Emails contained in the WikiLeaks release show Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta feared “blowback” from their own supporters if they pushed gun control in Arizona.
Another email thread, containing messages from Jennifer Palmieri and Clinton senior adviser Jim Margolis, highlights concerns about how to push gun control in rural areas and raised the question of whether gun control should even be mentioned in the South.
In the Podesta email, dated March 17, 2016, Clinton campaign staff weighs how to best contrast Clinton with Bernie Sanders on guns. They discuss, ahead of a March 18 “press call with AZ locals about guns,” how they will go after Donald Trump on the issue.
Podesta’s succinct response: “Interestingly, I am worried about blowback from our supporters.”
In the other email thread, dated November 5, 2015, Margolis addresses the draft of a speech in which Clinton was to say, “I represented New York in the Senate, and New York City has much stricter gun laws than upstate New York, because their needs are different. That’s why I think it’s important that localities be able to make that decision for themselves.” Margolis did not want to leave the door open for localities to make their own decisions, but he could not take the chance of offending rural voters. So he seized on another option by suggesting they delete the statement, “That’s why I think it’s important that localities be able to make that decision for themselves” and suggested, “I think it’s fine to say, ‘When localities want to implement tougher laws based on their situation, I support that.'”
Note: Margolis’ suggestion gives the impression that localities can make their own decisions–as long as those decisions are to embrace more gun control.
In the same email thread, Palmieri asks if talking about guns at all is “a bad issue for the South.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.