What?! Cuomo Denies Liberal Justice Called for Second Amendment Repeal

Only minutes after taking to Twitter early Wednesday morning to falsely claim that “no one” was talking about repealing the Second Amendment, CNN New Day co-host Chris Cuomo doubled-down on that assertion during an interview with former Senator Rick Santorum. When the Republican pointed to a Tuesday New York Times op/ed in which former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens demanded that the right to bear arms be revoked, Cuomo simply pretended it didn’t happen.

The gun control activist and sometimes news anchor ranted: “And you’ve got the President of the United States this morning tweeting that, ‘The Second Amendment will never be repealed, we must have more [Republicans].’ Who’s calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment? Who’s calling for it?” Santorum replied: “Well, Justice Stevens did.”

 

 

At first, Cuomo denied reality: “He did not. It was in the context of a conversation about the fastest route to legal change.” Actually, Stevens directly called for gun control advocates to “demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.” The CNN host then laughably attempted to dismiss Stevens as a nobody: “He’s not a politician. He’s not in office. He’s not the head of any kind of significant group.”

“It’s a boogeyman, Rick....That does not breed unity. It’s a boogeyman and you know it,” Cuomo proclaimed.

Santorum pushed back:

Look, there have been boogeymans on both sides....And what we see is demonization. You point to the right. I would point to the left. Look at what they’ve done to Marco Rubio. I mean, Marco Rubio’s been out there trying to do everything he can to stop these horrific events, engaging young people –

Cuomo cut him off to denigrate the Florida Senator’s legislative accomplishments on the issue: “That’s not true....He’s doing negotiations, he’s talked about the kinds of bills. He’s not working on any meaningful restriction of access....do not put Marco Rubio out there as someone who’s at the forefront of the most progressive ways to end these shootings.”

Even Cuomo’s own co-host Alisyn Camerota was forced to defend Rubio against such attacks during a Monday interview with Marjory Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg.  

Apparently, anything short of restricting gun rights was not good enough for Cuomo and Santorum called him out for it: “This is the problem that we have here, if you don’t agree with you on a particular solution that you agree to, that somehow or another, you don’t care about this. That’s wrong, Chris. You can’t demonize – ”

Cuomo claimed: “I’m not demonizing anybody – ” Santorum hit back: “You’re saying that he doesn’t care about trying to solve this problem.” Cuomo condescendingly replied: “No, I never said. I’ll send you the transcript of this. You’re thinking it in your head because it’s convenient, but it’s not coming out of my mouth.” He was just strongly implying that Rubio doesn’t care about school shootings.

The anchor went to disingenuously argue that he wasn’t lobbying for gun control: “What I’m saying is, access about who gets weapons and how is the fundamental question in this situation, okay? It just is. I’m not calling for a weapons ban. I’m not calling for anything. It’s up to you and your ilk to figure out the answers.”

He then returned to bashing Rubio:

Marco Rubio sat at that town hall. He says he disagrees with certain things about controls and background checks and how universal they should be, but those are fundamental questions. So don’t put him up at the top of the leaderboard about who’s trying to make the positive changes that would change this situation.

Cuomo spent much of segment complaining to Santorum about people criticizing the left-wing activism of some of the Parkland high school students:

...we get distracted by all these efforts to attack the kids and say that they’re not real, they didn’t go to this school, likening them to Nazis, making fun of young women, lying about what they do. That’s what people are your side of the fence are doing. I don’t hear them being called out....

You’ve got people putting up Nazi effigies of these kids who survived a murderous shooting. You have them lying about a young woman ripping up the Constitution, when it was a target. They’re lying, they’re creating boogeymen. And nobody’s calling them out....what do you say to those people who are making the survivors down there into bad people and saying they should shut up and no one should listen to them because they’re not going to come up with the solutions?

The liberal host never expressed such concerns for civility when some of those same students took to CNN to call gun rights supporters “child murderers,” suggested that NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch was a bad mother, and declared that Senator Rubio reminded them of a school shooter.     

Here is a transcript of portions of Cuomo’s hostile March 28 exchange with Santorum:

7:24 AM ET

(...)

RICK SANTORUM: What we’ve seen from all of these mass shootings is that the things that have come out – the positive things that have come out of these mass shootings are organizations and people who have actually focused on what we can do in our individual schools and communities to actually prevent these types of things. Things like Rachel’s Challenge or even Sandy Hook Promise, and other organizations that have said, “What can we do in our community to, you know, promote mentoring, to stop bullying, to be more aware of the problems?” And what I’ve seen happen here is avoiding the issues that are really actually unifying. I mean, that’s really the most disturbing thing, most of the things we can do here –

CHRIS CUOMO: Right, but you have to balance that with those being a distraction from the single metric that distinguishes the United States of America from all other developed countries when it comes to gun violence. We have more guns. Access to weapons matters. And it seems like you and others on your side of the fence are going after these kids, who are survivors, in the interest of political expediency.

(...)

CUOMO: You’re missing the point, Rick. You just are. Guns matter. Access to the weapons matters.

SANTORUM: Yeah, and we can have a policy debate on this. But what’s happened, and it happened to me –

CUOMO: We actually can’t because we get distracted by all these efforts to attack the kids and  say that they’re not real, they didn’t go to this school, likening them to Nazis, making fun of young women, lying about what they do. That’s what people are your side of the fence are doing. I don’t hear them being called out.  

