There was an agreement a few years ago to extend it, and they got some part of it extended. But the victim’s compensation fund is now basically hitting the end, and so they’re actually starting to ration dollars that are going to victims of 9/11, they’re starting to see reductions in this. You know, I told the story — and you played it there — of Lou Alvarez, an inspector who was on the ground at Ground Zero who has developed 9/11-related cancer, missing a chemotherapy treatment — [he is] going to have it set up for tomorrow — so that he could come to Washington and beg Congress to do something that ought to have already been done long ago.

TUBBS [00:02:37] Well, I hope and — tip of the cap to you — I hope your words resonated to Madam President and other of your fellow politicians that this — this should — we have too many other pressing issues in this great country of ours to have — and this is obviously my opinion — to have this even be an issue. This is to me a no brainer, and probably — no offense to you — one of the reasons why so many people hate Washington. Let’s talk about immigration.

GARDNER [00:03:02] Yeah, you bet!

TUBBS [00:03:03] Immigration has been, obviously, you know, the stalwart topic for President Trump. Where are we with that? What do you think? I know that a lot of people in Colorado were questioning why you were against the tariffs. Kind of talk about that.

GARDNER [00:03:20] Yeah, you bet. Look, I believe we have to have a strong border security. We have to have an immigration plan in place that actually works. I don’t think people are opposed to immigration. I think people are opposed to illegal immigration. And trying to find a solution that would stop the hundreds of thousands of people that we see coming across the border in a just absolute humanitarian crisis that has been created. I don’t like tariffs. I think tariffs are a tax on the American people and the American consumers.  And, you know, when I see organizations — like conservative organizations —  that have said that the tariffs will offset the tax cuts — the economic benefit of the tax cuts — I am concerned about that policy, because in my mind, one of the best things about the last several years has been a growing economy. And we have to continue that. When you’re sort of put in a place of increasing taxes through a tariff, I just simply don’t agree with that. And so, I — we’ve got to make sure that we pass some of the new border security efforts that are coming forward, right now. There’s a request that even the New York Times has said needs to move, because even the New York Times is now recognizing a humanitarian crisis on the border. And I think, you know, when the President says things like, the —  that the government of Mexico has now done more than the Democrats in Congress, that it ought to make people question what exactly Congress is doing.

TUBBS [00:04:44] Do you agree with that that statement by the President?

GARDNER [00:04:46] I am hard pressed to disagree with something — when you look at Democrats who are refusing to support even one-point-some billion dollars, when just a year ago they were supportive of 25 billion dollars for border security.

TUBBS [00:04:58] Right.

GARDNER [00:04:59] It’s a big question, what they’re willing to do.

TUBBS [00:05:01] We’re talking with Senator Cory Gardner, [who is] kind enough to give us some time here on 710, KNUS.  As you know on Friday, — you know, I said from the beginning and I don’t think I was too far out on the plank to assume that these tariffs weren’t going to be implemented, something was gonna be done by this past Monday. So Friday [the news about an agreement with Mexico] came out. Do you give President Trump — the administration — credit for whatever it was, talking tough, backing Mexico into a corner? Do you agree with how the process happened?

GARDNER [00:05:30] Well, I think it’s a good thing that Mexico agreed to find some solutions to work, whether it’s the additional border security measures they’re taking, additional border checkpoints, to changes to some of the enforcement mechanisms. Again, I don’t like tariffs. And I just think you can’t be a free market Republican and support tariffs. I just think those two things are incompatible with each other. And I want to make sure that we’re not taxing Coloradans. I don’t think the legacy of the Republican leadership ought to be a tax increase, and that’s what I’m afraid tariffs would do. And that’s why I’m glad they didn’t take effect.

TUBBS [00:06:03] Let me ask you this: do you feel that you are — is there a disconnect right now between you and some of your constituents in Colorado?  Or do you feel like things are okay?

GARDNER [00:06:15] If by that you mean people who wanted a tariff, I think I’ve made it very clear throughout my time in Congress that I don’t support tariffs — never have, never will. And I campaigned and told people that I don’t support tariffs. I’m a free market Republican, and that’s what I’ll continue to be. And so–.

