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Rove Smacks Down Messina Over Background Checks

Rove Smacks Down Messina Over Background Checks


STEPHANOPOULOS: Jim Messina, it’s no secret there was a lot of resistance from Democrats on the assault weapons ban, including Harry Reid. You saw Mayor Bloomberg right there. He’s going to be advertising in both Democratic and Republican districts, Democrat and Republican states. You know, you work with Organization for Action, the president’s super-PAC, you support the president’s agenda. Are you going to target ads against Democrats, as well as Republicans on this issue?

MESSINA: Look, we’re going to work out — reach out to members of both parties on this. Background checks are supported by over 92 percent of Americans, including a majority of NRA members, a majority of Republicans. There’s clear consensus in the states on this issue, and we’re absolutely going to talk to members of both parties.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, so you’ll be — you’ll be advertising in Democratic districts?

MESSINA: We’ll figure out what advertising it is, but we’re talking on grassroots — last week, we over 100 events across the country, in both Democratic and congressional — or and Republican congressional seats. We had over one million volunteers in the first month along, getting involved on this and other issues. And we’re absolutely going to be advocating on the president’s agenda.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re still seeing, Karl Rove, the National Rifle Association digging in against universal background checks?

ROVE: Look, if you — if you say should we keep the mentally ill and the — and the criminals from getting guns, everybody would say yes. But that’s not what this is about. We’re talking about, in this instance, having a registry where if a grandfather wants to give a treasured shotgun to his grandson, or granddaughter, he has to register with the government and go and get approval as the government to give that gun to his grandchild.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s if he’s selling it.

ROVE: No, that’s also if he’s transferring it. And in addition, Senator Schumer for some reason or another, insists upon keeping a registry of guns. Now, if there’s one thing that scares a lot of people who believe in the Second Amendment, it is the federal government keeping a national registry of gun sales, and gun purchasers, and gun owners.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if you don’t have any records how does the background check make any difference?

ROVE: It — it does make a difference. You find out if somebody can, or cannot purchase a gun. Right now I can go into a gun store in Texas to purchase a weapon. I have to go through a background check. They have to ascertain I don’t have a criminal record, and then I can purchase a gun. And — but what we’re talking about here is different than that. And — and why it’s different than that and why it’s different than that is politics. There could be a lot of mutual agreement found on closing some of these so-called gun show loopholes. We could probably get agreement on a — a widespread basis of people saying, look you go to a gun show, you walk in, you get — you — you pass a check. You give — you get your little stub that allows you to purchase a weapon, and that’s it. But this goes far beyond that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s the answer to that?

MESSINA: Look 40 percent of all gun sales currently don’t go through background checks. The background checks have stopped two million people from — from getting guns they should not get. But we know there are loopholes all over the place. And Karl, just saying no, what the NRA and your party is doing right now, isn’t moving us forward.

ROVE: Let — let’s be clear about this, this was prompted by the Sandy Hook murders. Those guns were legally purchased with a background check. This would not have solved something like that. Let’s be very careful about quickly trampling on the rights of people who — and look, you want to get something done? Then stop scaring people. Don’t say we’re going to keep a registry of all of these guns, and let’s not make it so impractical —

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