Gardner and Hickenlooper debate: Fact checked

Abby Vander, Serena Bettis, Sam Moccia, and Natalie Weiland

Republican Cory Gardner and Democrat John Hickenlooper will debate in the race for U.S. Senator today from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Collegian will be fact-checking the debate and posting its findings starting at 6 p.m. Refresh this page for the latest information.

Watch the debate through 9News here:


Claim: Hickenlooper said that before the pandemic, there was one mass shooting each day. This is false. 

According to a CBS News report, there were more mass shootings than days in 2019, but there was not necessarily one mass shooting each day.

Claim: Gardner said, “If you listen to Lauren Boebert, she said she did not, and does not, (support QAnon).” 

To provide this with more context: Moderator Kyle Clark asked Gardner why he would campaign with someone (Boebert) who supports the conspiracy group QAnon, to which Gardner replied that she does not. 

According to a July NPR report, Boebert has made comments that allude to her support of the group, but Boebert and her campaign team have come out multiple times to say she does not follow QAnon.

Claim: Gardner said that Hickenlooper lied to the country sheriff about the effectiveness of limiting family sales on firearms.

To provide this with more context: When asked why he didn’t listen to law enforcement over Michael Bloomberg in a meeting on gun control legislation with sheriffs in 2014, Hickenlooper said he did not talk to Bloomberg. According to Fox 31 News, his office later stated that he intended to convey that his conversation with Bloomberg did not influence his decision.

Claim: Gardner said he is the third most bipartisan Senator. This is true, according to a report from the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. 

The ranking comes from the 2019 Senate scores, which are based on, “the frequency with which a Member co-sponsors a bill introduced by the opposite party and the frequency with which a Member’s own bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party,” according to the Lugar Center’s website.


Claim: Gardner said Hickenlooper has refused to answer the question of whether or not he would support packing the Supreme Court. This is true. 

Claim: Gardner said Hickenlooper worked with now-former Ohio Governor John Kasich to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is false. Hickenlooper and Kasich worked to make changes to the ACA, not repeal it. 

Serena Bettis, Sam Moccia and Natalie Weiland and Abby Vander Graaff can be reached at or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.