Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said an NRA ad featuring Dana Loesch verges “on [an] illegal threat” after being pushed by host Joe Scarborough to denounce it Thursday morning on “Morning Joe.”
The ad featured Loesch, an NRA spokeswoman, saying “time is up” for anti-gun journalists, actors and athletes.
“Well, that’s personal to us because Mika’s name is mentioned. There are a series of these ads that clearly incite violence. Any reasonable person looking at these ads — I’m sure you’ve seen them all, they use violent language, violent images, violent rhetoric, and it — let’s just say it has caused serious complications for many people named there. And so let’s start with that. It’s beyond remarkable that Wayne LaPierre would use violent language and rhetoric and say that people — Mika’s time was running out. And I’m just — I’m wondering, is — how does a lobbying organization do that? … Threatening people’s physical safety has nothing to do with lobbying,” Scarborough started.
“These kinds of physical threats, I think, ultimately work against the NRA. The tide is shifting against the NRA’s vice-like grip,” Blumenthal said.
“Is that an incitement of violence?” asked Scarborough.
“It could be, under some circumstances. It certainly betrays a kind of viciousness that I think the American people ought to reject,” Blumenthal continued.
Scarborough went on to describe other NRA ads in his own words.
“And by the way, while they’re going around making threats and certainly that’s not the only video, I’ve seen other videos where they say to the New York Times something like you’re in our targets or we’re coming after you. It’s always — the language is just extraordinarily violent,” said Scarborough.
“It verges on illegal threat. It certainly comes close. Whether it goes over the line or not, we can debate,” commented Blumenthal.
Scarborough then asked what Blumenthal would do if he were Attorney General of Connecticut.
“I think I would look at the context, whether it potentially was ‘time is running out politically’ as opposed to ‘physically,’ but I think that the main point here is, Joe, that it incites and encourages the kind of violence we’ve seen by its followers,” said Blumenthal.
Watch the NRA ad here:
“To every lying member of the media, to every Hollywood phony, to the role model athletes who use their free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents…Your Time is running out. The clock starts now.”
–@DLoesch #Oscars90 pic.twitter.com/SDVjeTxyfB
— NRATV (@NRATV) March 4, 2018
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