Watch: Ellison Pressed on Saying He Wished Dems Would Oppose 2nd Amendment, Denies Saying It, Says It’s Out of Context

During Wednesday’s Democratic Leadership Debate on CNN, DNC Chair candidate Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) was questioned about his comment on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” in 2014 that he wished the Democratic Party would come out against the Second Amendment.

Ellison responded to the initial question on the comment by stating, “I remember that show very well, and that is not what I said at all. What I talked about is my grandfather’s shotgun and the fact that I am a turkey hunter, and I didn’t say that. That was not an accurate statement.”

Moderator Dana Bash then pushed back, “I’ll read you exactly what happened: Bill Maher, ‘Then why doesn’t your party come out against the Second Amendment? It’s the problem.’ Your response, ‘I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would.'”

Ellison then said, “No, that was a — I wish you’d play the tape because if you did, you’d see that it did not go that way.” He later added that he had “the right to — for — to not be taken out of context. I hope people will go back and look at the tape.”

During the exchange in 2014, Ellison talked about his families guns, stated that Republicans had convinced people that “any common-sense regulations means that they’re going to take your freedom away, and it’s absurd.” And that “I’m for gun control, but I don’t think you have got to eliminate ownership of all guns in order to get some common-sense gun rules. I mean, 27 children were mowed down. Isn’t that enough for us? One of our own colleagues, [former Representative] Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), shot in the face.”

Maher then asked, “Then why doesn’t your party come out against the Second Amendment? It’s the problem.” Ellison responded, “I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would.”

Maher then said, “I never hear anybody in the Democratic Party say that. What they say is, ‘I am also a strong supporter.'” Ellison countered,” You’ve got to check out the progressive caucus. We have come out very strong for common-sense gun safety rules.”

After Maher stated that “Common-sense gun safety is bullsh*t. … It means there are 3,000 types of guns available in the U.S., and you want to ban about 200 of them.” Ellison said, “No, what it means is that if you want to have grandpa’s shotgun, have it, but get rid of the crazy, military-style assault weapons.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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