Editor’s Note: CBS4 asked Sen. Cory Gardner’s office for evidence of out-of-state paid protesters calling the office. Read CBS4’s report about his response.

DENVER (CBS4) – Coloradans are flooding the phone lines of Colorado’s elected officials after President Donald Trump took the Oath of Office.

Sen. Cory Gardner talked to CBS4’s Political Specialist Shaun Boyd about the amount of calls his office is getting from people concerned about changes to everything ranging from health care to immigration.

Sen. Cory Gardner (credit: CBS)

Sen. Cory Gardner (credit: CBS)

Gardner said his office is getting so many calls and emails, his has staff assigned to do nothing except respond to them. In one night, his office received 3,000 voicemails. Many of them were from what Gardner calls paid protesters from other parts of the U.S.

When asked if this was what he expected one week into Trump’s administration, Gardner replied, “It’s just been a fire hose.”

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order to start the Mexico border wall project at the Department of Homeland Security facility in Washington, DC. (credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order to start the Mexico border wall project at the Department of Homeland Security facility in Washington, DC. (credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Gardner admits with the confirmation hearings, his committees have heard seven, and Executive Orders, Trump has signed 12, that it has been difficult to keep up with what’s happening in Washington, D.C.

“It just seems the second you turn your head one way to see what’s coming down that road, you have to turn your head that way to see what’s coming down that road,” said Gardner.

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd interviews Sen. Cory Gardner (credit: CBS)

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd interviews Sen. Cory Gardner (credit: CBS)

Some Coloradans are not happy with what they’re seeing on either road.

Protesters gathered outside a conference where Gardner was speaking and demanded a meeting. This was after Gardner fielded 12,000 questions at a tele-town hall.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“There were a number of questions from Pueblo, to Cortez and Durango, and on up to Grand Junction,” said Gardner.

Many of the questions were about health care.

When asked if there was a replacement for Obamacare, Gardner replied, “If you look at the ideas that have been put forward over the past several years by Republican legislators, and there have been many, some are more narrowly targeted to, say, a specific health savings account idea and others have been pretty significant and broad.”

 (credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Gardner also says Congress will be methodical on immigration reform. He also says that Executive Action is not the way to do it.

“People shouldn’t be afraid, I don’t think, in this country. We should be proud. We should take pride in the differences of opinion in this country. But never use that or let fear interfere with making this country stronger or fighting for your viewpoints,” said Gardner.

Neil M. Gorsuch is sworn in to U.S. Court Of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Nov. 20, 2006. (credit: Denver Post / Getty Images Photo By John Prieto)

Neil M. Gorsuch is sworn in to U.S. Court Of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Nov. 20, 2006. (credit: Denver Post / Getty Images Photo By John Prieto)

Constituents are also weighing in on the next Supreme Court justice. Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch is on Trump’s shortlist.

Gardner says it’s a great opportunity for Colorado to have a Western voice on the court to understand certain issues like water rights.

Comments (91)
  1. Gary Jansen says:

    You can tell Mr Gardner the I am not a paid protestor. I grew up here in Colorado and have worked and paid taxes and voted here all of my adult life. I will keep calling his office to voice my concerns as long as we have a president from Mr. Gardner’s party that appoints a fascist as his Chief Advisor, and promotes actions that threaten our beloved environment and trample human rights. Like it or not, Mr. Gardner, you REPRESENT me in the Senate, and you are going to hear from me a lot.

  2. Sandra Wong says:

    I am a longtime Coloradan, not a paid protester, and I called!!! These are the true voices of Coloradans. Cory Gardner, shame on you for dismissing them so lightly!!!!!! Please do not play games with what is deeply important and real to us!!!! Please do your job and represent the voice of your constituents.

  3. I am a 42-year Colorado resident and business owner. I have called Gardner’s office multiple times and have yet to get a response, despite leaving many messages. My business employs Coloradoans, and because most of our customers are out of the country and state, we are a net importer of dollars. I am incredibly offended at this ridiculous idea that one Senator in Colorado is worth having people be paid to travel here. This is a r-e-p-r-e-s-e-n-t-a-t-i-v-e d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y – you work for your constituents. I am one. WE ARE TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION! I am still hoping you’ll step up to the plate and remove this lunatic from office, but you appear quite busy espousing these absurd views about paid protesters.