TUBBS [00:06:31] What about other issues?

GARDNER [00:06:32] In terms of pro-energy, I’m going to continue to be pro-energy.  In terms of social issues, I’m not a social issues warrior. It seems like the Democrats want more and more to be a social issues warriors — Democratic candidates do. I’m just not that person. And I’m going to continue to be a strong proponent of our national security, stand up for our coalitions and our allies. And that’s what I am going to continue to fight for.

TUBBS [00:06:57] I have voted for you. I will vote for you again. And what I don’t understand — and we’ve talked about this.  This, being talk radio, it’s different than me just being the newsman when I was with the other station and asking these questions. But I’m still surprised that there’s anger with some of our listeners saying, “Cory Gardner is not –! You don’t have the cojones to tell him he’s not conservative enough!”   What do you say to those people? And, I know that at least your staff is getting e-mails or facebook comments or whatever. Are you conservative enough in 2019?

GARDNER [00:07:30] [laughs].  Well, you know, I – I – I – I am — I believe that I do what’s right for Colorado, to get government out of the way, to let America work, to limit government. I don’t think that tariffs are a conservative position. I really don’t. I think that free market capitalism is a strong conservative position. And you know, if — you know, if people want to support tariffs, I’m just not that guy.

TUBBS [00:07:55] Got it. I know your time is limited so I want to get to another couple of issues. The BLM:  doesn’t it makes sense to have it in the West, headquartered here? And I know you’ve talked a lot about having the BLM headquartered here in Colorado.

GARDNER [00:08:11] [You are] absolutely right. That’s why I have been pushing this idea for a number of years, now, [since] when I first came up with it during the Obama administration.  [I] had another great conversation today with Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt about it — just this morning I talked to him once again about it. And [I] talked to Chairman Lisa Murkowski, who is the head of the appropriations bill that has the BLM funding within it, about what we need to do to prepare for a move. Look, it’s plain and simple why. It’s clear. I believe decisions are best made when they’re local.

TUBBS [00:08:40] Yeah.

GARDNER [00:08:40] That’s why the state legislature is important. The state school board is important. Being more local — the government– the more responsive it is. And I think BLM, which has almost all 99.9% of its acreage west of the Mississippi River, is going to be more responsive to its base constituency, which is the people of the West, when it is located and headquartered in the West.

TUBBS [00:09:04] So, where are we with that? How soon could there be a decision made? And obviously, a lot of people would be disappointed including you if that didn’t happen.

GARDNER [00:09:11] So, the Secretary has told me that he wants to make this decision by the fall, that they are in the process –.  You know, unfortunately, some of the obstruction that has blocked all these nominees blocked a nominee by the name of Susan Combs, whose job it is at the Department of Interior to really do some of the economic work on the BLM move. Now, she just finally got confirmed — after 600- plus days — about two weeks ago. And so she is now finally able to do this work full time and focus on this work now. And so I think that timeline will hold.  We’ll see, hopefully, a decision by the end of this fall, as they look at different reorganizations of BLM and its headquarter directorate.

TUBBS [00:09:54] Right. Do you have any regrets –. I know — and maybe clarify for people — you were not at the United States Air Force Academy when President Trump delivered the commencement speech last week. I thought it was weird. [I’m] not just saying you. I thought it was weird that there was really not a Republican Colorado delegation feel at Falcon stadium. Why weren’t you there? Just clarify that.

GARDNER [00:10:17] Yeah. No, I felt horrible that we weren’t there. We had made a longstanding commitment to our daughter that if she did well in school we would we would go on some family time together, which we did. We had it planned for about six months.  And then when we found out a month ago or so that the President was coming to the Air Force Academy, I felt awful. But you know, I believe my family comes first. It’s something we had made a promise to her that we would do six months ago. And that’s what we did.

TUBBS [00:10:44] I mean, to me, friends, [it is as] simple as that. And if you put –. The Cory Gardner that I know, you would say the exact thing that you just did. Family first! I mean, you want to be the best senator you can be. I feel like I’m on a campaign stump speech for you.

