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June 16, 2017 12:17 PM UTC

Gardner links protests at his office with the shooting in Washington DC

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Does this mean they’re not “paid protesters” anymore? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

In an appearance on conservative radio Thursday, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner pointed to prop-filled protests at his office as examples of rhetoric that should be toned down in the wake of  Wednesday’s shooting in Washington DC.

In an apparent reference to die-ins and other demonstrations staged in front of Gardner’s office to illustrate the point that GOP Obamacare replacement would actually result in deaths of people who lose health insurance, Gardner linked the DC shooting to “people showing up with coffins in offices around the country” and “people showing up dressed as the Grim Reaper with — you know, in my office.”

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking comment.

Since Trump’s victory in November, activist groups have staged die-ins in front of Gardner’s office. One May 9 “die in,”  organized by Protect Our Care Colorado, Denver OFA, and Front Range MoveOn, was promoted on Facebook this way:

“Bring your signs and noisemakers and wear slings, back braces, and other visual reminders that Trumpcare will seriously injure our country’s health care system! Feel free to dress in black and bring posters written like gravestones that list the reason you died: (i.e., RIP: Lack of Maternity Care, RIP: Coverage Denied, RIP: High Premiums, RIP: Cancer, Denied Coverage).”

Other Denver-based activist groups, including Indivisible Denver, have staged die-ins and funerals at the State Capitol to oppose the repeal of Obamacare and other Trump initiatives.

Activist group representatives could not be reached for comment Friday.

It’s a fact that, along with the loss of health insurance resulting from the repeal of Obamacare, would come deaths. Experts differ on the scope and the trade-offs involved, but it’s objectively a legitimate point being made protesters with props and costumes, which are clearly aimed at grabbing attention. And for good reason, activists say.

On the radio, Gardner didn’t address deaths that would be caused by potential Obamacare repeal.

“You’ve got people in coffins showing up to the offices,” Gardner told KCOL’s morning host Jimmy Lakey Thursday. “It’s almost as if they’ve allowed politics to become some sort of religion, and anyone who disagrees with them is a challenge to their faith. That is not a good situation for the discourse of this country.”

Asked by KNUS 710-AM’s Krista Kafer whether the “nasty political rhetoric the cause of this type of violence,” Gardner said, “We’ve got more to learn.” He went on to say,

Gardner: You know, The Hill is reporting that FBI officials told The Hill that the shooting appeared to have been planned and, on the surface, appeared politically motivated. And you know, that the rhetoric, the discourse, is elevated to a point where, you know, left, right—you know, both sides have to stop this rhetoric. I mean, when you have people showing up dressed as the Grim Reaper with — you know, in my office, — when we have people showing up with coffins in offices around the country, when you have people holding up the head of the president — decapitated head of the president, when you — you know, when you have people who are, you know, accusing other people of killing people.

In 2009, Tea Party activists dressed as the Grim Reaper to denounce Obamacare and the liberal agenda.

Listen to Gardner on KNUS 710-AM June 15:


22 thoughts on “Gardner links protests at his office with the shooting in Washington DC

      1. No one is justifying intimidation. How does dressing up like the grim reaper or carrying a card board headstone intimidate anyone? The individuals and groups that organized those protests are making a point about the Republican healthcare legislation and nothing more.

        The demonstrations at Sen. Gardner's offices have been conducted in an orderly and law abiding manner. There has not been any organized violence or threats.

        Sen. Gardner has been hiding from his constituents for almost six months now in a cowardly attempt to avoid hearing their views, especially on healthcare, while during the same period of time, he's been a member of a group of 13 Republican senators drafting the Senate's healthcare bill behind closed doors without any public input, and certainly none from Mr. Gardner's constituents since he won't meet with them.

        Now, in another act of cowardice, he is attempting to use the tragic events in Alexandria , Virginia in a manner to justify his hiding from us, his constituents. In 2020, we need to retire him from the U.S. Senate.


      2. Fluffy, for the past seven years, your party has been creating this climate and now has the audacity to complain. You're like the guy who defecates in the pool and then complains about the dirty water.

    1. I could write a book about intimidation that Right wing activists have engaged in against Dems.  Did you think they should check themselves?

      Where is my ACA and Russia articles Moldy?

    2. I agree with you that any liberals or Democrats spewing hate and violence should check themselves. I take it you agree that those conservatives and Republicans who do the same should likewise check themselves. Right?

      1. He'll ignore your line of questioning.  I would agree with you though.  It isn't a one sided phenomenon.  And the bottom line, as Pear said a couple days ago, is that the political affiliation of people who carry these attacks out are not the issue.  The issue is that there is something mentally wrong with for them to carry out these acts.

              1. I will fully agree with Moderatus that it is time for the liberals to "check" themselves if Moderatus in turn agrees that it is time for the hate mongering and hate spewing "pastors" and directors of the religious right to also "check" themselves. 

  1. I have no problem with Gardner expressing his concern over the coarseness of the political dialog in this country.  I don't think that the vitriol is the primary factor in these type of shootings. I think it is more likely the combination of mental illness and easy access to firearms.  But I think it is appropriate for political figures to condemn the hate.

    On the other hand, it is tiresome that Gardner only seems to want to talk to right-wing radio hosts. He has adopted a Trump-like strategy – the only audience that matters are the people that voted for me. Everyone else is the enemy. Within a month of the Giffords shooting, Ed Perlmutter was having constituent meetings in grocery stores. Gardner should hold town halls NOW. He won't, but he should. 

  2.  Cory is laying some groundwork for '20 reelection. He'll say in '20 that his avoidance was from an abundance of caution. And, "I was right! Only a short while later there was this shooting!"

  3. Those people showing up at his offices with coffins should exchange their Grim Reaper costumes for chicken suits. "Where's Cory? Too chicken to show his face in Colorado."

    1. Colorado Times Recorder took photos. They reported "dozens" of protesters sitting in, to demand, "Show us the (health care) bill!"

      Cory himself did not show – he was reportedly busy with some business groups elsewhere in the state. Of course.

      The protesters met with Gardner's staff, 5 at a time, then left peacefully when the police asked them to do so.

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