Ted Strickland, Busy with Fundraising, Has Not Explained Flip Flop on Guns

Ohio Senate candidate silent on San Bernardino terror attack

Ted Strickland
Ted Strickland / AP
December 8, 2015

Ted Strickland has yet to address his position on guns in the wake of the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people last week because he has been busy with fundraising commitments, aides said.

Strickland, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, has sidestepped the gun control debate, neglecting to explain an apparent flip flop on guns that now has him supporting the expansion of background checks and a ban on firearm purchases for individuals on the terror watch list.

The Plain Dealer reported:

The former Ohio governor had NRA ratings of A or A+ for years. He voted against the assault-weapons ban when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He chose to stick with the NRA until fairly recently. When did he change his position, and why? Strickland has not addressed that in any level of detail. Over the last several days, he’s been too busy with meetings or traveling for fundraising to have that conversation with a reporter, his representatives say. But here is the semi-official response from his representatives: He was thinking about the issue and finally changed his mind after December 2012 carnage that killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Strickland’s competitor in the Democratic primary, Cincinnati city councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, has demanded Strickland "renounce" his support for the NRA. Sittenfeld, vocal about his support for gun control, has also called for Strickland to debate him so that Ohio voters can witness the two candidates’ differences on gun policy.

Strickland has not responded to Sittenfeld’s requests.

Since the shooting at a San Bernardino holiday party last Wednesday, Strickland has not addressed the incident, which the FBI is investigating as an act of terror, in public or on social media. Both Sittenfeld and incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) have responded to the gun attack and clarified their positions on gun policy.

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