Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand struggled to explain Sunday how her flip-flopping on policy aligns with her campaign slogan “Brave Wins.”
“Your campaign slogan is ‘Brave Wins’ but when you were a congresswoman representing a conservative district in upstate New York, you took pretty conservative positions on guns and immigration. Once you became Senator for the entire liberal state of New York, you flipped and took much more liberal positions on guns and immigration,” Chris Wallace asked during a Fox News town hall. “So, how is that brave?”
“It’s because I came from a district that was really rural,” Gillibrand responded. “The Second Amendment was important, hunting was really important — my mom, of course she cooked the Thanksgiving turkey, but she also shot the Thanksgiving turkey — so I understand the importance of having a hunting culture and preserving our Second Amendment rights.”
“That’s why I’m in the best position, Chris, to lead this country into a place where we have commons sense gun reform,” she continued. “I recognize people have different communities. Some communities are rural, some communities have deep gun violence, gang violence, children are dying.”
The New York senator frequently voices her disdain for National Rifle Association (NRA), even touting her F rating from the gun rights organization. However, the NRA notably rated Gillibrand an A up until the year she moved to the Senate from New York’s 20th Congressional District and flipped on her Second Amendment positions.
“I’m telling you, the only thing standing in the way [of ending gun violence] is the NRA and the greed and corruption they have for gun manufacturers,” Gillibrand said. “They want gun sales over protection of people every time, they’re unwilling to do the common sense things that most Americans want done, and it’s because of the corruption in Washington.”
In addition to the Second Amendment, her stance on immigration has flip-flopped since joining the Senate. Gillibrand has referred to Trump’s immigration and border security policies as racist on multiple occasions, despite previously promulgating identical positions — she contended in January that those same positions were not racist when she supported them.
She later reversed her position on allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses only a day after she announced that she will seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2020.
However, Gillibrand did not address her change in immigration policy when pressed by Wallace.
“That’s why I’m going to stand up to the gun lobby, I’m going to stand up to the NRA, I’m going to stand up to the money interests that decide things in Washington,” Gillibrand concluded. “That’s why we’re going to have publicly funded elections and return our Democracy into your hands. Our Democracy needs to be fixed first and it needs to be in your hands, not the people who are ultra wealthy, not the people who are in power.”
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