In 2001, McAuliffe Wanted Democrats to Drop Gun Control

by Jim Geraghty

I wonder how many gun-control backers know that the Democrats’ candidate for governor in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, wanted his party to drop its support of gun control after George W. Bush’s election victory in 2000:

By the middle of 2001, ditching gun control had become conventional wisdom among centrist Democrats. Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., said Al Gore had talked about it too much. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Gore’s running mate, thought gun control had cost the Democratic ticket “a number of voters who on almost every other issue realized they’d be better off with Al Gore.” Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee, in particular wanted his party to drop the issue.

Hey, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, did you know that? How about you, Organizing for Action? After all, you pledged to oppose every senator who voted against the last gun-control bill, including Democrats Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Why would a gubernatorial candidate like McAuliffe get a pass? Because he says he now supports a renewal of the assault-weapons ban?

So he agrees with you, but not when he thinks it could hurt his party politically, like in 2001. You’re going to go all-out for a politician with that stance?

The Campaign Spot

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