FACT CHECK: Mitch McConnell’s Super PAC Tries to Distract from Senator Gardner’s Awful Health Care Record - John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate

FACT CHECK: Mitch McConnell’s Super PAC Tries to Distract from Senator Gardner’s Awful Health Care Record

In a new ad released on the same day Senator Cory Gardner unveiled an ad lying to Coloradans about his health care record, Mitch McConnell’s super PAC is back at it again with another misleading attack of their own.

“As governor, John traveled to bring jobs to Colorado and lead the state out of the Great Recession, taking it from 40th in job creation to the number one economy in the country,” said Hickenlooper for Colorado press secretary Ammar Moussa. “With 7 weeks until Election Day, Mitch McConnell, Cory Gardner, and the rest of their special interest friends are resorting to recycling the same misleading claims because they can’t defend Senator Gardner’s record of trying to kick people off their health care, selling out Colorado, and standing with Donald Trump ‘100%’ of the time.”

Please see below to get the facts about this misleading smear. FACT: Republicans are attacking Hickenlooper for his trips to bring business to Colorado. The state went from 40th in job creation to the top economy in the country while he was Governor.

  • A national Republican group with ties to Mitch McConnell is behind the attacks: “A vice president for America Rising began filing open records requests in March 2018, when Hickenlooper was still in office, to obtain his travel records. The results of those open records requests formed the basis for the ethics complaint, filed by the Public Trust Institute, which was formed two days before the complaints were filed by former Republican Speaker of the House Frank McNulty.” – Colorado Politics
  • There are allowances to the gift ban that include: “Travel to conventions or meetings when the offer is made ex officio, is related to the person’s official duties, is of benefit to the state, the individual is representing the state, or the state pays dues to the sponsoring organization (other exceptions may apply depending on circumstances); Gifts from relatives and friends.”- Colorado Independent Ethics Commission 
  • “Take Colorado, which ranks No. 1 in the ‘economy’ category for the second year in a row. When Democrat John Hickenlooper first took office in 2011, Colorado ranked 26th in unemployment and 40th in job growth.” – U.S. News and World Report

FACT: In a recent editorial, the Denver Post called Hickenlooper “an ethical public servant” who made “an honest mistake.”

  • A Denver Post editorial said, “we don’t believe Hickenlooper was trying to undermine the system, or disrespect the commission, or avoid accountability. In fact, the governor has been extremely transparent.”
  • They also noted “there is ample evidence that he tried to comply with the spirit and letter of the law” and “we consider both of those infractions to be relatively minor violations of the ethics laws.”
  • They further noted that Hickenlooper was “an ethical public servant” who made “an honest mistake.”

FACT: Republicans are attacking John because they can’t defend Gardner’s repeated votes to take away guaranteed protections for people with pre-existing health conditions or his votes against Medicaid expansion.

  • Gardner repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
    • 2015: Gardner effectively voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. [CQ, 7/26/15; The Hill, 7/26/15; S.Amdt. 2328 to S.Amdt. 2327 to S.Amdt. 2266 to H.R. 22, Senate Vote 253, 7/26/15]
    • 2013: Gardner voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. [CQ, 5/16/13; HR.45, Vote 154, 5/16/13]
    • 2012: Gardner voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. [CQ, 7/11/12; HR.6079, Vote 460, 7/11/12]
    • 2011: Gardner voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. [CQ, 1/19/11; HR.2, Vote 14, 1/19/11]
  • “PolitiFact has repeatedly determined that a vote to repeal the ACA in full would have stripped coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.” – PolitiFact
  • If the Affordable Care Act were struck down, “people with preexisting conditions will once again face discrimination from insurance companies.” – Center for American Progress
  • Kaiser Family Foundation said “the ACA expands Medicaid coverage for most low-income adults to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL).” – Kaiser Family Foundation
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