The Western Conservative Summit bills itself as the “largest gathering of conservatives outside of Washington, D.C.,” drawing thousands from across the country. Trump even spoke there last year and has been invited again.
But this year, one of the biggest draws is apparently U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), whose photo is featured in an online ad for the event, which is organized by the Centennial Institute, a conservative think tank.
The ad looks a bit like a WANTED poster, with a photo of Gardner and the word, “CONFIRMED.” (See the advertisement here.)
Gardner’s appearance at the Western Conservative Summit may draw progressives to the event along with others who’ve been clamoring for an in-person town hall meeting with Gardner.
Hundreds of Gardner’s constituents even went so far as to direct questions to a cardboard cutout of Gardner at Denver School earlier this year.
Gardner is widely considered a swing vote on the U.S. Senate’s Obamacare replacement bill, which he helped draft. After facing repeated protests at his offices in Colorado, Gardner spent the weekend out of the public eye.
Ticket prices at $200 for the weekend-long conservative summit (July 21-23) may dissuade folks who aren’t committed to the conservative cause from going, but day passes ($120) and “Patriot” passes ($100) for those under 30 (and educators, military, and others) are available.
Summit organizers have not said whether Gardner will be taking questions, but in the past, major speakers have responded to queries from the audience.
Gardner is the only member of the Colorado congressional delegation who has not held a town hall meeting since the election of Trump. He’s spoken to numerous private groups, however, and he’s held conference calls with thousands of constituents.
It’s not clear how Gardner fits with the theme of the event, as posted on the website: “Making Goodness Fashionable.”