MSNBC’s Ruhle Lobbies Hard for Gun Control, Urges Trump to Sell Out His Base

During her 9 a.m. ET hour show on Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle and USA Today Senior Politics Reporter Heidi Przybyla traded in their press passes in order to play the role of liberal lobbyists as they demanded a legislative push on gun control. Ruhle implored President Trump to abandon gun rights supporters and try to appease “all of those people he has thoroughly offended and distanced himself from in the middle.”

Ruhle began the exchange by declaring:

...this would be a stunning moment. The President could truly pivot right now....This could be a moment when all of those people he has thoroughly offended and distanced himself from in the middle for months, he could pivot and say, “Hold on, let’s take a look at gun control”....This is a moment that the President could actually change.

 

 

Przybyla lamented that Trump wouldn’t betray his base on the issue: “My reporting, Stephanie, is that the President is prepared to come there to offer lots of sympathy, to come to see the grieving people at the hospitals, but not to offer any kind of hope that we can address this through policy solutions.” She blamed “the grip of the NRA” and fretted: “...there’s nothing he’s going to do to cross the NRA, even if it’s as minor as starting to try and address this problem...”

“But the problem is such a colossal mess right now with the flood of these weapons out there,” Przybyla added.

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Ruhle continued to demand the administration accept the gun control agenda:

The President’s approval rating being what it is, yes, he’s got that base. He himself said he’s never going to lose that base. But Steve Bannon said if he touches gun control, it's over for the President. Would that really be the case? Because I’d like to think there are loads of people in the middle who would say, “Thank you, President Trump, for being the one guy to actually step up and doing something.” This could be a real opportunity.

Przybyla remarked: “Can you imagine if we told the families of 9/11, after 9/11, that it wasn’t the right time to address terrorism?” She then agreed with Ruhle’s assessment: “Yes, of course this could be a moment. Look at the polling. On what issue is there such overwhelming support from the American public to do something?”

However, she again attacked the NRA:

But there is this lore about – and I might even call it a myth – about the strength of the NRA, particularly in the Republican Party, that if you do anything to cross them, that they will take you out. And until the silent majority shows that it is just as exercised and impassioned about doing something to address these slaughters, then nothing happens.

Ruhle delightedly repeated Przybyla’s line making the gun rights group sound like a criminal organization: “How about the irony in Heidi’s word choices, ‘You cross the NRA and they’ll take you out.’”

Earlier in the hour, Ruhle hailed Democrats exploiting the tragedy in Las Vegas with a publicity stunt on Capitol Hill:

Right now, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats are outside the Capitol building talking about gun control....What can and should Democrats do now to try to get some sort of change? I mean, how many times have we been here before? One would argue that after Sandy Hook, something would change, and now we’re here, 59 people killed. What do Democrats need to do to shake the tree?

Correspondent Garrett Haake worried: “The problem is here on the House side of things, there is no appetite whatsoever from Republican leadership, at least thus far, to address this issue or even to engage in a debate with Democrats or a discussion with the media about steps that might be taken.”

Notice how he acknowledged how the Democratic Party and the liberal media were both pushing the same agenda.

On Monday, just hours after the shooting, Ruhle made her feelings on the issue clear as she blasted the “insanity” of U.S. gun laws.

Wednesday’s biased coverage was brought to viewers by Raymond James Financial, ChoiceHotels.com, and ExxonMobil.

Here is a full transcript of Ruhle’s October 4 exchange with Przybyla:

9:36 AM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Well, now we’re going to talk about President Trump’s next trip. He’s going to be here in Las Vegas after that trip to Puerto Rico. And I want to bring in Senior Politics Reporter for USA Today, Heidi Przybyla. Heidi, you have reporting out this morning about the trip today and I want to know what you’re hearing.

Because for me, this would be a stunning moment. The President could truly pivot right now. Remember, he’s been saying for months and months he’s not beholden to anyone. In the past he’s had things to say about gun control, he might surprise you. This could be a moment when all of those people he has thoroughly offended and distanced himself from in the middle for months, he could pivot and say, “Hold on, let’s take a look at gun control. Why is it that we sell things like bump stocks? Why do we make things available to turn normal rifles into automatic killing machines?” This is a moment that the President could actually change.

HEIDI PRZYBYLA [USA TODAY]: My reporting, Stephanie, is that the President is prepared to come there to offer lots of sympathy, to come to see the grieving people at the hospitals, but not to offer any kind of hope that we can address this through policy solutions. Steph, think about what was happening right before this massacre took place. We have a congress here in Washington, D.C. that was moving in the exact opposite direction. They were preparing to loosen gun regulations, to allow people to use these silencers, to make them more available, which as you can imagine –  

RUHLE: Because the hunters, their ears were hurting. Because those hunters, their ears were hurting.

PRZYBYLA: How much worse that would have made the situation there, Stephanie, if, for example, the officials, the people in that hotel couldn’t tell where that gunfire was coming from. And to quickly apprehend that man to stop him from slaughtering even more people. So it was moving in the opposite direction.

But I think even more powerful than that, Steph, is the grip of the NRA. If you think about it, one of the earliest endorsers of this president, when he was still a long shot, was the National Rifle Association. And when he went there to speak to their spring convention in Atlanta, he noted, “I remember your loyalty.” And there’s nothing he’s going to do to cross the NRA, even if it’s as minor as starting to try and address this problem, for example, through background checks. The bump stocks, I’m hearing some members of Congress, like Lindsey Graham, possibly express an openness to looking at that. But the problem is such a colossal mess right now with the flood of these weapons out there and access to these devices that can be used to alter them, to make them into the lethal automatic weapons is so great right now. And the move right now in Congress is just not there to do anything about it.

RUHLE: But Heidi, this argument – this argument that we hear from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “This isn’t the time to talk about that, we wouldn't want to do that to the grieving family members and friends.” I've spoken to people here in Vegas over the last three days, who have said to me it’s the exact time. Right after you see a terrible tragedy, let’s address it while people are listening and find out how we can be better and more prepared.

The President’s approval rating being what it is, yes, he’s got that base. He himself said he’s never going to lose that base. But Steve Bannon said if he touches gun control, it's over for the President. Would that really be the case? Because I’d like to think there are loads of people in the middle who would say, “Thank you, President Trump, for being the one guy to actually step up and doing something.” This could be a real opportunity.

PRZYBYLA: Can you imagine if we told the families of 9/11, after 9/11, that it wasn’t the right time to address terrorism? So I can imagine how that would play into some of the emotions of the families who’ve been affected. Even one of the band members, who was a very strong Second Amendment supporter, has said that this has completely changed his opinion on what we need to do on semi-automatic weapons.

Yes, of course this could be a moment. Look at the polling. On what issue is there such overwhelming support from the American public to do something? But there is this lore about –  and I might even call it a myth – about the strength of the NRA, particularly in the Republican Party, that if you do anything to cross them, that they will take you out. And until the silent majority shows that it is just as exercised and impassioned about doing something to address these slaughters, then nothing happens.

RUHLE: How about the irony in Heidi’s word choices, “You cross the NRA and they’ll take you out.”

Hey, Ivanka Trump, mother to mother, you’re looking for a win? It’s right here, bump stocks. Heidi, great reporting, thanks for joining me today.

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