Hours before the president’s visit, Minneapolis mayor and Democratic National Committee vice chair R. T. Rybak lashed out at Senate majority leader Harry Reid on the issue of gun control. “How can Harry Reid, a fellow Democrat, and I’m willing to criticize him, say he hasn’t read the [Feinstein] bill?” Rybak said on MSNBC’s Jansing and Company this morning. “Let’s knock off the Washington baloney and support the president and get some things done.” When fill-in host Richard Lui asked Rybak what more he’d like to say to Reid, he responded: “I want to say to him that I respect him on a whole lot of levels, but he’s dancing around this issue and people are dying in this country, and that is not news to anybody.”
In an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Reid held back support for different parts of the president’s gun-control platform, including a new push for an assault-weapons ban. Reid said he did not vote for the 1994–2004 ban because it “didn’t make sense,” but would “take a look” at the current version.