MSNBC's Ruhle Praises Gillibrand for Leaving the NRA's 'Sphere of Influence'

August 15th, 2019 11:27 AM

MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday welcomed New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for a softball interview to remind America that she is running for president and to allow her some free air time to accuse the National Rifle Association of not caring about the deaths of children or religious people.

Ruhle began by asking Gillibrand about the NRA in a way that suggested shift in beliefs are sincere and not at all an opportunistic manuever to advance her political career:



STEPHANIE RUHLE: So, as somebody who had an "A" rating from the NRA, you were able to remove yourself from their sphere of influence. You are in a different situation because you went from that conservative district to representing all of New York, but do you believe someone like Mitch McConnell can pull himself from that sphere? Help us understand the power the NRA has. 

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: So, the problem with Washington and the NRA is the greed and corruption that's at the root of it. The NRA cares far more about gun sales than keeping our kids safe in our schools, than keeping worshippers safe in their place of worship, than keeping a kid on a park bench safe from a stray bullet. That's the reality of the NRA. And so we need to fight against money in politics. We need publicly funded elections, but we also need leadership.

Taking Gillibrand's assertion that the NRA does not care about dead children or worshippers as a matter of fact, Ruhle teed up Gillibrand for a cheap shot on Mitch McConnell. "Former Senator Claire McCaskill today said Mitch McConnell is not going to do anything because he's owned by the NRA. What does that mean?" Gillibrand responded "It means the NRA has poured millions of dollars into congressional and Senate campaigns for decades. It means they communicate to their members and mislead their members, telling them that Democrats or any common-sense Republican who is for gun reform is going to take away their hunting rifles. It's just not true."

Perhaps former senator and current MSNBC talking head Claire McCaskill isn't the best to talk about politicians being "owned" by special interests, since no Democrat running for federal office in 2018 received more money from Planned Parenthood than Claire McCaskill.

Gillibrand herself, despite being from a dark blue state in a Democrat-friendly election cycle, was third on that list. In fact 22 Democrats received more than $10,000 from Planned Parenthood in 2018, whereas only one Republican, Marsha Blackburn, received that much from the NRA.