Fact-check: Anti-Gardner ad addresses health care, senator's refusal to answer question about topic

Commercial seen more than 400 times this week
Posted at 3:48 PM, Jul 24, 2020

Health care is one of the top issues for Colorado voters as they head to the polls this fall, and a recent political ad that is getting considerable air time in the Denver metro area is targeting Sen. Cory Gardner’s views on the subject.

The ad, paid for by left-leaning super PAC Majority Forward, calls out Gardner for not directly answering questions during a recent interview with Colorado Public Radio. It’s aired more than 400 times this week alone.

The ad states that Gardner was asked if he supported dismantling the Affordable Care Act. Clips used in the ad are taken from Colorado Public Radio host Ryan Warner’s one-on-one interview with the senator on July 1, during his program, “Colorado Matters.”

“I am very specifically asking you if you support dismantling the Affordable Care Act right now,” Warner asks Gardner in the ad.

The ad later states that: “Six times Gardner refused to answer.”

The claim that Gardner did not answer the question is true as he either didn’t answer or danced around the issue, despite Warner repeatedly asking for a direct answer. Instead, he often deflected and referenced the views of former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Gardner’s opponent for the Senate seat.

The ad concludes that Gardner’s answer is clear because “he’s already voted nine times to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.” However, the 30-second ad does not include a later portion of the interview where Gardner provides a position on health care.

“What I look forward to working on is a plan that protects people with pre-existing conditions. A plan that allows people to buy health insurance across state lines, that builds on the risk pools to drive down insurance, to build on the telemedicine work that we’re doing and many other reforms that can drive down the cost of care, increasing the quality of care. But I don’t think socialized medicine is the right way to do it,” Gardner tells Warner in response to a question asking how the senator would replace the ACA.

As more political ads are released, Denver7 Investigates will analyze and fact check their claims to provide more perspective.