U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner made a pit stop at the Granby Library while on the stump during the weekend.
Gardner, a Republican and representative for Colorado’s 4th District, is hoping to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Udall in November.
Speaking before a crowd of about 80 people on Saturday, Aug. 9, Gardner, of Yuma, touted his “small town” approach to government, stating, “It’s about what we can do to get government out of the way and let America work.”
Gardner admitted that the contest will be a “tight race all the way through,” citing different polls that show both him and Sen. Udall ahead.
Detailing his “four corners” plan, Gardner described his stance on economic growth, energy development, education and environmental conservation.
Gardner’s comments in favor of tax reform garnered vocal approval from the audience, saying the country and Colorado needed a “flatter, fair tax code” with a lower corporate tax rate.
He also spoke in favor of developing more liquid natural gas reserves and selling them to U.S. allies, including Ukraine, to reduce dependence on foreign energy. Speaking on North American energy independence. Gardner described his philosophy as an “all of the above” approach to energy, including both renewable energy and fossil fuels.
Gardner’s thoughts about education centered on increasing student loan interest rate deductibles and promoting local school district independence.
He also mentioned the Making College Affordable Act, a bill that Gardner introduced last year, which sought to amend Internal Revenue Service code to make some education savings accounts more accessible. The bill looks unlikely to make it past the House.
The final corner of Gardner’s plan focused on environmental conservation, which Gardner described as balancing economic use with the environment. He described his bipartisan efforts to enact new energy savings performance contracts, which he said could save the country around $20 billion.
Responding to audience questions, Gardner was quick to attack Sen. Udall on his support for the Affordable Care Act, which Gardner said he is in favor of repealing.
Gardner told the Sky-Hi News that he didn’t believe the system before Obamacare was working.
“That’s why we have to replace it with something that actually works to lower the cost of care and increase the quality of care,” Gardner said.
He suggested starting with medical malpractice reform, allowing insurance sales across state lines and greater utilization of health savings accounts.
Gardner also called the country’s immigration system “completely broken,” stating the country needs a “meaningful guest worker program” before border security can be addressed.
“There will always be a need for labor,” Gardner said, “and you’re never going to meet that if you don’t have a workable guest worker program at the same time.”
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.