DENVER – At least two people were escorted out Friday evening as Sen. Cory Gardner gave a speech to a packed house of high-profile Republicans on the first day of the Western Conservative Summit in downtown Denver.
The removal of the protesters happened roughly 20 minutes after Gardner took the stage at the Colorado Convention Center.
“No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty!” chanted protesters as they interrupted Gardner during his speech.
Here's video of the moment when people interrupted Sen. Gardner and when the police showed up to escort them out. pic.twitter.com/eLaKChOxty
The protesters were detained, escorted out and later released, according to a Denver Police Department spokesperson.
The yearly summit comes as Senate Republicans are expected to try for a last-ditch effort to get one of three possible health care bills to the floor early next week, though some of the senators who have opted to oppose bringing the Senate’s bills to the floor remain on the fence.
It also comes after a week of discord in the White House, as President Trump seemed to throw Attorney General Jeff Sessions under the bus over his recusal from the Justice Department probe into the 2016 in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned Friday after Anthony Scaramucci was appointed as new White House communications director.
Gardner has been among the most under-pressure Senate Republicans regarding the GOP’s attempts to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act, as he’s yet to definitively take a public stand one way or another on any of the three proposals laid out by the Senate GOP over the past two weeks.
Earlier this week, he seemed to tip his hand on how he felt when he said he wasn’t happy with people who he said were “spiking the football” after efforts to get a repeal-now, replace-later bill to a floor vote.
But in an interview with the Denver Post Thursday, he said he “would prefer a solution that would be a replacement” for the Affordable Care Act, perhaps a hint he wasn’t pushing for the repeal-only bill that some of his Senate colleagues have sought to vote on.
In that interview, Gardner said he wouldn’t speculate on if he’d support that bill.
“I don’t know that’s what would come up and I don’t want to say that I’m going to vote for this, that or the other before I see it and before I know what’s in it,” Gardner’s told The Post. “I don’t see why anybody should be concerned about fighting for legislation that they believe will do better than what we have.”
The senator also told the Post he wouldn’t focus only on health care in his speech to the Western Conservative Summit on Friday.
More information about Western Conservative Summit can be found here.