Matthew Continetti: Democrats Quick to Frame Gun Control Arguments as Anti-Terror Fights

• June 22, 2016 7:24 pm


Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti appeared Wednesday evening on MSNBC’s MTP Daily to discuss the ongoing gun control debate in Congress in the wake of the Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack on a gay Orlando nightclub.

Democrats in Congress feel they have the upper hand on the issue of guns and were quick to frame their gun control arguments as anti-terrorism proposals meant to bolster America’s national security after the Orlando shooting, Continetti said.

Host Chuck Todd asked Continetti to comment on congressional Democrats declaring Wednesday that they will "occupy" the House floor to force Republicans to allow a vote on gun control measures as they push for stricter gun control legislation.

"The Democrats think that they have the wind at their backs on the gun issue after Orlando," Continetti said. "They were very quick to reframe gun control fights as anti-terror fights, and that’s been going on since the attack."

Continetti compared Democrats reframing gun control as anti-terrorism to how presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump reframed immigration as a terror issue after the San Bernardino attack last December.

"You’ve kind of seen now both parties, Trump and now with the House Democrats and the Senate Democrats, everything becomes a terror issue, whether it’s gun control, immigration, what have you," Continetti said.

Continetti added that the protest by congressional Democrats on the House floor will likely "not matter much" in the long run and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) will probably let the situation play out to see how it evolves.

Continetti also commented on the state of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign after he gave a prepared speech Wednesday morning lambasting Hillary Clinton.

"The Trump campaign set the bar so low for its first year in existence that now the very fact that they release an advanced text of a speech is somehow a mighty achievement and everyone here in the press corps goes, ‘Wow, look, they’re really getting things under control,’" Continetti said.

Continetti added he thinks Trump needs to broaden his message to appeal to a wider audience as he struggles to gain full support within the Republican Party and is underperforming with white voters who have college degrees, "a typical Republican constituency."

"There’s no way [Trump] can win the presidency without really scoring a massive majority of white voters, both with college educations and without," Continetti said.