    Oh yeah – forgot to mention that one issue I keep calling about is I was planning to hold a 300-person international meeting in Boulder or Denver this fall, but right now I’m quite worried that my customers either won’t be able to get into the country or will not feel safe here. I’m thinking of moving it to Canada or Spain. You really should listen when we call.

  4. I am not a paid protester but a mother of three beautiful children and a wife to a wonderful husband. All five of us are constituents and as a mother I am extremely concerned about the tragic examples of immature and narcissistic behavior that play out in the new Washington every day. I fear for the future of their country and their world. I know your job got tough, Senator Gardner, but step up to the plate or we will take it from you.

  5. I am not a paid protestor. I am a resident of CO and one of your constituents. I also did not know about your tele-conference. Please listen to us. We are trying to speak.

  6. No one has to be paid to protest this insane barrage of ill considered executive actions. I am a Colorado voter, and I protest the actions of President Trump. The sheer number of your constituents who have chosen to either visit your office, call or email in protest of the actions of President Trump in such a short time must not be dismissed by you and your staff as being anything other than what it is, thousands and thousands of Colorado voters who are angry and frightened enough of this petty tyrant and his shortsighted and disruptive ways of working that they are willing to take the time to contact you directly. As the most prominent of new Republican stars in the Senate, you need to be very careful in your responses. Do not denigrate the opposition that will continue to inundate your office in protest. Do something positive to stop Trump from acting irresponsibly.

  7. Senator Gardner, I am a citizen of Colorado, a voter, and a constituent of yours. Wake up and smell the coffee. The president is not well. He lurches crazyily from one idea to another. He behaves as a 7-year-old, one that would be disciplined in any normal home. And, Senator, I just wish that one time you would respond to my letters. How are we supposed to get in touch with you?

  8. I am not a paid protestor, but a constituent in Colorado who would like representation for my taxation. I have been calling Senator Gardner’s office for several days now (trying multiple city offices) and every time his mailboxes are full. I have had no trouble leaving a voicemail with Senator Bennett, however.

  9. Senator Gardner, I am not a paid protester. I was at the march and you are getting mail from me. I am a registered Colorado voter and pay taxes. I, my friends, and my neighbors are concerned about the loss of human rights and environmental damage. I believe you owe us an apology. I vote. So do my friends. Don’t mimic the “alternate facts” of your president. A lie is a lie.

  10. sierrafarris says:

    I call Gardner’s office every other day and unable to leave a message or talk to anyone live. What evidence does he have that people like me, a Coloradan is a paid protester. Midterm elections will be difficult for Gardner if he doesn’t take a moral stance against Trump.

  11. You let Sen Gardner walk straight past his uncorroborated assertion that his phone line was being flooded by “paid protesters”?
    You need to be demanding that he provide evidence for claims like that. If you don’t you are guilty of professional negligence.

  12. Senator Gardner, I’m NOT a paid protester–I’m a concerned CO citizen (80303).

  13. Gregg Koski says:

    The ‘Party of Personal Responsibility’ that never takes any. The GOP has been wrecking this country for decades. Maybe these ‘paid protesters’ can only get this job because of GOP’s failed policies.

  14. Sonia Simone says:

    I’m one of the Colorado citizens who wrote Senator Gardner a letter, and I’m appalled at this out-and-out lie that I’m a “paid protestor.”

    I moved to Colorado in 1999, and I’m a business owner, I certainly don’t have time to be a “paid protestor,” and frankly I don’t think such a thing exists.

    Senator Gardner, hear this: Colorado does not want you to repeal ACA. It has had a great benefit to the state.

    Truly, the difference in treatment I see between Garner’s and Senator Bennet’s office is shocking. Senator Bennet’s staff are always courteous and acknowledge that I have taken time from my day to share my views. Do these people think we have nothing to do but hassle them so they’ll do their jobs?

