Transcript for Rep. Joe Kennedy III talks gun control, bringing back bipartisanship
Please welcome a rising star in the democratic party, congressman Joe Kennedy. I have to do this because your response captured everybody's attention but you had the suspiciously shiny lips. All right. Everyone had a theory -- I'm told. Wait a minute. Everybody had their theories about what was going on. Let's watch. This man does not have chapped lips because this man does not have lips. To be fair I'm pretty sure Kennedy was just so handsome he was making his own mouth water. Something always goes wrong, the person that's they choose to speak is either completely dehydrated or foaming at the mouth. All I see is spit. We just wanted to warm you up a little bit. The Kennedy family has the best sense of humor. Brought a gift for you. Thank you. Oh. Oh, it's got your name on it. I'll save this. It's a special brand. It turns out when people question the character of the American public they are generous, got a great sense of humor. I have gotten more free bottles of chapstick sent to my office. They just happen to be laughing at me. But it was just chapstick. It was just chapstick. The speech went on longer than I thought. It was the middle of winter, my lips were chapped. Right before I went on -- But everyone that does that job is cursed. The water with Marco. Who else? Bobby -- It's actually a awkward moment. The camera cuts to you and for about ten seconds all of the other networks switch over to the live feed. You have got ten seconds of staring at a camera where you can't do anything. Right before they gave me a cue, the producer to get me a huge tall glass of water. I just didn't check the chapstick. Your question. Let's get right into it. We know the gun control debate is raging and it hits close to home for you. Your grandfather was assassinated as well as your great uncle in the '60s and polls are showing that 77% of Americans don't think that congress is doing enough to stop these mass shootings. How do you plan on holding your colleague accountable in congress? Look, we're not doing enough. I came into office in 2013. I can't even tell you how many times we have uttered our thoughts and prayers to the victims of gun violence and thoughts aren't doing it. Democrats have tried and staged a sit-in for hours trying to get a vote on the house floor for a single piece. But Democrats had a majority between 2009 and 2010 and they didn't even try to renew the federal assault weapons ban and then after sandy hook in 2013 when you took office, there was a vote and the Democrat controlled senate that didn't make it to the house because so many Democrats -- to renew that ban. Do you think you need to hold your own democratic party? A couple things. Just because a bill didn't make it out of the senate doesn't mean the house shouldn't vote on it. We haven't had one ever since. The challenge that I've got at this point since I have been in office. We have done everything we possibly can to try to get Republican leadership just to give us a vote and if a vote is voted down, fine, but give us a vote. At this point the folks being able to hold Republican leadership accountable are not going to be Democrats in the house, it's going to be the American people saying we want this, we want to protect our kids. If you can't, let's change congress. Enough. Enough. We have been talking about this yesterday and today. President trump has suggested arming teachers inside schools and giving them bonuses for having these guns. Do you think that that is the right way to protect our kids? Is this a good idea? No. No. Look, it's not -- The idea that somehow the right way to protect our children in schools is to try to make sure that more and more people have guns -- as you guys highlighted, there was somebody with a gun outside this shooting and it didn't make any difference at all. There's cracks. The issue I think we have to acknowledge, one is that this is a complex one and it's a hard one. Two, the thing that makes me so angry in part of this debate that does get framed largely from my Republican colleagues is that this is a mental health issue. People with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrate them. I said that. Two, study after study shows when it comes down to the mass shootings the vast majority are not perpetrated by people suffering from mental illness. Are there circumstances, yes. Do we need to invest in mental health care, absolutely. The first big bill out of congress was a bill to cut medicaid, the largest payer of mental health service in this country by $800 billion. So don't turn around and tell me this is a mental health issue when you just tried to cut that by $800 million. Why do they get away with it? I know what you're talking about and trump gets away with it. He never loses his base no matter what he does. He didn't get away with that because her dad voted no. I want to shift a little bit. Your great uncle I have fond memories of, the late Ted Kennedy. A very piece of poetic irony they both had the same cancer and I used to remember his water dogs in the office. We have a photo. I remember a time of bipartisanship and my dad tells a story of them fighting it out and leaving and hugging each other saying we showed them a good time, how it's done, John and he tells that story quite often right now. What do we have to do to get back to this place of bipartisanship and respect and friendship so long gone right now? Meghan, you're -- look, your dad has admirers across this country. I'm not sure there's any bigger admirers of him than members of my family. Obviously that's not because our politics line up because they don't but that is because there is an -- we have an extraordinary admiration for people that consistently have put service above self and country above all. And I cannot -- Of a better example of that in public life today than your dad. Look, the institution miss misses him. We all miss him not because he would come down on a policy debate. We would probably come down on opposite sides of most of them but you have a person in senator McCain that will stand up for the process and recognize that just because your political views don't align, that a Democrat is trying to -- an elected official is giving voice to the people they represent and you might disagree with them but their voices count because the voters that voted for them also count. This shouldn't be framed politics. We have gotten to a place where it's a party has to win. Folks, these are American citizens that you are rooting for to lose. That's crazy. Yes. Right. Congressman, there's so much that we can talk about having you here and hoping you will continue with your career but a lot of people are saying that you, you know, you are the rising star in the party and that maybe -- you know what's coming. And maybe you'll consider running for president next time. What do you say? Thanks. But I wouldn't hold your breath. My wife and I who is back stage with our 9 week old little boy. Congratulations. Thank you. He's enjoying it. Don't worry about it. We have got a 2-year-old and a 9 week old. It is his first trip to New York City. He's excited to take it all in. He got up at 1:00 in the morning and has been up since. The main thing on our horizon is one, sleep, and two, some sort of a semblance of a schedule and reliability. Look -- Well, you're very young. Yes or no? Exactly. Yes or no? No. No plans. No plans yet. No plans yet. How old are you? 37. Would you be a running mate on a ticket? That's the question. He's young. A vp. Listen, JFK, your great uncle was about the same age when he ran? Yes. And had kids. And little kids in the white house. No pressure. We're so happy you came. Thanks to congressman Joe
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.