December 21, 2015

UPDATED: Ted Strickland’s Unbelievable Excuse For Dodging On Guns

There may be 11 months until Election Day, but Ohio Democrat Ted Strickland’s senate campaign is already a strong contender for worst spin of the cycle. In response to press questions about a major policy flip flop, Team Strickland said the candidate was too busy “fundraising” to answer. The Plain Dealer’s Steven Koff reports:

Strickland says he supports the same thing as Democrats already in the Senate: a law to expand background checks to people buying guns from private sellers at gun shows and on the Internet, and a requirement to stop people on the terrorist watch list from buying firearms legally.

That means he has changed his mind.

The former Ohio governor had NRA ratings of A or A+ for years. He voted against the assault-weapons ban when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He chose to stick with the NRA until fairly recently.

When did he change his position, and why?

Strickland has not addressed that in any level of detail. Over the last several days, he’s been too busy with meetings or traveling for fundraising to have that conversation with a reporter, his representatives say.

Not good when Strickland has already been blasted by the press for dodging key issues to focus on fundraising, as The Toledo Blade did in a recent column:

Mr. Strickland, so far, is a Senate candidate without a platform. He has largely been silent on guns, on terrorism, on immigration. He does occasionally articulate a vague populism, but, thus far, he seems to be concentrating on fund-raising.

Ironically, Strickland’s efforts haven’t even paid off (pun intended). Liberals have been wringing their hands over his lackluster cash haul, despite Strickland fundraising in Washington, D.C. with his former liberal think tank colleagues and raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from D.C. lobbyists, consultants, and lawyers.

UPDATE: In a report published Sunday, The Dayton Daily News’ Jack Torry explored Ted Strickland’s flip-flop on gun rights, but, as with other reporters who have covered the issue, efforts to get Strickland to explain himself were met with stonewalling by his campaign:

“Strickland’s staff declined requests to make the former governor available for an interview.”

Although, outright refusing to do an interview on his changing position may be better than the “fundraising” excuse Strickland gave last time. Possibly? Either way, another day passes where Ted Strickland refuses to explain himself on his gun rights flip-flop.