  15. Wow, what in the world have “we” done allowing the GOP this kind of power once again? Your aggrandizement since the election blinds you to your constituents, and to ethical behavior for the country. I am not a paid protestor. I am your constituent, asking you to protect the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the EPA, the Dept. of Education, the Dept. of Treasury, the Justice Dept., the Dept. of Energy, our relationship in the United Nations, civil rights, and America’s kind and tolerant values, which all of a sudden your “family values” party has turned its back on. COME BACK TO REALITY. Yes, I will continue to call you with every passing day’s ridiculous attacks on America’s values. Good Lord help us.

  16. es, I am calling you, Cory Gardner! Yes, I am emailing you, Cory Gardner! Yes, I have protested against your new fascist president. I promise you, *no one* paid me to do any of this. Do your job and represent your constituents. Save the ACA. Do *not* de-fund providers of reproductive health. Do not allow Steve Bannon and Donald Trump to destroy our democracy. Stand up against the immigration ban, which will only serve to *increase* the number of people who wish to harm the USA. Where is your moral compass? Do you even care about this country and our democracy? I received the most lame email from you defending your desire to repeal the ACA. You really have no idea what your constituents want and need. Educate yourself, or consider yourself voted out of a job. Find your moral compass before it is too late for the United States of America, home of the free. Impeach him, NOW.

  17. Lee Fife says:

    Cory Gardner, once again shows his true colors.
    No Senator Gardner, I am not a paid protester. And your attempts to hide from your constituents make it clear who you think you represent. And it’s not us …
    But, gosh, great way to tell us what you think of the calls you’re getting from the very people you claim to represent.

  18. I am not a paid protestor. I will keep calling. I will keep showing up at your office. Your job is to represent your Colorado constituents and to uphold the constitution of the United States. Tragically, it is now your job to do what you can to protect your people and your country. We, your constituents, are organizing, protesting, calling, marching, and rising up together to protect the America we love. And we don’t draw a salary for doing so.

  19. I am NOT a paid protester. I have been a Colorado resident for more than 20 years and I am MAD about what is going on in DC and around the country. I will call Gardner’s office AS A CONSTITUENT and I will protest AS A COLORADO RESIDENT at every march until things change. Shame on your Sen. Gardner!!

  20. Corey Gardner – why did you remain silent when Trump was violating our First Amendment Rights? I am not a paid protester, I am an ANGRY COLORADOAN!

  21. Jake Acton says:

    What in the world? I went out to DIA last night. Im not a paid protester! What a way to minimize and discount democracy. Terrible. This will just make me louder.

  22. Senator Gardner, I am not a paid protestor. I am one of your Colorado constituents and a mom raising my 3 wonderful boys to love and respect everyone, and to stand up and fight when we see the wrong in our government. We have your office number on speed dial, and so does everyone we know. You need to listen to your people, and to your soul if you still have one.

  23. I have left many messages with Sen. Gardner’s office. I am disappointed that he dismisses calls from his constituents by claiming voters in his district are out-of-state paid protesters. I’m not impressed.

  24. as Pamela explained I cant believe that any one able to make $5109 in a few weeks on the computer . have a peek here
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, http://tinylink.net/G57vb

  25. Paid protesters?? LOL – please send me the check! Neither I, nor the 50 people I was with protesting at your empty office last week were paid. A health savings account is NOT health care. You don’t think we should be afraid of the psychotic Dumpster in Chief? I can’t wait to give you your walking papers.

  26. I am a citizen of Colorado and have contacted Senator Gardner. Lies and diversion are the tools of this new administration. The media must act to keep our government officials truthful.

  27. I have lived in Colorado since 1987. I just called Gardner’s office yesterday. “Paid out of state protesters,” what horse manure. I pay your salary, Sen. Gardner!

  28. Nms Bishop says:

    Paid protesters? I walked in a sister walk of the Women’s march FOR FREE and will continue to protest FOR FREE and phone Gardner’s office FOR FREE each and every day. Republican politicians are repugnant for supporting the Petulant Tweeter in Chief.

  29. I am a Coloradan of almost 20 years and I am not a “paid protester.” In fact I’d say the opposite: he’s a paid shill. Betsy Devos is one of many who’ve donated significant sums to Corey Gardner. He should represent the people, not the donors. And the people are disgusted at him rolling over on his back for Trump and his cronies.

