Issues

Ellison Falsely Claims He Didn’t Say He Opposed Second Amendment in 2014

Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) falsely claimed on Wednesday night during the Democratic National Committee chair debate that he did not say he opposed the Second Amendment in 2014.

CNN correspondent and debate moderator Dana Bash asked Ellison, the frontrunner to chair the DNC, about comments he made in 2014 on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" on opposing the Second Amendment and how he could reach out to Americans who support gun rights.

"In 2014, you told Bill Maher that you wished the Democratic Party would come out against the Second Amendment," Bash said to Ellison. "How do you reach out to Americans who support gun rights when you don't support the Second Amendment?"

"First of all, let me tell you," Ellison responded. "I remember that show very well and that is not what I said at all. What I talked about is my grandfather's shotgun, the fact that I am a turkey hunter and I didn't say that. That was not an accurate statement."

Ellison then shifted away from the gun issue by talking about a time that his hunting friend invited him to speak to a congressional district dinner.

"I am there talking with rural voters about the things that matter to them, and you know what really does matter to them?" Ellison asked. "Their jobs, their chance for a life with their kids, how trade has devastated their family. The fact is people wake up in the morning hoping that the plan doesn't close all over this country [in] Indiana, Wisconsin, all over."

Ellison then brought up the gun issue again and said there needs to be background checks for all gun purchases.

Bash interjected and read part of the transcript from his Maher interview, when he started to say that the National Rifle Association does not seem to care about the number of people who are murdered.

"I wish you would play the tape because if you did, you would see that it did not go that way… Absolutely I am for the right to bear arms, but I am not for these massive murders that happen all over this country every day," Ellison said.

During the 2014 interview in question, Maher and Ellison discussed gun control.

"I'm for gun control, but I don't think you have got to eliminate ownership of all guns in order to get some commonsense gun rules," Ellison said. "I mean 27 children were mowed down. Isn't that enough for us? One of our own colleagues, Gabby Giffords–"

"Then why doesn't your party come out against the Second Amendment and fix the problem?" Maher asked.

"I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would," Ellison said.

"Really? Because I never hear anybody in the Democratic Party say that. What they say is, ‘I am also a strong supporter,'" Maher said.