December 20th, 2015
12:07 PM ET

O'Malley: "The truth is that Hillary Clinton...flip flops" on gun control

SOTU

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Former Governor and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, joined anchor, Jake Tapper.

 

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

 

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

 

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Zachary Lilly – Zachary.Lilly@turner.com

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

 

O’Malley on the DNC and debate schedule: [Tapper]: “Do you think the reason two of the three Democratic debates have been scheduled on Saturday night is because the DNC wants to limit the audience, and thereby, under this theory, help Hillary Clinton?”

[O’Malley]: “Yes. In fact, that's also why, for the first time ever, they have limited the number of debates to just four.  I think, at this same time eight years ago, they had had - we had had 16 debates. But, look, all of that bickering aside, there are issues that people want to hear us discuss, affordable college, how we make our economy work, how we combat ISIL, how we protect lives here in the homeland.”

 

O’Malley on Hillary Clinton and gun control: “The truth is that Hillary Clinton was, in 2000, when she ran for office, in favor of licensing and a federal role and a national registry on handgun registration, and then she flip-flopped and she was opposed to it in 2008. Jake, you remember her attacking President Obama during those campaigns and President Obama having to push back on that.  So, Hillary Clinton flip-flops in the wind on this issue. Senator Sanders supported the NRA, pushed through a bill to give the gun dealers and manufactures immunity, even voted against the research to - into this huge public health challenge. So, look, I got this done.  As governor, after the slaughter of those kids in the classroom in Connecticut, I pulled our people together.  We passed comprehensive gun safety legislation.  We banned the sale of combat assault weapons.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Joining me now is Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley, who was on that stage last night making a very forceful advocacy for his campaign.

Governor O'Malley, thanks for joining us.

MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER:  Hillary Clinton accepted the apology of Bernie Sanders last night for the data breach.

I want to ask you about the role that the DNC is playing in this election, which Senator Sanders has focused on.  Do you think the reason two of the three Democratic debates have been scheduled on Saturday night is because the DNC wants to limit the audience, and thereby, under this theory, help Hillary Clinton?

O'MALLEY:  Yes.

In fact, that's also why, for the first time ever, they have limited the number of debates to just four.  I think, at this same time eight years ago, they had had - we had had 16 debates.

But, look, all of that bickering aside, there are issues that people want to hear us discuss, affordable college, how we make our economy work, how we combat ISIL, how we protect lives here in the homeland.

So, I thought last night's debate was actually a very good exchange of those ideas.  And I hope we have more of them.  I was able to make a case for a new generation of leadership, fresh approaches, new ideas to confront these challenges.  And I was the only candidate on that stage with a record of accomplishments bringing people together.  And that's what our nation is looking for.

TAPPER:  Let's turn to the issue of guns.  It was a hot topic at last night's debate.

Take a listen.

O'MALLEY:  Yes, it sure was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'MALLEY:  ISIL training videos are telling lone wolves the easiest way to buy a combat assault weapon in America is at a gun show.

And it's because of the flip-flopping political approach of Washington that both of my two colleagues on this stage have represented there for the last forty years.

SANDERS:  Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

(LAUGHTER)

O'MALLEY:  We need commonsense gun safety legislation.

SANDERS:  Let's calm down a little bit, Martin.

CLINTON:  Yes, let's get - let's tell the - let's tell the truth, Martin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  You heard just there Hillary Clinton saying, "Let's tell the truth, Martin."

Were you telling the truth, or was Hillary Clinton telling the truth?

O'MALLEY:  The fact of the matter is, Hillary Clinton has flip-flopped.

The truth is that Hillary Clinton was, in 2000, when she ran for office, in favor of licensing and a federal role and a national registry on handgun registration, and then she flip-flopped and she was opposed to it in 2008.

Jake, you remember her attacking President Obama during those campaigns and President Obama having to push back on that.  So, Hillary Clinton flip-flops in the wind on this issue.

Senator Sanders supported the NRA, pushed through a bill to give the gun dealers and manufactures immunity, even voted against the research to - into this huge public health challenge.

So, look, I got this done.  As governor, after the slaughter of those kids in the classroom in Connecticut, I pulled our people together.  We passed comprehensive gun safety legislation.  We banned the sale of combat assault weapons.  And you know what?  We didn't interrupt anybody's hunting season because of it.

That's real leadership.  That's leadership that doesn't blow in the wind.  It's leadership about the principles that unite us, none more important than protecting lives here in the United States.

TAPPER:  Earlier in this interview and last night on the stage, you made a not-so-subtle reference to fact that the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination are 68 - that's Clinton - and 74 - that's Sanders.

You're 52.  Take a listen to when you raised the argument last night.  You got booed a little bit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'MALLEY:  May I offer a different generation's perspective on this?

QUESTION:  Governor O'Malley?

(BOOING)

O'MALLEY:  During the Cold War - during the Cold War, we got into a bad habit of always looking to see who was wearing the jersey of the communists and who was wearing the U.S. jersey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  Now, there is a serious issue here when it comes to this generational idea.  If Hillary Clinton is nominated or Sanders, and the Republican nominee is either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, then there's going to be this generational thing at play, where, as you know, elections are about the future.

Do you think Clinton's or Sanders' age, if the Republican nominee is younger, could hurt them?

O'MALLEY:  Look, I think that, as our challenges change, as the times change, that American people rightly believe that new leadership and new thinking is required.

We can't be this dissatisfied with our gridlock Washington sort of politics and think that a resort to divisive sort of partisan politics is going to move us forward.

In the very first debate, Jake, Hillary Clinton said that she's proudest of the fact that she considers all Republicans to be her enemies.  That's not how you bring people together.

I do offer a new generational perspective on many of these issues.  One of them that we didn't get to talk about last night was climate change.  I'm the only candidate that has put forward a plan to move us to a 100 percent clean electric energy future by 2050.

Another issue is foreign policy.  Another issue is national security.  I led the efforts of the governors and the mayors on homeland security.  I'm the first post-9/11 mayor and governor to run for president.  I understand this issue from the ground up.

And I'm going to continue to speak to where our country is headed.  The - what is in the hearts of our young people, especially under 30, that's how you tell where a nation is headed.  And that's what I have to offer.

Ultimately, it's up to the people to decide whether that same old thinking is going to serve us and move us forward or whether new leadership is required.  I believe the people are looking for new leadership.  And they're going to find it in one party or the other.

TAPPER:  Well, the - the people are going get to decide.  And they are going to weigh in, in just a few weeks.

When you began this campaign, many pundits expected that you might be the leading alternative to Hillary Clinton.  That role seems to have been taken by Sanders.

Do you think that you need to finish better than third place in Iowa or New Hampshire to be able to continue your campaign credibly?

O'MALLEY:  Yes, I believe that, like other campaigns, whether it was Jimmy Carter or other candidates that were in the same place where I am in the polls, I need to beat expectations in those early contests.

We have great staff on the ground here in New Hampshire.  We have terrific staff and a terrific organization also in Iowa.  And I have now visited 55 of the 99 counties in Iowa.  And, as you know from following presidential politics and covering it as you have, there's never been a time when the voters' decision on election night or caucus night looked anything like the polls in December.

So, we're going to continue to offer the ideas that serve our nation, that move us forward and that bring people together.  And I think we're going surprise a lot of people in New Hampshire and also in Iowa.

TAPPER:  All right, Governor O'Malley, merry Christmas to you and your family.  Thanks for joining us.

O'MALLEY:  Hey, thank you, Jake.  Merry Christmas.  Thanks.

 

###END INTERVIEW###

 

SOTU

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