January 5, 2016

Reminder: In 2008, Clinton Was “Largely Silent” On Gun Control

Today, as President Obama announces new executive actions to tighten gun control laws, it’s important to remember that Hillary Clinton was “largely silent” on the issue of gun control in 2008—something her campaign was eager to cover up with TV ads in November.

But as Politico reported that month, Clinton wasn’t always the anti-gun crusader she’s portraying herself as today:

Seeking to combat the perception that he is against gun control, [Bernie] Sanders has also brought up the issue on the stump — marking a shift from the 2008 presidential campaign, when Democrats did not uniformly speak out for such gun restrictions so openly.

Clinton in particular was largely silent on the issue when she ran in 2008, except when criticizing Barack Obama for what she called his “elitist” and “out of touch” comments that some Pennsylvanians are “bitter, they cling to their guns.”

In fact, Clinton even sent out a mailer in the midst of the 2008 campaign attacking Obama for flip-flopping on guns. That’s something Jake Tapper questioned Clinton about in October:

While Clinton said she “would characterize what happened in ’08 very differently,” the truth is Clinton did in fact try to portray herself in an entirely different light in 2008 in order to outflank Obama on the right. Here are some headlines from that race:

The New York Times: Clinton Portrays Herself As A Pro-Gun Churchgoer

CNN: Clinton Touts Her Experience With Guns

But now, locked in a primary battle with Sanders, Clinton is desperate to shore up a different flank of the Democratic Party and has changed her tune. It’s just the latest evidence Clinton will say or do anything to win.