The first policy question of tonight’s debate here was aimed at Bernie Sanders’ complicated gun control record. The independent senator from Vermont, who often admits he is from a state with little gun control, defended his previous votes and argued he was better positioned to bring people together on the issue.
“I think Secretary Clinton knows what she says is disingenuous,” Sander said during the NBC Democratic presidential debate. “I have a D-minus voting record from the NRA. I support what president Obama is doing in terms of trying to close the gun show loopholes.”
As the race for the Democratic Party nomination has tightened, Hillary Clinton has ramped up her attacks on Sanders for his vote in favor a bill the protects gun manufactures from liability. She came out swinging again Sunday night.
“I have made it clear, based on Sen. Sanders’ own record, that he has voted with the NRA, with the gun lobby, numerous times,” Clinton said, as Sanders shook his head. “Let’s not forget what this is about: 90 people a day die from gun violence in our country.”
On the eve of the debate, Sanders released a statement supporting a new bill circulating on Capitol Hill that would repeal the initial law. Clinton was quick to call the move a flip-flop.
Sanders explained his new position this way: “A small, mom-and-pop gun shop, who sells a gun legally to somebody, should not be held liable if somebody does something terrible with that gun.”
“I said I would relook at it; we are going to relook at it. And I will support stronger provisions.”