ABC Blames Orlando Terror on Election Rhetoric and Guns in America

On Sunday, even after the FBI hinted the presence of a link to radical Islam, the panel on ABC’s This Week blamed the terrorist attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on heated election rhetoric and guns in America. “I think we all ought to pause with what happened in Orlando today,” stated ABC’s Matt Dowd when asked if third party candidates could gain supporters, “And if we understand that all of the hateful thoughts become hateful words become hateful actions.

Dowd continued, “And now, maybe in the course of this, after what happened, the temperatures will go down and we, sort of, get back to a place where we can understand the common good.

Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway then argued that America is in need of strong leadership. “But strong leadership, Kelly, is not about fear mongering and exploiting racial anxieties, and bigotry,” snapped The Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel.

Heuvel had her own narrative to spin the deaths of the innocent for:

I think the, you know, grief and anger today, but we can't lose sight of senseless gun violence and the gun epidemic in this country. 66 people killed in Chicago in May. Hillary Clinton has a very strong gun control program. Trump, he's tethered to the NRA.

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile backed up both Dowd and Heuvel. “Since 2013, we have had over 1,000 mass shootings,” she claimed, “And clearly, there's a place today in the dialogue for us to talk about the tone and temperament of our national leaders.

To cap off the show, Dowd had more spinning he wanted to do:

I think, whenever we—A side gets into, “us versus them.” It's not helpful in solving the problem in the course of this. Do less guns going to solve it? Possibly yes, possibly not. More guns won’t solve it in the course of this. But let’s get back to a culture that has communication.

It seems that Fox News’ Brit Hume was proven correct when earlier on Fox News Sunday he predicted, “Everybody’s going to go to battle stations on gun control and the question of terrorism, and it’s too soon to do that on either cause. And I think it be well to, kind of, hold our fire here.”

Transcript below:

ABC
This Week
June 12, 2016
9:54:51 AM Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And Matthew Dowd, does Hillary— you talking about rejecting this “the false choice.” Does Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, Gary Johnson the Libertarian have a real chance of getting the Bernie Sanders supporters?

MATT DOWD: I think they both have a realistic chance of both getting some of the Bernie Sanders support. And some of the sort of Republican support in this. Will they win this election? No. But that’s not the choice people ought to be forced to make. That’s not who’s going to win or lose, but who do you want to represent the country?

I think we all ought to pause with what happened in Orlando today. There’s people going down to Disney World with their families, and that awful shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. And if we understand that all of the hateful thoughts become hateful words become hateful actions. And now, maybe in the course of this, after what happened, the temperatures will go down and we, sort of, get back to a place where we can understand the common good.

Tell the Truth 2016

KELLYANNE CONWAY: This is precisely why—

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: I mean I don’t see—

CONWAY: --It’s not going to be about temperament. It will be about strong leadership.

HEUVEL: But strong leadership, Kelly, is not about fear mongering and exploiting racial anxieties, and bigotry. Donald Trump's idea of a counterterrorism program is banning all Muslims. Bombing all families in the Middle East essentially, ISIS families.

CONWAY: You do realize that the FBI is saying he had Islamic tendencies?

HEUVEL: --And torturing -- I think the, you know, grief and anger today, but we can't lose sight of senseless gun violence and the gun epidemic in this country. 66 people killed in Chicago in May. Hillary Clinton has a very strong gun control program. Trump, he's tethered to the NRA. I think that has to be –

DONNA BRAZILE: Mass shootings. We’ve had so many mass shootings this year.

HEUVEL: Absolutely.

BRAZILE: Since 2013, we have had over 1,000 mass shootings. And clearly, there's a place today in the dialogue for us to talk about the tone and temperament of our national leaders.

You know, June is pride month. And for many Americans, this is an opportunity for them to express their feelings about equality. Finally being treated as equal citizens under the law. So this, I think, is a special moment for people for people across the country to mourn those who— will pray for those now in the hospital. Those who are wounded. Parents fearing their children may not come home today. But, talking about politics and tone, it matters because you're looking for a leader. Somebody who can bring us together. And that matters.

BILL KRISTOL: But look, I am anti-Trump. But if this was an act Islamic terrorism. Whether a lone wolf or perhaps— a lot of lone wolves turn out to have a lot of connections abroad, one way or the other.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re learning— we actually have learned the name of the shooter. The shooter’s name is Omar Mateen. He’s from St. Lucie County, Florida. Born in 1986. 

KRISTOL: Parents from Afghanistan, I think they’re saying.

But if he was motivated by Islamic jihad, jihadist ideology, these talking points are not going to work.

DOWD: I think, whenever we—A side gets into, “us versus them.” It's not helpful in solving the problem in the course of this. Do less guns going to solve it? Possibly yes, possibly not. More guns won’t solve it in the course of this. But let’s get back to a culture that has communication. 

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro