During Thursday’s edition of New Day, gun control advocate and part-time journalist Chris Cuomo seemed perplexed that gun control did not make it into the priority list of President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” agenda.
Cuomo began a brief soliloquy after co-host Alisyn Camerota finished interviewing a witness to yesterday’s mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. He said that it was “such a disgrace” that the witness is “depending on teachers to...do the right thing when this happens the next time.”
Cuomo chastised “our leaders” for not appearing on New Day, making the argument that “they’re hiding from the reality and they’ll disguise it as sympathy and sensitivity. Wow, what an irony.” Cuomo expressed his pessimism that Congress will take up gun control, pointing out that the Las Vegas Massacre resulted in no meaningful changes to the gun laws. No wonder Republicans don't want to go on the show; they know that they would have more of a shouting match than a dialogue.
After briefly speaking with White House reporter Abby Phillip, Cuomo brought on Real Clear Politics’ A.B. Stoddard and CNN political analyst David Drucker. Cuomo complained to Stoddard that no Republicans wanted to come on the show. Stoddard said that “Republicans...are trying to find a way to avoid the subject” and said that nothing will change until a group of single-issue voters demanding gun control storm the polls. That might come as quite a challenge to nearly all of the single-issue voters on gun control live in either Washington, D.C, New York City, San Francisco, or a college town.
Cuomo teed up the segment with Drucker by complaining that Republicans do not react to mass shootings with the same passion that they respond to terror attacks. Keep in mind the media does everything in their power to downplay the race of the perpetrator of a terror attack when it turns out to be a Muslim. He also asked why the prospect of changing gun laws is “so frightening” to Republicans.
Toward the end of the segment, Cuomo said: “The President has that hashtag #MAGA right? Make America Great Again. How can you not include this issue in part of that agenda?” The pompous host also complained that “we are the scourge of the world when it comes to these”, referring to mass shootings. He also added, “nobody is worse than we are”, which, coincidentally, describes how many on the American left feel about the country. The American people would take liberals and the media a lot more seriously if they just admitted that they believe America should become more like Europe.
It might seem like the media’s demand for gun control will last forever, but keep in mind the ADHD nature of our 24-hour news cycle. The moment a more exciting story comes along (preferably one that reflects negatively on the Trump Administration), the media will promptly cease their coverage of the South Florida massacre and provide wall-to-wall coverage of the new story.
CNN's New Day
CHRIS CUOMO: I mean, it’s something that you wouldn’t be able to make up if you wanted to create a destructive fiction for a society where a mother has to sit next to her child, and you interviewed them and asked them all the right questions to help us understand what this is like for them, and she says “While I’ve taken the active shooter course.” He has, and he’s depending on the teachers you know, and for them to do the right thing when this happens the next time. That’s the best we can do? It really is just such a disgrace. Alisyn, thanks for taking us down there so that we can be focused on the right things this morning. So, where are our leaders? They’re not on this show and I bet you you’re not going to see many of them on TV today because they’re hiding from the reality and they’ll disguise it as sympathy and sensitivity. Wow, what an irony. President Trump, he tweeted condolences to the families of school shootings and their victims but he hasn’t made any public comments about this senseless attack despite aides reportedly urging him to speak. CNN’s Abby Phillip is live at the White House. After Las Vegas when we had some low-hanging fruit there to deal with in the form of a bump stock, something that should never be available, he said “We’ll be talking about gun laws soon.” Not a word since.
ABBY PHILLIP: That’s right, Chris. Nothing has happened since then. And this morning, the sun is rising on Washington yet another day after a mass shooting. And with a lot of the country looking to the President to find out what to do, what kind of guidance or, or, or, or structure will there be after this. And the President hasn’t really said a whole lot; it’s been pretty quiet here at the White House, uncharacteristically quiet, frankly, Chris. The President went to bed last night having sent that tweet and wakes up this morning with the possibility that he might say something. But we know, as you just mentioned, according to the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman that the President’s aides encouraged him to say something yesterday and he chose not to. Today, we’ll see if that changes. As you mentioned, this is not the first time in the President’s tenure that he has dealt with these horrific acts. And after the Las Vegas shooting, he did address the public but often those comments are about offering con-condolences to the people who were lost, praise for first responders. But Washington has been unwilling and unable to do anything about the gun issue, even while a lot of Democrats say the time is now. I think we’ll see the same cycle playing out again here today, Chris.
