Mitchell Urges Assault Weapons Ban: ‘Pelosi Should Pick That Up and Run With It’

On her MSNBC show on Monday, anchor Andrea Mitchell complained about the lack of progress on gun control in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. After one of her guests called on congressional Democrats to push an assault weapons ban, Mitchell openly voiced support for the legislation: “Nancy Pelosi should pick that up and run with it.”

“Is this time going to be different than Newtown, Parkland, Las Vegas?,” Mitchell lamented as she turned to ex-Republican Congressman David Jolly. The former lawmaker turned liberal pundit replied: “Not substantively, no. And I say that with great disappointment, Andrea.”

 

 

He whined that bipartisan measures like expanded background checks and red flag laws would only be “incremental reform” and demanded more radical action: “The best thing Nancy Pelosi could do in the House right now to help those Democratic candidates who want to make this an issue, is get it through the House, get the assault weapons ban over to the Senate to really draw the contrast.”

Moments later, Mitchell seconded that advice to the Democratic Speaker of the House: “...there’s so much energy behind renewing the assault weapon ban. That is a much more aggressive posture, as David Jolly just said. Nancy Pelosi should pick that up and run with it.”

In midst of the discussion, Mitchell also expressed her frustration to RealClearPolitics associate editor A.B. Stoddard: “A.B., what does it take? The polling shows 89 to 90% of Americans are in favor of background checks.” Stoddard argued that “the politics have changed” and “Republicans are feeling a lot of pressure,” but still ranted about conservatives dooming any legislation:

This is going to come down to Donald Trump. He has an opportunity to stand up to the NRA. We saw him in 2018 say he was going to, and then he didn’t, he retreated. He has said Mitch McConnell’s on board, he’s interested in doing something strong. Then you have Rush Limbaugh go on the air and say, “Don’t fall for this trap. Don’t separate yourself, Mr. President, from the NRA and your base. Just like George Herbert Walker Bush, who said he wouldn’t raise taxes, you’re going to risk losing your election.” He hears these voices and more often than not, he retreats to his original position.

Like Jolly and Mitchell, Stoddard called for Trump to take up an assault weapons ban: “So until and unless the President tells Mitch McConnell, ‘I have sent you over – I’ll consider an assault weapons ban and I’m sending you over a universal background check that I’m standing behind consistently,’ we’re not going to see the Senate Republicans move on this.”

The one-sided MSNBC conversation about gun restrictions followed a report from Mitchell on NBC’s Today show that morning in which she hailed 2020 Democrats “speaking with one voice” on the topic.

“With less than six months until Americans start voting in that Iowa caucus, Democrats are now speaking with one voice following the mass shootings, pressuring President Trump to do something about guns,” Mitchell gleefully announced on the network broadcast. The headline on screen announced: “Dems Unite on Gun Reform; Take on NRA While Campaigning in Iowa.”

Highlighting Democratic candidates campaigning in Iowa over the weekend, Mitchell gushed: “Beyond the fun and food-filled Iowa State Fair over the weekend, the mood turned somber when the talk turned to the mass shootings and what Democrats call President Trump and Congress’s inaction on guns. In part, because of the NRA.”

The veteran NBC News journalist doesn’t even bother to conceal her liberal activism anymore.

Here is a transcript of the August 12 discussion on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports:

12:41 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: David Jolly, let me ask you. As a former member of Congress, and a  Republican, former Republican. Is this time going to be different than Newtown, Parkland, Las Vegas? You know, you can go all the way back.  

DAVID JOLLY: Not substantively, no. And I say that with great disappointment, Andrea. And what I mean by that is even if the Republicans feel like they need to move a little and move towards the two bills that the House has sent over to them, you’re still talking about incremental reform.

(...)

JOLLY: Over on the House side, congratulations to Democrats. Thank you for doing what you did. This is not a criticism of them. But we are not seeing the urgency around the real substantive changes as well. The best thing Nancy Pelosi could do in the House right now to help those Democratic candidates who want to make this an issue, is get it through the House, get the assault weapons ban over to the Senate to really draw the contrast.

MITCHELL: And the big magazines.  

JOLLY: Correct.

MITCHELL: Which if that didn’t – hadn’t existed in Dayton, there’s no way that nine people would have been killed in less than 30 seconds. A.B., what does it take? The polling shows 89 to 90% of Americans are in favor of background checks. There is a rural/urban divide. But that's becoming evened out.

A.B. STODDARD [REALCLEARPOLITICS, ASSOCIATE EDITOR & COLUMNIST]: Yeah, I do think the politics have changed. The Democrats increasingly are taking over the suburbs Republicans used to hold in those suburbs, in those areas. And we saw this in the midterms and the data from that election, that this is a burgeoning issue of concern. They used to represent rural and southern small towns, they don’t anymore. This is why Democrats used to be timid on gun control and they were afraid of what happened to them after the crime bill. This is no more, Republicans are feeling a lot of pressure.

This is going to come down to Donald Trump. He has an opportunity to stand up to the NRA. We saw him in 2018 say he was going to, and then he didn’t, he retreated. He has said Mitch McConnell’s on board, he’s interested in doing something strong. Then you have Rush Limbaugh go on the air and say, “Don’t fall for this trap. Don’t separate yourself, Mr. President, from the NRA and your base. Just like George Herbert Walker Bush, who said he wouldn’t raise taxes, you’re going to risk losing your election.” He hears these voices and more often than not, he retreats to his original position.

So until and unless the President tells Mitch McConnell, “I have sent you over – I’ll consider an assault weapons ban and I’m sending you over a universal background check that I’m standing behind consistently,” we’re not going to see the Senate Republicans move on this. Because they know that every time they put themselves out on a political branch, the President knocks it off.

MITCHELL: And, Jonathan, there’s so much energy behind renewing the assault weapon ban. That is a much more aggressive posture, as David Jolly just said.

JONATHAN CAPEHART [WASHINGTON POST]: Right.

MITCHELL: Nancy Pelosi should pick that up and run with it.

(...)

NB Daily Guns Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Video David Jolly Andrea Mitchell A.B. Stoddard Nancy Pelosi

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