Halperin: ‘I Am Touched’ by Obama’s Tears on Gun Control; ‘Proud of His Ability to Show It’

Offering his thoughts on Tuesday’s With All Due Respect concerning President Obama announcing his executive actions on gun control, Bloomberg TV/MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin declared that he was “touched by” the President’s tears and was “proud of his ability to show” his emotions on something that’s “a national crisis that needs to be addressed.”

Co-host John Heilemann observed to Halperin following clips of the President’s speech hours earlier that Obama “exhibit[ed] great emotion and determination there” and then asked if “you think he actually could get done in his last year in office on this issue?”

Halperin began by gushing over how pleased he was with the President before using emotion to dispel the claims of gun rights supporters:

I am touched by his emotion and proud of his ability to show it. Regardless of what you think about the Second Amendment, about his proposals, there is no doubt this is a national crisis that needs to be addressed and he — his emotion is backed by determination but there's nothing that can be done by this. Republicans in Congress just don’t agree with him about how to deal with these issues. 

He also predicted that the President’s actions will lead to “a more robust general election debate” on gun control with Heilemann jumping into agree “especially with the current rate of mass shootings we have seen in the last year.” 

Lamenting “the strength of the gun lobby,” Heilemann added: 

You know, for a long time, whether it’s been opponents of abortion or advocates of gay marriage, changing hearts and minds is the predicate for changing laws and that’s the only way this can happen, given the strength of the gun lobby.

Halperin responded by again attempting to frame the gun control debate as not being about whether the Second Amendment should be severely curtailed or if guns should be confiscated, but as a moral obligation: “I’ll say again, it has nothing to do with your views of the Second Amendment or these proposals. There has to be policies in this country — even if they’re not governmental policies, there have to be polices that address gun violence.”

The co-host and MSNBC political analyst concluded by touting the President and anyone who’s met victims of gun violence as more equipped and informed on the issue of guns than those who haven’t:

[T]he emotion the President shows there is based in part in fact that he’s come in contact with these families. He’s looked at them and talked with them and held them. Any American who has done that is going to have a different view about the urgency of this. I will say it again, regardless of the policies you want to pursue.

Of course, the pair made no attempt to entertain the argument that none of what the President unveiled will have any bearing on preventing shootings or any of the more recent high-profile mass shootings.

It should be noted that this marked day two of the experiment involving With All Due Respect being replayed one hour later (at 6:00 p.m. Eastern) on larger cable news rival MSNBC. MSNBC had been without a permanent show (aside from MSNBC Live) since Al Sharpton’s show PoliticsNation moved to Sunday mornings in October.

The relevant portion of the transcript from Bloomberg TV/MSNBC’s With All Due Respect on January 5 can be found below.

Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect
January 5, 2015
5:02 p.m. Eastern

JOHN HEILEMANN: Mark, President Obama exhibiting great emotion and determination there. If that determination is matched by action, by effort. What do you think he actually could get done in his last year in office on this issue? 

MARK HALPERIN: I am touched by his emotion and proud of his ability to show it. Regardless of what you think about the Second Amendment, about his proposals, there is no doubt this is a national crisis that needs to be addressed and he — his emotion is backed by determination but there's nothing that can be done by this. Republicans in Congress just don’t agree with him about how to deal with these issues. I do think we will have a more robust general election debate between whoever the nominees are about the issue of how to deal with gun violence in America more than we have ever had and I think the President is going to tee that up through his efforts over the next year even though they don’t do much to change the nature of the current laws in the country. 

HEILEMANN: You know, I think there’s — I agree with what you said — and we talked about the way this debate will be highlighted, especially with the current rate of mass shootings we have seen in the last year. I think that was a huge deal. If there’s a way in which you can start to — once you ruled out the notion that the can pass laws on something, which I think I agree with you will not happen, moving the framework of the debate over. You know, for a long time, whether it’s been opponents of abortion or advocates of gay marriage, changing hearts and minds is the predicate for changing laws and that’s the only way this can happen, given the strength of the gun lobby. 

HALPERIN: And I’ll say again, it has nothing to do with your views of the Second Amendment or these proposals. There has to be policies in this country — even if they’re not governmental policies, there have to be polices that address gun violence because the emotion the President shows there is based in part in fact that he’s come in contact with these families. He’s looked at them and talked with them and held them. Any American who has done that is going to have a different view about the urgency of this. I will say it again, regardless of the policies you want to pursue. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center