Steffan Tubbs Show, Cory Gardner, November 14, 2018

Station:    KNUS, 710 am

Show:       Steffan Tubbs Show

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:        November 14, 2018

Topics:    Blue Tsunami vs. Green wave, Campaign Expenditures, Defying History, Senate Majority, Economic Opportunity, Wage Growth, Lower taxes, Less Regulations, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Decision to Run for Reelection, John Hickenlooper, Veterans, Energy Industry, Federal Highway Funds, I-25, VA Hospital, tax initiatives defeated, Ballot Measures, Anti-Oil & Gas Measures, Traffic, Confirmation of Judges, Tax Cuts, Trump in Colorado, Primary Challenge

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HOST STEFFAN TUBBS:[00:00:00] […] on this Wednesday, I’m Steffan Tubbs. [I’m] happy to welcome in, []a] friend of the program, — it’s been a while — Senator Cory Gardner, my friend. You survived the midterms, [pause, while waiting for Gardner to respond] I think.

U.S. SENATOR FROM COLORADO, CORY GARDNER: [00:00:10] [chuckles] [unintelligible] How are you, Steffan?

TUBBS: [00:00:12] I’m good. I [have] got a lot of questions in a short amount of time with you, and I greatly appreciate your time, as always.

GARDNER: [00:00:19] Yeah, thanks for having me.

TUBBS: [00:00:19] You bet. What did you learn from the midterms last week?

GARDNER: [00:00:24] Well, I was excited that the Senate majority was able to buck history. The fact is that when you’re in a midterm election the first reelect of a president that has the same party affiliation as the majority in the Senate, that means a usual loss of about four seats, which was more — it would have been more than enough to lose the majority in the Senate. And so the fact that we not only kept the Senate but grew the majority is defying history. And I am excited about the opportunity to continue the good work that that means we’re going to be able to do: focusing legislation on economic opportunity, wage growth, and getting Washington [D.C.] out of the way.

TUBBS: [00:01:00] In the decade-plus — I’m thinking — that I’ve known you, you’re a humble guy, but you were tasked with what? What was your official position? Tell us about that. And that’s a feather in your cap, man. You were tasked with what — keeping the Senate?

GARDNER: [00:01:12] Well, thank you. Yeah, so I ran the Senatorial Committee. Yep, that’s right, I ran the Senatorial Committee and was in charge of making sure that we won these races. And in many cases, we did. And that’s how we were able to expand the seats — the map. It is something that’s only been done a couple of times in the last many, many decades. And really, when the Senate loses — [correcting himself] excuse me, when the House loses seats in the same party, it’s very rare that the same party gains seats in the Senate. So we did a couple of things that really defied history and will allow us — I think it will allow us to continue the good work we’re doing. And why we won, because we stood up for ideas that helped the American people.

TUBBS: [00:01:51] Governor Hickenlooper, as you know, — And then there’s Colorado. Colorado, uh, the Governor, John Hickenlooper, described it as a blue tsunami last week. How did you watch things that happened here? And were you surprised that it really wasn’t even close between Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton for Governor?

GARDNER: [00:02:08] Well, you know, I think it was more of a green wave than anything in Colorado because look how much money they spent than the Republican candidates. In the governor’s race alone, I think probably in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 million dollar differential, if not more than that. And you just — that’s a number you can’t overcome. So, folks who claim they don’t like big money sure used big money to their advantage in this election.

TUBBS: [00:02:31] What do you think in the next two years it will be like for you? Look, you’ve been a politician a long time. You’ve been in the Senate — you know, coming up on the end of your first term in the United States Senate — and you’re going to be a target.

GARDNER: [00:02:47] Yeah, look, I’m excited to get to work for the people of Colorado, continue the great work that we’re doing, and you know, whether that’s cutting taxes, cutting regulations, making sure we are addressing the traffic problems in Colorado, and making sure we’re taking care of veterans, making sure we have a strong and robust energy industry. And look, I think the results on Election Night in Colorado tax increases were defeated, anti-Oil and gas measures were defeated. And it wasn’t just statewide, there were local tax initiatives that were defeated, too. So, I think if people decide all of a sudden that Colorado has turned into a far left radical state, they’re going to be surprised in two years.

TUBBS: [00:03:26] I’m assuming you are running in 2020 to keep your seat.

GARDNER: [00:03:31] Well, look, I haven’t made an official announcement yet, [unintelligible due to crosstalk].

TUBBS: [00:03:34] [interrupting] Aw, do it with me! You know, I did beat you in the watermelon seed spitting contest at the Arkansas Valley Fair.

GARDNER: [00:03:41] [laughs] You did. That’s right.

TUBBS: [00:03:41] So, you owe me! You owe me.

GARDNER: [00:03:41] [laughs] Maybe not today.

TUBBS: [00:03:41] It’s Looking that way, correct? It’s looking like you will.

GARDNER: [00:03:41] I think we are certainly leaning that direction. We’ve been able to do some great things for Colorado, whether that’s completing the funding of the VA hospital, whether that’s getting dollars for transportation to expand I-25, whether that’s returning money to the western slope for animal points, and passing tax increases, cutting regulations, putting good justices in the courts. Those are things that we are going to continue to do, and I look forward to doing just that.