  30. I can assure Senator Gardner that I am a Colorado resident and I have never been paid to contact him! I have called both his local and D.C. offices to voice my concerns over several issues, including the repeal of the ACA and Trump’s cabinet picks. Also, I find it odd that he is bragging about talking to 12,000 CO voters during a teletownhall last week, when we constituents were told by his staff that he had no town halls scheduled for the first 3 months of the year. I would like to see Ms. Boyd follow up with some hard questions for Sen. Gardner about why he is making up alternative facts about paid out of state protesters, and why he has no plans for face to face meetings with his constituents, especially those in the Denver metro area who have asked repeatedly that he schedule town hall meetings.

  31. No need for paid protesters. There are enough angry Colorado constituents to flood your phone lines and email until such time as you stop supporting ridiculous policies that your constituents do not support. You are supposed to represent us. You can expect this to continue until you decide to represent us the way we want you to, or until we get you out of office. Your pick.

  32. Cory Gardner, wipe that smile off your face and say something with some substance rather than platitudes like “no one should be afraid in this country”.

  33. I would be happy to provide my phone records to Sen Gardner any time he asks. I am not a paid outsider. I am an Independent voter legally registered ( and voting) in Pueblo, Co. I have called, written and emailed my concerns to my elected representative as is my legal right. Most often I get voicemail or an over full system not accepting any additional messages. Senator Gardner ‘s Telephone Town Hall was not publicized and there is no information available on his website on upcoming events.

  34. Senator Gardner, I am not a paid protester. I am a constituent of yours living in Arvada, Colorado. I have called, written and emailed you to let you know you are not representing my views. You should get used to this level of engagement, because we are not going to stop. 2018 will be here before you know it.

  35. I am not a protester. I am a concerned citizen that fears my voice and the voice of many Coloradans is not being heard. Senator Gardner’s statements suggesting there are paid protesters overwhelming his office are outrageous and I resent his notion that we have nothing to fear as Americans.

  36. I cannot believe that anyone is paid to make phone calls to you, and I don’t think you believe it either, Senator Gardner. Another glaring example of alternative facts. I can’t even track how many phone calls I have made to you voicing my concern and NOTHING have I heard about a teleconference! Every call I have made includes my name and address. I have both left messages and spoke to your staff. I have visited your web site and Facebook page and sadly missed that opportunity to teleconference with you and share my concerns. This grassroots effort does not have financial backing ala Koch Brothers.

    How blithely you mention HSA’s as an alternative to ACA. We know what an HSA is. How does anyone amass a million dollars in their HSA to pay for healthcare for themselves and family members? HSA is NOT insurance! And, being an attorney, you know that, you are just hoping your constituents don’t know. I have an HSA, entirely funded by me and the balance is pathetic.

    Another Flim Flam-con artist, hoping we aren’t paying attention. He is NOT a representative of Colorado.

  37. I was very disturbed by Senator Cory Gardner attributing the volumes of calls received by his office to “paid protesters from other parts of the U.S.” As a resident of Superior, Colorado, I am one of Senator Gardner’s constituents. And, I have tried to contact his office to express my concerns about repeal of the Affordable Care Act and cabinet nominees that are troubled with conflicts of interest. Just because I don’t agree with Senator Gardner’s positions does not mean that I am an outside agitator. I am a Coloradan and I vote in every election. Are you listening, Senator Gardner?

  38. I am not a paid protester. I am YOUR BOSS as a registered voter in Colorado. I demand proof of the “10\2,000 calls” you answered on your teleconference, as it was not advertised anywhere nor listed as something you did on your website. And Ms Boyd, you should be ashamed of yourself for letting him get away without questioning what he said.

  39. I call the Senator’s office every day (or try to). I say “try” as the circuits are usually busy. I always leave my zip code and on the rare occasion that someone answers the phone I speak my name, zip code and inform the person that I’m a constituent of Gardner’s. Gardner does not speak for CO constituents – he speaks for Trump and the Koch brothers whom I assume has bought his voice and vote in Congress.

    As Gardner seldom answers his phone, it would be very helpful if he would leave his town hall meeting information on the recording. He is after all a public servant that at one time worked for CO constituents. Believe me, there would be many CO constituents that would attend.

    So does Gardner also endorse ‘alternative facts’, and CBS endorses it? Shame.

  40. What the heck! Just FYI, I’ve called and I’m NOT a paid protester. Get real!

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