Following a week in which the president outlined his planned gun control actions, Hillary Clinton is hitting her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, on his record — and Sanders and his campaign are responding in full force, portraying the former Secretary of State as a flip-flopper.
“When it really mattered, Senator Sanders voted with the gun lobby and I voted against the gun lobby,” Clinton told Chris Matthews on “Hardball” tonight.
Clinton was referring to the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” legislation the Senate passed in 2005 that shielded firearms manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits. In 2005, Sanders voted for the legislation, while then-senators Clinton and Obama voted against it.
Clinton also noted that Sanders has voted against the Brady Bill, which mandates background checks for gun purchases, five times, and voted for the “Charleston loophole,” an amendment to the Brady bill that makes it easier to buy a gun without a completed background check.
“This is a significant difference,” Clinton told Matthews, “and it’s important that, you know, maybe it’s time for Senator Sanders to stand up and say I got this one wrong. But he hasn’t. He’s defended his vote time and again.”
Sanders is not handing this one to Clinton as he did with her email scandal; instead, he is pushing back.
Maybe Hillary Clinton should apologize for this? pic.twitter.com/We14Q7Ia5g
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 9, 2016
“Maybe Secretary Clinton should apologize for attacking the president in 2008 because he was too strong on gun control,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said in a statement.
And Sanders Communications Director Michael Briggs said Clinton’s team has gotten “nervous and nasty.”
Watch Obama respond to Hillary’s 2008 charges, referring to her as “Annie Oakley”:
Speaking on MSNBC today, Sanders reiterated his support for the measures the President wants to implement.
“I support what the President is doing,” Sanders said. “There are a lot of candidates running in the house and the senate who may be opposed to sensible gun control legislation. I happen not to be one of them.”
Among Hillary’s targets now that she’s pro-gun control is the NRA.
Clinton is not only initiating a debate about gun control but also vowing to fight the National Rifle Association.
“I’m going to speak out against the uncontrollable use of guns in our country because I believe we can do better,” Clinton said Tuesday in Iowa City.
A few days earlier, she said in Hanover, N.H.: “We have to take on the gun lobby. . . . This is a controversial issue. I am well aware of that. But I think it is the height of irresponsibility not to talk about it.”
Interestingly (and horrifyingly), both candidates are framing much of this debate around who is best suited to “protect Obama’s legacy.”
Watch the report:
As this feud heats up, Gabbie Giffords has announced her intention to endorse Hillary for president.
Former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords will endorse Hillary Clinton, a person familiar with her plans confirmed.
The backing of Giffords, who became a leading advocate for gun control after being shot by a would-be assassin in 2011, comes amid stepped-up efforts by the former secretary of state to portray her opponent in the Democratic primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, as soft on guns.“He often says, ‘Well look, I’m from Vermont and oh, it’s different, it’s not like being in New York City,'” Clinton said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, noting that his Vermont colleague Sen. Patrick Leahy had voted differently. “I think that the excuses and efforts by Senator Sanders to avoid responsibility for this vote — which the NRA hailed as the most important in 20 years — points up a clear difference, and it’s a difference that Democratic voters in our primary can take into account.”
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