Truth Check: Attack ad targets Gardner’s votes on gun issues, Trump and more

Truth Check

DENVER (KDVR) — The Truth Check team continues to look at the candidates and their commercials in the 2020 election. Every advertisement that claims something — we will research and determine if the ads are actually telling the truth.

You can watch our previous “Truth Check” segments here and you can read our criteria and standards here.

The latest Truth Check is on an attack ad from the Giffords PAC. It’s the Political Action Committee from former congresswoman and gun safety advocate Gabby Giffords.

The ad targets Sen. Cory Gardner, who is running for reelection against former Gov. John Hickenlooper.

It features a man who looks like Gardner, but – to be clear – is an actor.

CLAIM #1 

Sen. Gardner has ignored the people in Colorado

Exact quote in ad: “Cory Gardner’s been hard at work ignoring Coloradans”

Verdict: False

Reason: Just this month, President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. It guarantees billions of dollars in funding for National Parks, many of which are in Colorado, including Rocky Mountain National Park. Gardner was also key in helping Colorado be the home for Space Force for at least the next six years. It starts with a budget of $40 million and 200 employees, who will be mostly based in Colorado Springs.

CLAIM #2

Sen. Gardner is one of President Trump’s most loyal followers

Exact quote in ad: “And falling in line with Donald Trump. Gardner’s one of Trump’s most loyal followers.”

Verdict: True

Reason: Gardner has voted in line with President Trump 89.1% of the time, according FiveThirtyEight, which tracks congressional votes. To put this into perspective, 38 Republican senators have voted with the president more often Gardner, while 14 have voted with the president less often. Plus, when Trump was at a rally with Gardner in Colorado Springs in February, the president said, “You’re going to help us get Cory Gardner across that line. He’s been with us 100 percent. There is no waiver.” But that isn’t exactly true.

CLAIM #3

Sen. Gardner has voted against two bills to make universal background checks on gun sales a national law

Exact quote in ad: “He’s even standing with Trump to protect a dangerous loophole in our law that lets people buy guns without a background check.”

Verdict: True

Reason: Technically, they were amendments on bills. Gardner voted against them in 2015 and 2016 and they eventually failed. Gardner mostly votes against restrictions on gun sales. One exception was in 2015, when he voted for a bill that would give the attorney general the power to delay the sale of a gun to a known or suspected terrorist for three days.

CLAIM #4

Almost 90 percent of people in Colorado want background checks on gun sales

Exact quote in ad: “Nearly 90 percent of Coloradans want background checks to help protect our families”

Verdict: True

Reason: Global Strategy Group conducted a survey of 802 likely voters in Colorado in June. An internal memo shows 89% support the background checks. To be transparent, it appears Global Strategy Group worked with Giffords on the survey. The results are similar to national studies on the issue, including this one from Suffolk University and USA Today in 2019. For perspective, Colorado and 12 other states already have a universal background check on gun sales, with minor exceptions. But there’s no national law requiring them.

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