Tanden Claims Lefty Kids Don’t Want Gun Bans; Gets Schooled by CNN Conservative Scott Jennings

Finally a solid conservative beatdown....on CNN?! During Sunday evening’s CNN Newsroom, Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden was thoroughly trounced by CNN political commentator Scott Jennings for stating that the pro-gun control Parkland students aren’t advocating for gun bans when they’re doing just that.

Jennings went first following a clip host Ana Cabrera played of far-left student David Hogg’s rant from Saturday’s March for Our Lives warning anyone who doesn’t support them to “get your resumes ready.”

 

 

Cabrera’s conservative guest responded that there certainly will “be an effort” to elect anti-gun politicians, but cited a pesky poll that showed “the age cohort...that is least likely to support some of these things they're promoting, such as gun bans, is actually 18 to 34-year-olds and so I think sometimes we get a little bit of a distorted view about what the younger voters actually believe on this issue.” 

It's likely that the poll he referred to can be found here as the 18-34 years old demographic was least likely to back an assault weapons ban and an expanded waiting period on buying a gun.

Jennings argued that “we ought to find the issues where there's common ground” such as age restrictions, mental health, and even expanded background checks because “it's still pretty messy when it comes to banning guns, which is what a lot of the speakers at the rallies wanted.”

He added later that Republicans have moved on gun safety by passing the Fix NICS bill and the Stop School Violence Act in the omnibus bill and concluded with the reality that “Donald Trump signed more gun control on Friday than Barack Obama did in eight years.”

Pun intended, that seemed to trigger Tanden. She responded that Jennings offered “a really great rewriting of history” and denied the fact that the Parkland students want “a gun ban.” Instead, she argued, “they are asking for a ban on assault weapons” and “semi-automatic assault weapons.”

Jennings interrupted part way through to point out this asinine lie that this gun control movement don’t want to ban people’s guns:

JENNINGS: It is — it is, Neera. 

TANDEN: — assault weapons. A semi-automatic assault weapon.

JENNINGS: That's what the students want. They want gun bans. They do want the gun bans.

TANDEN: Actually, they have their agenda line online and that's not what it says. You should look it up, Scott. I recommend it.

JENNINGS: It doesn't say they want to ban — 

TANDEN: It says assault weapons.

JENNINGS: — they don't want to ban certain kinds of rifles? 

TANDEN: They said they want an assault weapons ban, something the President talked about — you know —

JENNINGS: Okay, gun bans.

TANDEN: — for five minutes before. It’s an assault weapons.

Cabrera stepped in and touted a Fox News poll showing support for a so-called assault weapons ban, but to her credit, she threw a hardball Tanden’s way by emphasizing that “it wasn't that long ago that Democrats did hold both Chambers of Congress in addition to the White House, and they didn't get gun control passed.”

To see the transcript of the full debate from March 25's CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera
March 25, 2018
5:17 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Guns in America; Santorum: Parkland Students Should Learn CPR, Not Protest]

ANA CABRERA: Former Pennsylvania Senator, and presidential candidate Rick Santorum getting major backlash for making this comment just a day after survivors of the Parkland shooting held these nationwide gun control marches.

RICK SANTORUM [on CNN’s State of the Union, 03/25/18]: How about kids, instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes, or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violence shooting, you can take action and respond to that.

BRIANA KEILAR [on CNN’s State of the Union, 03/25/18]: How are they looking at other people — I would ask you, they took action. 

SANTORUM [on CNN’s State of the Union, 03/25/18]: Yes, they took action to ask someone to pass a law. They didn't take action to say, how do I, as an individual, deal with this problem? How am I going to do something about stopping bullying within my own community? What am I going to do to actually help respond to a shooter? What am I going to — those are the kind of things where you can take it internally and say, here's how I'm going to deal with this. Here's how I'm going to help the situation, instead of going, and protesting, and saying, someone else needs to pass a law to protect me.

CABRERA: I want to bring in my panel. CNN political commentator and former assistant to President George W. Bush, Scott Jennings, and former policy director to Hillary Clinton, and President of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden. So, Scott, what do you think of that argument from your fellow Republican, Rick Santorum, that these kids are better served taking CPR classes than marching for gun reform? 

SCOTT JENNINGS: Yeah, I mean, honestly, that's one of those moments that I'm sure Rick wishes he could have back because it's kind of ridiculous to assert that people shouldn't be out there exercising their First Amendment rights. It doesn't mean that, as conservatives, we have to agree with everything that people are saying. But I’m — frankly, I was in New York this week, and I went out among the marchers, and I was kind of inspired to see Americans and there were people out there on both sides exercising their free speech rights. So that part is good. We can debate the solutions, but come on, these kids are — they have a lot of moral authority. They ought to be able to speak, and that's what they're doing and we can disagree on solutions, but let's not pooh-pooh their right to speak and be active. 

CABRERA: Neera, your thoughts? 

