Democratic candidates showed solidarity in opposing the influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) during Tuesday night’s 2020 Democratic primary debate.
Several candidates responded to the series of questions from CNN anchor Don Lemon by calling out the influence of the NRA on the gun policy debate.
Lemon brought up gun shootings over the past weekend, including the Gilroy Festival shooting in California Sunday that killed 3 people, asking candidates “what are you going to do to stop this epidemic of gun violence?”
“We decided, you know, that we were going to go out and take on the NRA,” responded former Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar chimed in against the gun-rights group next:
“This is about the NRA. I sat across from the president of the United States … the next day he goes and he meets with the NRA and he folds,” she said.
Lemon then went on to ask Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock about his changing position on the assault weapons ban. (RELATED: Here Are The Gun Control Positions Of The Democratic Candidates After Two Debates)
“I agree with Senator Klobuchar,” Bullock said during his response. “It is the NRA. And it’s not just gun violence … is captured by dark money, the Koch Brothers and others.”
Former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke responded shortly afterward, “We listen to people, not PACS, people, not corporations, people not special interests.”
Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders added his take on the issue by referencing the gun-rights group as well. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Says Assault Weapons ‘Come From The Military’)
“I have a D minus voting record from the NRA and, as president, I suspect it will be an F record. What I believe we have got to do is have the guts to finally take on the NRA,” Sanders said, promising to “do everything I can to [not only] take on the NRA.”
Finally, author Marianne Williamson brought up the NRA as Lemon wound down the gun safety conversation.
“The issue of gun safety is the NRA has us in a choke hold,” said Williamson.
After the second debates, candidates must meet thresholds for donor figures and polling levels twice as high to become eligible for the third set of debates scheduled for September 12 and 13 in Houston, Texas.
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