SANTORUM: Well, right here. I condemn that, too.

CUOMO: That was quick.

SANTORUM: Look, there’s politics and hypocrisy – well, no, there’s politics and hypocrisy on both sides of this debate.

CUOMO: But not like that.

SANTORUM: And the frustrating thing, and this is what I’ve been trying to get through, is that there are things that can unify us. Usually when we have an issue of national import, and this horrific event – and these horrific events at school, we can actually try, at times, to unite and see what we can do to work together.

CUOMO: Yes, my brother. And you’ve got the President of the United States this morning tweeting that, “The Second Amendment will never be repealed, we must have more [Republicans].” Who’s calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment? Who’s calling for it?

SANTORUM: Well, Justice Stevens did.

CUOMO: He did not. It was in the context of a conversation about the fastest route to legal change. And of course, if you didn’t have a Second Amendment, you wouldn’t have Heller. It would be easier to change the laws. He’s not a politician. He’s not in office. He’s not the head of any kind of significant group. It’s a boogeyman, Rick. And that does not breed –

SANTORUM: Well, he was a former Supreme Court Justice –

CUOMO: That does not breed unity. It’s a boogeyman and you know it.

SANTORUM: Look, there have been boogeymans on both sides. And that’s the point I’ve been trying to get to, which is there are things that, in fact, can unify us. And what we see is demonization. You point to the right. I would point to the left.

CUOMO: Of course you will.

SANTORUM: Look at what they’ve done to Marco Rubio. I mean, Marco Rubio’s been out there trying to do everything he can to stop these horrific events, engaging young people –

CUOMO: That’s not true.

SANTORUM: That is true!

CUOMO: That’s not true.

SANTORUM: No, it is true!

CUOMO: He’s doing negotiations, he’s talked about the kinds of bills. He’s not working on any meaningful restriction of access. He is trying to do some red flag work. That’s all good and fine. But do not put Marco Rubio out there as someone who’s at the forefront of the most progressive ways to end these shootings.

SANTORUM: This is the problem that we have here, if you don’t agree with you on a particular solution that you agree to, that somehow or another, you don’t care about this. That’s wrong, Chris.  

CUOMO: That’s your take.

SANTORUM: You can’t demonize – no, you can’t demonize –

CUOMO: I’m not demonizing anybody –  

SANTORUM: Yes, you are!

CUOMO: How so?

SANTORUM: You’re saying that he doesn’t care about trying to solve this problem.

CUOMO: No, I never said. I’ll send you the transcript of this. You’re thinking it in your head because it’s convenient, but it’s not coming out of my mouth.

SANTORUM: Okay, tell me what you’re saying, then, Chris. Well, tell me what you’re saying then.

CUOMO: What I’m saying is, access about who gets weapons and how is the fundamental question in this situation, okay? It just is. I’m not calling for a weapons ban. I’m not calling for anything. It’s up to you and your ilk to figure out the answers.

SANTORUM: Well, it’s not my ilk, I do what you do now.

CUOMO: Access matters. How we deal with the mentally ill, if you’re talking about mass shootings specifically...

SANTORUM: I agree with that.

CUOMO: ...which is ignoring the larger problem of gun violence in this country. But that's fine, this matters, too. It’s a discreet issue. It has to be dealt with.

On those two issues, Marco Rubio sat at that town hall. He says he disagrees with certain things about controls and background checks and how universal they should be, but those are fundamental questions. So don’t put him up at the top of the leaderboard about who’s trying to make the positive changes that would change this situation.

(...)

7:34 AM

CUOMO: You’ve got people putting up Nazi effigies of these kids who survived a murderous shooting. You have them lying about a young woman ripping up the Constitution, when it was a target. They’re lying, they’re creating boogeymen. And nobody’s calling them out. And that’s why I want to end this conversation where we started it, what do you say to those people who are making the survivors down there into bad people and saying they should shut up and no one should listen to them because they’re not going to come up with the solutions?

SANTORUM: Yeah, I can – you know, look, I, in the strongest possible terms, condemn both sides for personally demonizing people.

CUOMO: That’s – you sound like Trump after Charlottesville.

SANTORUM: They are – no – but no, look, you can’t get up there and say that the folks that many on the left have not been demonizing as mindless shills of the NRA.

CUOMO: Fine, fine.

SANTORUM: I mean, come on. It’s happening on both sides.

CUOMO: Fine. No, I’ll give you that.

SANTORUM: Don’t do this Charlottesville stuff on me, Chris. That’s just a low – it’s not Charlottesville.

CUOMO: Oh, it is Charlottesville, and I’ll tell you why.

SANTORUM: The reality is both are doing it and both – and it's wrong on both.

CUOMO: You’re right to call out people on the left who say gun owners are inherently bad people. I’m a gun owner, okay, so I understand that.

What I’m saying is this. This is the specific instance we’re dealing with – what they’re doing with these kids. That’s the state of play right now. That’s what needs to be called out. And don’t create some false equation with this and something else because it’s disingenuous to the truth of this situation.

SANTORUM: There’s no false equation here, Chris.

CUOMO: Then deal with this and just say, “My people, people who are on my political perspective of this, don’t demonize the kids. Do better than that. Make arguments, have insights, don’t insult these kids, they’ve been through enough.”

(...)

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