NEERA TANDEN: I mean, I thought it was obviously a ludicrous statement and the point that marches are making is that they are taking things into their own hands. They're going to vote.  That is — they're not just protesting, they're not just requesting action, they're going to vote people out of office who aren't going to take action, and vote people into office who will take action to protect them. That was the point they were making. Take action to protect them, and obviously, the idea that people need CPR in response to — CPR training in response to an AR-15, which destroys your organs, rips up bodies is obviously just callous. I mean, it was a callous and dumb comment. 

CABRERA: I want you guys to listen to one of the Parkland survivors, David Hogg, what he said during the rally in Washington yesterday. 

DAVID HOGG: First-time voters show up 18 percent of the time at midterm elections. Not anymore. [SCREEN WIPE] And to those politicians supported by the NRA that allow the continued slaughter of our children and our future, I say, get your resumes ready.

CABRERA: So, Neera, talked about voting and how that is where this movement could go next, Scott. Is David Hogg right? Should Republicans be worried? 

JENNINGS: Well, look, I think there is — there’s going to be an effort. I saw it in New York this weekend, to register and turn out voters of this age group. However, if you look inside some of the national polling that's been done, the age cohort in the national polling that is least likely to support some of these things they're promoting, such as gun bans, is actually 18 to 34-year-olds and so I think sometimes we get a little bit of a distorted view about what the younger voters actually believe on this issue. My view is, we ought to find the issues where there's common ground. Moving the age from 18 to 21, the gun violence restraining orders, background checks, mental health checks. That's where there's common ground on this issue. But I think it's still pretty messy when it comes to banning guns, which is what a lot of the speakers at the rallies wanted. 

CABRERA: Well, you just listed — you’re right. The polling shows that the majority of Americans, including Republicans, support those ideas. Why won't Republican lawmakers who have the majority in the House and the Senate put those ideas to a vote, Scott? 

JENNINGS: Well, actually, they've already started. I mean, if you look inside the omnibus that passed on this week, and was signed into law by President Trump, there were two important gun control issues in there. The Fix NICS Bill, which was a bipartisan bill from Senator Cornyn and others and there was also the Stop School Violence Act, which was also in there. These had wide bipartisan majorities. I'm glad they were in there and I think frankly, they were in there because of what the Parkland kids and other gun shooting survivors have been out doing for the last months. So those were not insignificant measures and let's be honest, Donald Trump signed more gun control on Friday than Barack Obama did in eight years. There's progress there. [TANDEN LAUGHS]

CABRERA: Neera, your response? 

TANDEN: That's a — that’s a really great rewriting of history. I'll just remind everybody that Donald Trump met with victims of Parkland, and said that he would support issues like background checks, looked at a ban of assault weapons. I know, Scott, would like to rewrite the agenda, which is to say a gun ban. That is not what people are asking for, they are asking for a ban on —

JENNINGS: It is — it is, Neera. 

TANDEN: — assault weapons. A semi-automatic assault weapon.

JENNINGS: That's what the students want. They want gun bans. They do want the gun bans

TANDEN: Actually, they have their agenda line online and that's not what it says. You should look it up, Scott. I recommend it.

JENNINGS: It doesn't say they want to ban — 

TANDEN: It says assault weapons

JENNINGS: — they don't want to ban certain kinds of rifles? 

TANDEN: They said they want an assault weapons ban, something the President talked about — you know —

JENNINGS: Okay, gun bans.

TANDEN: — for five minutes before. It’s an assault weapons.

CABRERA: An assault weapons ban is also something that, again, the latest polling from Fox News, in fact — 

TANDEN: Yes, a strong majority.

CABRERA: — shows the majority of Americans want. But to Scott's point, Neera, it wasn't that long ago that Democrats did hold both Chambers of Congress in addition to the White House, and they didn't get gun control passed. So what's different now? 

TANDEN: You're absolutely right and what's different now is that we have a moral case, a moral crusade in the country. Millions of people in the country came out on Saturday to state what they want. They want protections. They look at these legislations as protections and what's pathetic is that the President of the United States met with Parkland victims, told them he would support a range of common sense activities, then had dinner with the NRA and told them — and then basically said, I take it all back. Obviously, any legislation is important, but what they're looking at is full background checks, and an assault weapons ban, because an assault weapon is a weapon of war and you know, those people can distinguish between an assault weapons ban, and a guns ban, and I'm sorry, Scott, can't. 

CABRERA: Scott, real quick, just to close the loop on the gun discussion. I mean, the Fix NICS portion of the omnibus that you mentioned, I mean, that really doesn't advance current law. It only holds what is in current law more accountable in the sense that it is to incentivize federal agencies to make sure they turn over the information that they need to when it comes to getting information in the background check system, should somebody have a domestic violence mark on their record, for example. So it doesn't expand background checks, which is something that, I think, has been referenced in the broad support of Americans, but I just want to close that loop.

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