Truth Check: Gardner ad claims Hicklooper admits ‘He wouldn’t be an effective senator’

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 involves the highly competitive race for one of Colorado’s United States Senate seats. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper is challenging incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner, who’s defending the seat for the first time.

Gadner’s new ad targets Hickenlooper for his brewery connections and what he’s said about the U.S. Senate in the past.

CLAIM #1 

John Hickenlooper owns a brewery

Exact quote in ad: “Let’s get down to some real differences between me and John Hicknelooper. First, Hickenlooper owns a brewery.”

Verdict: True

Reason: Hickenlooper’s blind trust owns non-public stock in two breweries, but neither is the one most people will probably recognize. In 2007, Hickenlooper’s trust sold his share of Wynkoop Holdings and the brewery he started in Lower Downtown Denver. Hickenlooper’s latest financial disclosure form shows he owns $100,001 to $250,000 of Coopersmith’s Pub and Brewing in Fort Collins and $15,001 to $50,000 of the Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant in San Francisco. That stock, along with Hickenlooper’s financial assets, are in a blind trust and have been since he was Denver’s mayor.

CLAIM #2

Hickenlooper admits he wouldn’t be an effective senator

Exact quote in ad: “He admits, he would not be an effective senator. (Hickenlooper: ‘The Senate doesn’t attract me at this point. It wouldn’t bring me any kind of satisfaction.'”)

Verdict: True

Reason: While Hickenlooper was running for president in 2019, he made a number of comments about not wanting to be a senator or not thinking he’d make a good senator. He told KOA NewsRadio, “If you look at the skill sets of what I’m good at, that’s very different from what happens in the Senate.” Hickenelooper also told CNN, “Some of my best friends are senators. I don’t think I’m cut out for that.”

Keep in mind, Hickenlooper said all that when was running for president. Then in June 2020, when he was officially running for the Senate, Hickenlooper addressed his past comments in a debate sponsored by The Denver Post, Colorado Public Radio and KMGH. He said: “There’s no question that I have bad mouthed the U.S. Senate…as a place that’s broken…and for people who want get things done, a difficult challenge. But at a certain point you, you have to decide whether you’re going to be content to sit on the sidelines, or you want to, you want to get in the ring with the mud and the sweat, as Teddy Roosevelt said, and be part of the change. And I want to go to Washington and be someone who can change, not just the Senate, but change Washington.”

CLAIM #3

Gardner crosses party lines to get bills passed

Exact quote in ad: “I cross party lines to get things. That’s what I like to do.”

Verdict: True

Reason: In fact, Gardner is ranked as the third most bipartisan senator, by the Georgetown University, The Lugar Center – McCourt School Bipartison Index. It looks at how often senators cosponsor bills across the aisle and vise versa. That said, Gardner has voted with President Donald Trump at least 89% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight. Other tracking sites have that percentage even higher. Then there’s what the president himself said about Gardner at a rally in Colorado Springs in February. Trump said, “You’re going to help us get Cory Gardner across that line. He’s been with us 100%. There is no waiver.”

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