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Free Advertising: CNN Prompts Dem to RIP GOP for Opposing Gun Control

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On Monday morning, CNN Newsroom gave free campaign advertising to one of the Democratic candidates for Ohio governor, Dayton mayor Nan Whaley, giving her a forum to call for more gun control in her state.

The interview capped off a weekend in which several liberal activists and Democrats were allowed to come on the liberal news network and push for more gun laws with little to no challenge.

After recalling several mass shootings from the weekend, CNN co-anchor Poppy Harlow talked up the push for more gun restrictions: “This growing gun violence epidemic now prompting dozens of mayors from America’s cites to band together and demand more action from the Biden administration on guns.”

Co-host Jim Sciutto — a former member of the Barack Obama administration — read from a letter from liberal mayors making the push. After introducing his guest, Mayor Whaley, he seemed exasperated as he recalled that Republicans never follow through on passing more gun control after high-profile mass shootings, citing the cases that occurred in Dayton and in El Paso in 2019. Here’s Sciutto:

And, following those two shootings for a moment, as we’ve often seen before, there was a bipartisan expression of support for some gun control measures. In Ohio, the governor, Mike DeWine, talked about state laws, I think, red flag laws. Mike Turner, representative whose daughter was on the street or nearby, Republican, said, “Hey, I’ve got to come around on this.” That moment disappeared. They changed their public positions. What happened? Why does that always happen? I mean, are the politics so intractable here for Republicans that they just won’t move?

After Whaley blamed what she called fear of “extremists” on the conservative side for Republicans not following through on the liberal gun agenda, Harlow, instead of challenging whether more restrictions would actually help, brought up Republican Governor Mike DeWine’s unsuccessful push for more gun restrictions:

You mentioned where you think Governor DeWine has fallen short on gun reform. You are now running against him to try to unseat him as governor. But he has been pushing again and again, session after session, for the STRONG Act to be passed. So that calls for new background checks. It makes it a lot harder for mentally ill people to access guns. Now, it’s gone nowhere with the Republican legislature, but he keeps pushing for it. If you unseat him as governor, how would you get the Republican legislature to actually act on that if he can’t.

Over the weekend, as part of its campaign pushing for more Federal gun control, CNN shows had guests like liberal activist Cameron Kasky and Democratic members of Congress, Sheila Jackson Lee and Ro Khanna. On New Day Saturday, CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey also complained about the loosening of gun laws in Texas as he also dismissed police officers who have recently resigned in protest of the anti-police movement of the past year.

Monday’s CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto was sponsored in part by E-Trade. Click on the links to let them know what you think.

Transcript follows:

CNN Newsroom

June 21, 2021

9:30 a.m. Eastern

POPPY HARLOW: This growing gun violence epidemic now prompting dozens of mayors from America’s cites to band together and demand more action from the Biden administration on guns.

JIM SCIUTTO: In a recent letter, they wrote, quote, “We are clear eyed about the political challenge, but now, more than ever, we need to continue this hard but necessary work. So many cities and towns are now dots on a map of mass shootings that could have been prevented if there were a federal web of uniform laws on background checks, eliminating access to guns for those who have demonstrated a history of mental illness or other disqualifying conditions.”

Joining me now — joining us now, the President of the United States conference of mayors, Dayton Ohio’s Democratic mayor, Nan Whaley. She is also running to unseat Republican governor of Ohio Mike DeWine in 2022. Mayor, it’s great to have you on again.

MAYOR NAN WHALEY (D-DAYTON): Great to be on. Good morning.

SCIUTTO: So I met you in 2019 after a horrific shooting in Dayton, Ohio, which came the day after a horrific shooting in El Paso, Texas. And, following those two shootings for a moment, as we’ve often seen before, there was a bipartisan expression of support for some gun control measures. In Ohio, the governor, Mike DeWine, talked about state laws, I think, red flag laws. Mike Turner, representative whose daughter was on the street or nearby, Republican, said, “Hey, I’ve got to come around on this.” That moment disappeared. They changed their public positions. What happened? Why does that always happen? I mean, are the politics so intractable here for Republicans that they just won’t move?

MAYOR WHALEY: I think it’s really what’s going on in our politics, even at the state level with Governor DeWine, is folks are too afraid of the extremists on the right and the gun lobby, frankly. You know, the night of the day after the shooting in Dayton, hundreds of people gathered in the street to holler, “Do something.” Governor DeWine promised to do something, but instead, this January, he actually signed a stand your ground law that makes all communities and everyone less safe. Every study shows that. 

It just shows how there is this grip of the gun lobby and gun makers and extremists in the Republican party that won’t let them loose. I mean, these are issues — we’re talking about stuff that nine out of ten Ohioans agree with. I mean, we can’t get nine out of ten Ohioans to agree that the Ohio state Buckeyes are the greatest football team. But they still cannot get this to move, and it’s because they’re too afraid to stand up to these extremists frankly.

HARLOW: You mentioned where you think Governor DeWine has fallen short on gun reform. You are now running against him to try to unseat him as governor. But he has been pushing again and again, session after session, for the STRONG Act to be passed. So that calls for new background checks. It makes it a lot harder for mentally ill people to access guns. Now, it’s gone nowhere with the Republican legislature, but he keeps pushing for it. If you unseat him as governor, how would you get the Republican legislature to actually act on that if he can’t.

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