GARDNER [00:10:59] [laughs].

TUBBS [00:10:59] You want to be the best senator you can be, but you’re a father first. And if anybody in Washington has that transposed, I think there’s a problem.

GARDNER [00:11:10] And look, at the Air Force Academy graduation is an incredible experience. And if anybody has not had the opportunity to do so, I hope they will — the pomp and circumstance and to see these young men and women walk across the stage and celebrate that. I mean, they spent four years working their tails off to receive one of the best educations and in the United States and they’re going to go put their lives on the line to pay for that education. It is incredible. And of course, you know, it was a great thing that the President was there. I was very glad he was there. And any time he can come to Colorado, we can show him the best that Colorado has to offer. I hope he will come often to share the best of Colorado with us.

TUBBS [00:11:52] Two more questions, I promise. And you know I always like to end on a funny, so we will do that. But, who calls whom? Does Cory Gardner’s campaign call the White House: “Hey, would the President be interested in campaigning for me in Colorado?”  Or, does the President reach out? And if he does, do you want President Trump to campaign for you in Colorado?

GARDNER [00:12:13] Yeah! Look, I think I’ve said it before. I mean, I want the President to see the great things that we’re doing in Colorado. I would hope that every member of our congressional delegation would want the President to see the great things that we are doing in Colorado. I hope that he will come to the Pueblo steel mill and talk about the things that he can do to expand jobs in Pueblo, Colorado. I hope that — I was glad to see the President come to Air Force Academy. I’d like to see him come and make an announcement about Space Com[mand] being located in Colorado, or the BLM moving to Colorado. And again, I hope that that’s something that Democrats and Republicans and everybody else can come together and celebrate. And it’s the work you do on a campaign together. It’s the work that you do for policy together. At the end of the day, it’s about improving the state of Colorado and this country. It’s not about partisan politics. And you know, the divisiveness! That — you would think, — you know, people who don’t want the President to come to your state to share the good news of what you’re doing? I think that’s taking partisanship a step too far.

TUBBS [00:13:10] Yeah, you’ve been kind with your time. My final thing is, I have a colleague here who is whining about the fact that he hasn’t been able to have — and I say it because I love him.  Randy Corporon wants to talk with you on his show. Here’s what he said to me yesterday:.

AUDIO OF KNUS HOST RANDY CORPORON:   [00:13:25] “Ask him why he will go on the radio with you and Caplis and Ross Kaminsky, and stays away from me or Peter or Chuck and Julie or anybody else who might disagree with some of the things that he does.”

TUBBS [00:13:41] All right. That’s your opportunity. Speak right to him.

GARDNER [00:13:44] [laughs].   Look, —  look, again, I – I -I know Randy.  I don’t know the other folks that you’re talking about.

TUBBS [00:13:53] Yeah.

GARDNER [00:13:53] But look, I hope that we can make it work sometime. I don’t know that we will, but I hope we can.  Look, I enjoy these conversations and will continue to.

TUBBS [00:14:01] [hearty laughing, and repeating Gardner’s words] “I don’t know if I’ll be able to, but…”  Hey, there you go! Listen, [it is] always a pleasure to talk with you. I’m sure–. Here come the hate mails right now, because I’m just not too tough on you. But I’ve told people: Republicans, conservatives, if you don’t like Cory Gardner and you think the best deal is to not vote for him or just not vote, you’re idiots. So I will have that be my opinion. You have yours. And we’ll talk to you soon down the road.

GARDNER [00:14:27] Hey, thanks, Steffan!  Take care!

TUBBS [00:14:29] Okay. Thanks. [That was] Senator Cory Gardner. All right. Bring it up. And by the way, to Mr. and Mrs. Texter [referring to listeners sending Tubbs their comments via text messages, writing,] “See? You didn’t hold him on the [unintelligible]!”  Maybe next time, why don’t you just call him and interview him?  We’re way late. Thanks to Senator Cory Gardner. Your reactions [are] coming up next.