On his Friday MSNBC program, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough insisted that his recent embrace of some sort of gun regulations in the wake of last week’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn. wasn’t a political maneuver.
During his interview with Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Scarborough objected to Huelskamp’s premise that Scarborough and others on MSNBC were using the tragedy to strengthen their hand in a push for gun regulations. Scarborough reminded Huelskamp that historically, tragedies have led to changes.
“What was your feeling after Sept. 11, congressman?” Scarborough said. “Were there some changes made in this country because of the tragedy of Sept. 11? Was that just using a tragedy – 3,000 deaths to try to make Americans safer? Do you dare come on my show and say I am using the slaughter of 20 little 6-and-7-year-old children? I’m using them for political purpose, Tim?”
But Huelskamp pushed back against Scarborough, arguing that although it might not be Scarborough personally, there were still some doing that exact thing.
“I refuse to let you say because you have little children or anybody else that we need to actually politicize this,” Huelskamp replied. “But I see folks in Washington. I don’t know about you. I don’t watch your show, but my colleagues in Washington are trying to politicize this.”
Scarborough then made it clear he took exception to Huelskamp’s posture toward those who would consider talking about restricting weapons.
“I’m not going to let you say that I am, quote, ‘politicizing’ the slaughter of 20 6-and-7-year-old children,” Scarborough replied. “But you said anybody that’s talking about this — maybe some of us just believe, Tim — maybe some of us just believe we have to do whatever we can, whether it’s looking at mental health, whether it’s looking at a violent culture, whether it’s video games and Hollywood movies, whether it’s looking at the proliferation of these weapons, whether it’s looking at what happened in Oregon, what happened in Colorado, what happened in Virginia, what happened in Connecticut — what continues happening, congressman.”
“So we can’t at least talk about guns without you questioning my integrity and saying I’m using the death of 20 children to try and make my children a little safer?” he continued. “Can’t even talk about it without you coming on this show and insulting me personally?”