TUBBS: [00:04:11] It’s rumored –and I’m sure –. Well, let me ask you this in a different direction. Have you heard the rumor that possibly your Democratic challenger could be John Hickenlooper?

GARDNER: [00:04:22] Look, I think there’s going to be a lot of people who want to take a look at this race because they are going to misinterpret the results in Colorado on Tuesday night. And I welcome the debate. I think it’s important to lay out a vision of freedom, opportunity versus government control, government taxes, and government regulation. So, I think that’s a great debate we should have across the country, and I certainly look forward to it.

TUBBS: [00:04:47] What about — what is your relationship with Donald Trump? And you know what? Look, the proof is in the pudding. Trump didn’t come here. Stapleton didn’t win. Trump went to –what? — ten states or something like that where there were governors races. Where he went — I don’t know if it was 7 out of 10, but his track record was pretty good. Do you want to join forces with that Trump momentum, assuming that it continues the way it did? But man, he’s getting people out. He’s getting thousands of people out, and he’s seemingly at least reinvigorating the base. And that would be important for a guy like you.

GARDNER: [00:05:25] Yeah, look, if you look at the President over the last several months, he worked his tail off to win these seats. He was in countless states, multiple times. I think his last event in Tennessee — I believe it was — had over 60,000 RSVPs, when Marsha Blackburn won by — I think — 11 points over Phil Bredesen, a seat that Chuck Schumer had said was almost guaranteed to be in the bag for the Democrats. So, look, I look forward to continuing our work together. And I look forward to — I’d like to see the President come to Colorado. I’d like to see my colleagues want to see him be successful. Let’s talk about the good things we’ve done in Colorado. Let’s show him the good things we’ve done in Colorado. I hope that everybody is engaged in wanting us to have a successful president.

TUBBS: [00:06:06] Let me — Cory Gardner is our guest, Senator from the great state of Colorado. In the moments we have left, I’ve got — I’m going to be completely — and not that I’m not always, but just — I’m honest when I ask you: I see vitriol coming and directed toward you from people within our own party that frankly I’m not quite sure always where they’re coming from. What do you say to those people who want you out in 2020? What do you — what’s your message to them?

GARDNER: [00:06:35] Uh, look, I’m not concerned about what people may say or may think or that agree or disagree with [me] when it comes to politics. What I’m interested in is making sure that we’re reducing taxes, that we’re fighting against regulations that hurt our businesses and our families, that we are looking for ways to get Washington out of the way. I’ve said that multiple times, and will continue to do just that. I want to put conservative judges in the court who are going to interpret the law, not make it the law. I’m going to continue to do that. I think if you look at the record, that’s exactly what I’ve done over the past several years, [and I] will continue to. And you know, if people have a different opinion, they can certainly vote a different way. And that’s fine with me.

TUBBS: [00:07:16] Yeah, you know, I haven’t had you on, Cory, in a while, and I just — not to rehash what happened several months ago — but I just want you to know — and I talked about this on the program — how sickening, sickening it was that your wife, Jamie, received the text around the Kavanaugh debacle, if you will, and in the end, he’s confirmed. But has that kind of vitriol kind of stopped?

GARDNER: [00:07:42] You know, unfortunately, I think you still see a lot of it, hear a lot of it. You know, my wife had received a text message that included a graphic video of a beheading. I know it’s being investigated right now. And you know, I don’t care what direction it comes from — left or right — there’s just not room for that in America today. We can’t let that happen. We are going to agree on politics, we’re going to disagree on politics. We’re going to agree on policy, we’re going to disagree on policy. But we should always know that we can have those debates in this democracy without getting into the realm of violence or incivility. And I hope that’s the direction we can–.

TUBBS: [00:08:14] Without question.

GARDNER: [00:08:14] That’s right. And I hope that’s what we continue to stand for.

TUBBS: [00:08:21] Real quick, [hypothetically] you’re the President of the United States, you are — let’s just say — Donald Trump for a day. Do you give Jim Acosta of CNN his hard pass to the White House back?

GARDNER: [00:08:30] [laughs] You know, that’s a good question for the White House, not for me.

TUBBS: [00:08:35] [teasing] You chicken! You chicken! Politician!

GARDNER: [00:08:44] You have a free and open press, is what they have. But, you know, look, that’s a question for them and not for me.

TUBBS: [00:08:44] Yeah. [I] always appreciate your time, my friend. We’re up against — and I know you have to run — but please don’t be a stranger. You are always welcome.

GARDNER: [00:08:50] Hey, thanks for having me on, Steffan. Thanks! Take care! Bye!

TUBBS: [00:08:52] All right. Senator Cory Gardner, there, [giving us] a few minutes of his time and I appreciate it. Thanks to Alex and his communications staff. Alex Sisciliano, the new dad– still not sleeping. So, thanks for the senator’s time. [Coming up,] your reaction to what you just heard from Senator Cory Gardner. What did he say? He thought it was a green wave — as in, cash! I haven’t heard it put that way. Of course, Hickenlooper says it was a blue tsunami.