Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand blasts group during Fox News town hall
Democratic 2020 dreamer Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) attacked the National Rifle Association (NRA) during a Sunday town hall event, blasting the gun advocacy group as “the worst organization in this country.”
As she attempted to drag her presidential bid from the bottom of the over-crowded pile of Democrats, Gillibrand made several loud and fiery statements during the Fox News town hall in Dubuque, Iowa.
Aside from bashing President Donald Trump and the NRA, Senator Gillibrand unapologetically made calls to embrace late-term abortion during the testy Q&A.
At one point, the event’s moderator Chris Wallace challenged Gillibrand for attacking Fox News’ coverage of elected Democrats’ comments and legislative action on infanticide.
Referring to an audience member who had questioned Gillibrand about late-term abortion, Wallace asked: “Instead of talking about Fox News, why don’t you answer Susan’s question?”
In the wake of the massacre of 12 people Friday at a Virginia Beach municipal building, the town hall focused on gun violence from the outset.
“Americans are feeling ripped apart by the gun deaths we have seen, year after year, month after month,” Gillibrand said.
“The most outrageous thing that’s happened to our democracy is how much fear, and division, and hate has been spread.
“I think the NRA is the worst organization in this country for doing exactly that. They care more about their profits than the American people.”
According to Fox News, Gillibrand went on to call for universal background checks, a bump stock ban, and a federal anti-weapons trafficking law. She also accused the NRA of having a “chokehold” on members of Congress. (The Trump administration has already banned bump stocks, over the objections of some conservatives who raised concerns about the constitutionality of the sweeping executive order.)
Wallace pointed out that Friday’s shooting would not have been stopped by any of Gillibrand’s proposed initiatives, and inquired whether she could provide more specific ideas that could have prevented the murders.
“Stop being beholden to the NRA like President Trump is,” Gillibrand offered.
“The NRA is lying to the American people. It is not about the Second Amendment. It is about gun sales. …
“It is literally about greed and corruption, and making sure the status quo remains the same.”
She was also a member of the conservative Democratic Blue Dog coalition when she represented New York’s rural 20th congressional district in the House.
Gillibrand first began recasting her politics upon her appointment by then-New York Gov. David Paterson to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton in 2009.
“I came from a district that was really rural — Second Amendment was important, hunting was important,” Gillibrand responded.
“I recognize people have different communities.”
Pressed on what changed once she arrived in the Senate and quickly received an “F” rating from the NRA, Gillibrand continued: “Just realizing that not every part of this country is like my rural, upstate district.”
Kirsten Gillibrand: “The NRA is the worst organization in this country. They care more about their profits than the American people, they care more about selling guns to someone on the terror watch list or w/grave mental illness or who has a violent criminal background”
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 2, 2019
Gillibrand also issued a full-throated endorsement of abortion rights and insisted she would “codify Roe v. Wade, so it is forever the law of the land” when asked to clarify whether she supported late-term abortions.
She also suggested “all-male” legislators were behind the passage of a slew of pro-life “heartbeat” laws that have passed recently in southern states.
However, Alabama’s female governor, Kay Ivey, enacted the state’s restrictive anti-abortion law in May, while the Democratic representative behind a similar bill in Louisiana is an African-American woman.
Several other women legislators also supported the bills.
Gillibrand toed both sides of the line on immigration, saying she “fully support[s] border security.”
But she also condemned President Trump’s aggressive illegal immigration enforcement efforts, calling them “inhumane.”
She vowed a humane asylum process, more border security funding, and “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship” — a lofty legislative goal that has stalled several times in recent years.
The senator also implied the deaths of several children in Border Patrol custody were the fault of the Trump administration, without evidence.
Advocates have long questioned the Border Patrol’s ability to care for the thousands of parents and children in its custody, but there have been no indications that maltreatment in Border Patrol custody caused the deaths.