Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican Senate candidate in Colorado, attended an August event hosted by a GOP county candidate who has said he doesn’t believe the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting has been proven.
The Pueblo County GOP’s 20th Annual Steak Fry on Aug. 23 was hosted at the home of Tom Ready, the Republican candidate for Pueblo County commissioner and former county party chair, who had posted a story on his Facebook page that was skeptical of the Sandy Hook shooting. Ready also said in a recent debate that he didn’t believe the shooting had been proven.
Gardner’s attendance at the event and Ready’s past dabbling in Sandy Hook trutherism was first reported by the Huffington Post.
“There is still question about whether it really happened,” Ready said at a Sept. 10 debate, in a video posted to YouTube by the Pueblo Chieftain.
He specifically questioned the emotions displayed by some of the victims’ parents. The shooter Adam Lanza killed 27 people, including 20 at the school, before killing himself.
“Some people in the videos, thank you very much, if you recall, there was a picture of a man walking in whose daughter had died. He was smiling and joking,” Ready continued. “When he walked into the room he turned and all of a sudden had tears in his eyes. Why? I question that.”
A flyer for the steak fry, held on Aug. 23, was posted on the Pueblo County Republican Party’s Facebook page and named Ready as the host and Gardner as one of the guests. A photo of Gardner was posted to the county GOP’s Facebook page on the day after the event, and Ready said on his personal Facebook account that Gardner was present at the event.
On July 24, prior to the event Gardner attended, Ready posted a link on Facebook to a story on a website called Red Flag News headlined “Glaring Gaffes in the Official Sandy Hook Story.” The first quote in the story, attributed to Professor Emeritus Dr. James Fetzer of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, questions whether the shooting at Sandy Hook even occurred at all.
“There is no actual evidence or real proof that a mass shooting took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012,” Fetzer says, as quoted in the Red Flag News story.
Ready told the Chieftain after the Sept. 10 debate that he did not remember posting the story on Facebook, and he attempted to walk back his comments on Thursday.
“I know those kids were killed,” he told the Chieftain. “But there are some facts that have not been proven. That’s all I was alluding to, period. It’s terrible.”
The Gardner campaign did not respond to TPM’s multiple requests for comment.