GOP Sen. Defends Support For O’Care Repeal In String Of Raucous Town Halls

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado speaks at a town hall as guests hold red "disagree" and green "agree" cards Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colo.
JAMES WOOLDRIDGE/The Gazette
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During a series of three town halls across Colorado on Tuesday, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) faced loud, rowdy crowds of constituents pressing him on his stance on Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal efforts.

At his first town hall of the day in Colorado Springs, Gardner was met with hundreds of upset constituents and a shout from an audience member of, “Senator, you suck,” according to Colorado Public Radio.

Gardner remained relatively quiet on Obamacare repeal throughout the Senate’s arduous attempts to drag it across the finish line. But he stuck with GOP leadership and voted to repeal the law, disappointing some of his constituents. It was the main issue Gardner faced questions about over the course of three events in Greeley, Lakewood and Colorado Springs.

At an event in Greeley, one member of the crowd complained about the secretive process senators used to draft the bill.

“This was so partisan, what you came up with,” Greeley resident Scott McClean said, according to Colorado Public Radio.

“I hope that we’ll have everybody at the table going forward,” Gardner responded, which prompted jeers from the crowd, as quoted by Colorado Public Radio.

“What happens when this spending continues going up and we have no way to pay for it?” the senator added over the loud audience.

At an event in Lakewood, one crowd member accused Gardner of breaking his promise to protect Americans’ health care coverage.

“We asked you to stand your ground and vote for those principles, and you did not,” Erin Egan told the senator, according to Politico. “You only want to cut off people who need it.”

Gardner told the crowd that the system needs “reforms” and that Medicaid needs to be put on a more “sustainable” path, per Politico.

He also faced some anger from supporters who complained that Republicans had not successfully repealed and replaced Obamacare.

“When I voted for you, you said you would repeal and replace,” one constituent complained to Gardner in Lakewood, according to Politico.

The senator also addressed the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville and President Donald Trump’s failure to immediately condemn white supremacists in its wake.

“I think it’s about time asses with Nazi flags go back to their hole,” the senator said at his event in Colorado Springs, according to the Denver Post.

In Lakewood, Gardner said that Trump was “wrong” to backslide in his Tuesday press conference and place blame on liberals for the attack.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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