CUOMO: Well, look, guns are obvious. But there are other components. You know, this mad man was getting mental health treatment. Well, did that in any way affect his ability to buy a gun? Were doctors able to talk to him about owning guns? He wasn’t allowed on the campus with a backpack because he was seen as a threat but that didn’t seem to funnel down into any other sense of urgency. There are a lot of components. We’re not even at step one. What are we going to do to stop the school shootings? We’re not even there yet. How sickening is that? Abby, thank you very much for the reporting. Let’s bring in CNN Political Analyst David Drucker and Associate Editor for Real Clear Politics, A.B. Stoddard. A.B., when I say that nobody wants to come on, I’m talking about from the GOP. You’ll get Democrats to come on, they don’t have the power to make any kind of change. They could do more to start the conversation; we’ll ask them those questions. But it all starts, in terms of tone, from the top. The reports are the President was urged by aides to say more about the shooting and he declined. Your read?
A.B. STODDARD: Well, I think the President has made it clear throughout these shootings that have taken place in his first year in office that he doesn’t want to do anything beyond offer condolences whether it’s in a tweet or on camera. He’s not obviously unlike President Obama, who would come out and address these situations because he wanted to talk about mitigating the threat, wanted to talk about making changes. President Trump doesn’t have any plans to address these issues. He do...It is not on his agenda. He is not pushing his own party, members of his party in Congress to make any changes and it’s not a priority and so he’s going to try to avoid talking about it. In his tweet, I would note he said “no one should have to feel unsafe or not feel safe in a school. I think members of both parties agree now none of us are safe anywhere but at an airport. You’re not safe at the grocery store, you’re not safe in a movie theater in the dark, you’re not safe at a hospital, and you’re not safe at church, and you’re certainly not safe at school. And so Republicans increasingly are, now that people have pushed back after these recent shootings saying that thoughts and prayers are not enough, Republicans are, are trying to find a way to avoid the subject. Because, as you said, even the bump stock legislation didn’t go anywhere. So I think, I think we’re going to continue to have these same conversations. And I would also add that, Chris, single issue advocate voters on the issue of abortion, on the issue of gun rights, on the issue of refugee policy, they’re out there and they come to the polls. But it really is shown in polling that people don’t vote on primarily the issue of gun control and until and unless they do, I don’t see things changing much.
CUOMO: Well, look, I mean, you have to be right, A.B. Because otherwise, there’s some kind of mass insanity going on because we keep seeing the same things, the same outpourings of emotion, the same senseless killing but nothing changes. And David Drucker, the proof is in just any kind of perfunctory analysis. If this were a terror attack, all right, what happens when one of those happens? They start taking a forensic look at how this was able to happen and what to do to stop it. The guy drove the truck onto the West Side Highway, how did he get there? Barriers have to go up. How did he get into this country? How did he get the weapons? Who sold them to him? Right? All those different protocols. Not here. Which, what makes this so frightening to Republicans?
CUOMO: Right but Abby, you know, A.B., Abby, A.B. A.B., the, the question that I think is the initial one, the premise where any action would have to begin, doesn’t even have the word gun in it. You can’t deal with this issue without dealing with the availability of guns. You just can’t. Sorry. It’s a fundamental aspect of every one of these. But it’s what are we going to do to stop the school shootings? They don’t even ask that question. And that goes all the way to the top. The President has that hashtag #MAGA right? Make America Great Again. How can you not include this issue in part of that agenda? He’s supposed to be a change agent, right? We are the scourge of the world when it comes to these. Nobody is worse than we are. How does that not make the MAGA agenda?