Thomas Roberts Suggests Sen. Baucus' Retirement Due to Gun Control Fallout

Blumenthal: Disappointed in a 'handful' of wavering senators

Thomas Roberts suggested to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) that Sen. Max Baucus' (D., Mont.) decision to retire is the result of liberal backlash over his opposition to the Toomey/Manchin amendment Tuesday on MSNBC.

Blumenthal disputed the suggestion, stating Baucus' retirement was probably a family decision and based on larger career goals:

THOMAS ROBERTS: So a new USA Today poll shows support for stricter gun control measures is slipping. A poll shows 49 percent of Americans are now in favor of Congress passing stricter gun laws while 45 percent are opposed. Our NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll earlier this month showed 55 percent backing stricter gun controls, down from 61 percent in February. All of this comes after a bipartisan bill that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers failed to win the 60 votes needed in the Senate last Wednesday, which President Obama called "shameful." Joining me now live is Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Sir it's good to have you here and I want to start off with the big news from this morning, NBC News now confirming that Democratic senator Max Baucus of Montana will not run for reelection next year and he is one of four Democrats who voted against the background check measure last week. A liberal group, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, had vowed to target him and others, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who also voted against the measure. All but Heitkamp face reelection in 2014. What do you think of the decision of Baucus not to rerun?

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: A surprise and a loss to the Senate. He is a key figure in tax reform as well as a variety of other measures and extraordinarily distinguished career and a decision probably based on family consideration, larger career goals, and the desire to focus on the work at hand in the Senate on areas like taxes and other consequential issues.

Full interview: