In a clear hit at challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Hillary Clinton launched a new ad today advocating a battle against an “epidemic of gun violence.”
The ad, which is running in Iowa and New Hampshire, shows Clinton speaking at a recent town hall in New Hampshire with audience members nodding approvingly.
Saying that between 88-92 Americans die each day from gun violence, Clinton asks, “How many people have to die before we actually act?”
It comes ahead of Friday’s Democratic “forum” — not a “debate” sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee — at Winthrop University in South Carolina, being aired on MSNBC.
Sanders has defended his votes in favor of gun rights by noting that he’s simply representing the culture and constituents in his state.
“As a senator from a rural state, what I can tell Secretary Clinton, that all the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want, and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence that we are seeing,” Sanders said at last month’s CNN debate.
Clinton later accused Sanders of sexism. “Well, I haven’t been shouting, but sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it’s shouting,” she at an Iowa dinner. “But I won’t be silenced, and I hope you won’t be either. How many more people have to die before we take action?”
The timing of Clinton’s ad is also meant to muscle out former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on the issue where he thinks he’s found traction.
O’Malley was scheduled to announce his planned gun executive actions today at a townhall in New Hampshire.
Those include, according to his campaign, “use procurement contracts to advance gun safety, stop defending gun dealer immunity provided by the PLCAA and instead work to overturn it, disarm and prosecute domestic abusers who break the law, ban ‘cop-killer’ ammunition, alert law enforcement of failed gun sales, require the responsible storage of guns at home, and strengthen enforcement and audits of licensed dealers.”
The Republican National Committee responded to Hillary’s ad by noting how she was singing a different tune in her last presidential campaign.
“After running to Obama’s right on guns in 2008, Hillary Clinton is embracing the Democrat Party’s shift to the extreme left on the Second Amendment with talk of a national gun buyback program and unilateral executive action,” RNC spokesman Michael Short said. “Hillary Clinton’s hypocrisy on guns reinforces that she will do or say anything to get elected and that she is well outside the mainstream on the Second Amendment.”