MSNBC Tries to Help Scandal-Plagued Northam Push Gun Control

In an effort to exploit Friday’s tragic shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building that killed 12 people, Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam called on the state legislature to pass new gun restrictions. On Tuesday, MSNBC naturally brought him on for an interview to help push the issue, though anchor Kasie Hunt admitted it would be a challenge given his recent scandals.

“After Virginia’s deadly shooting last week, Governor Ralph Northam is set to challenge Republican leaders to implement new state gun laws,” Hunt proclaimed late in the 2:00 p.m. ET hour, filling in for host Katy Tur. As Northam came on for a live interview, Hunt asked: “Governor, what exactly are you proposing policy-wise to do to prevent these shootings in the future? Are you proposing, for example, banning assault weapons or high-capacity magazines?”

 

 

In part, he argued: “These are common sense pieces of legislation, Virginians are asking for them. And Kasie, they’re – they’re intended to save lives. And that’s what we need to do, we need to make our communities safer in Virginia.” Hunt followed up: “And with Republicans narrowly in control of the legislature, do you have any hope that these will actually pass?”

Minutes later, the anchor pressed Northam to use “executive action” if necessary:

And is there anything that you can do with executive action? I mean, Tim Kaine, when he was governor, closed a loophole around mental health. Terry McAuliffe ordered a ban on guns in state office buildings. Are you prepared to take action if this doesn’t get done in the legislature?

Following the gun control discussion, Hunt finally got to obvious questions about the blackface scandal that has embroiled Northam’s governorship, as well as scandals plaguing Virginia’s other top Democratic officials. The host worried that all the controversy continuing to swirl around the Governor would make it impossible to force through gun legislation:

Governor, I understand you are trying to take the lead on this issue, but you know, frankly, your ability to lead your state was called into pretty dramatic question over the photograph that appeared in your medical school yearbook. How are you confident that you can get Repub – Democrats, your own party, on board with something as critical as this with this hanging over you? I mean they have essentially expressed no confidence in you.

Northam oddly mentioned support from fellow members of his administration: “You know, this morning in Richmond, I had a number of legislators behind me, the Lieutenant Governor was with me, the Attorney General. We’re all in this together.” Hunt then pointed out: “Frankly, all three of those people that you just mentioned, you’ve all been battling your own kind of scandals.”

She then wondered: “I mean, how – why should Virginians trust you to get things done, the three of you, on an issue as critical as this?”

Northam tried to turn the conversation back to gun control: “Enough is enough, we need to put common sense gun legislation on the table, and it needs to get passed, and we need to make Virginia a safer community for all of us, no matter who you are, no matter where you live in Virginia.”

Hunt wrapped up the exchange by promising that “all eyes are on Virginia to see how you all will try to fight this.”

Even when Democrats put MSNBC hosts in the rare position of having to ask about scandals, the hosts still find a way to promote the liberal agenda.

Here is a transcript of Hunt’s questions to Northam during the June 4 interview:

2:48 PM ET

KASIE HUNT: After Virginia’s deadly shooting last week, Governor Ralph Northam is set to challenge Republican leaders to implement new state gun laws. Northam says he plans to hold a special legislative session later on this summer. Republican leaders previously rejected Northam’s gun control bills, but some they are now open to discussions. Friday’s shooting at a municipal office building killed 12 people and injured several others.

And joining me now is Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. Governor, what exactly are you proposing policy-wise to do to prevent these shootings in the future? Are you proposing, for example, banning assault weapons or high-capacity magazines?

(...)

2:50 PM ET

NORTHAM: These are common sense pieces of legislation, Virginians are asking for them. And Kasie, they’re – they’re intended to save lives. And that’s what we need to do, we need to make our communities safer in Virginia.

HUNT: And with Republicans narrowly in control of the legislature, do you have any hope that these will actually pass?

(...)

2:50 PM ET

NORTHAM: I’m confident that if these pieces of legislation make it to the floor of the house and senate, there are enough legislators on both sides of the aisle that will support these common sense pieces of legislation.

HUNT: And is there anything that you can do with executive action? I mean, Tim Kaine, when he was governor, closed a loophole around mental health. Terry McAuliffe ordered a ban on guns in state office buildings. Are you prepared to take action if this doesn’t get done in the legislature?

(...)

2:51 PM ET

HUNT: Governor, I understand you are trying to take the lead on this issue, but you know, frankly, your ability to lead your state was called into pretty dramatic question over the photograph that appeared in your medical school yearbook. How are you confident that you can get Repub – Democrats, your own party, on board with something as critical as this with this hanging over you? I mean they have essentially expressed no confidence in you.

NORTHAM: You know, Kasie, I have addressed that. You know, I regret the way that it was handled. We could do it much better given another chance. But we’re turning the page, we’re moving on. You know, this morning in Richmond, I had a number of legislators behind me, the Lieutenant Governor was with me, the Attorney General. We’re all in this together. We’re not here to play politics, we’re here to save lives, and that’s what I intend to do by leading and by bringing the legislature back in June.

HUNT: Frankly, all three of those people that you just mentioned, you’ve all been battling your own kind of scandals. I mean, how – why should Virginians trust you to get things done, the three of you, on an issue as critical as this?

NORTHAM: Well, I’ve led Virginia for the last two years. I was in the senate, worked on a lot of areas of equity, served four years as lieutenant governor. I have vision. I know where we need to take the commonwealth of Virginia. And again, I regret what happened with the photographs back in February, but I have learned a lot, I continue to learn, and I will do everything that I can to bring good from this.

(...)

2:54 PM ET

NORTHAM: Enough is enough, we need to put common sense gun legislation on the table, and it needs to get passed, and we need to make Virginia a safer community for all of us, no matter who you are, no matter where you live in Virginia.

HUNT: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, our hearts are, of course, with the families of those who were lost, those who are recovering, and of course all eyes are on Virginia to see how you all will try to fight this. Thank you very much for your time, sir.

NORTHAM: Thank you, Kasie.

(...)

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