Ahead of Super Tuesday 2.0, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden continue to spar over their political records. The two have thrown jabs at each other over federal bailouts, bankruptcy law and the Iraq War, just to name a few.
But one of the major topics they’ve delved into this election cycle is their differing positions on gun control over the years.
Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, promoted his support of 1993 legislation that required a five-day waiting period to buy a gun and a 1994 assault weapons ban, which lasted 10 years.
But Biden noted that Sanders voted against the 1993 measure named for James Brady, the White House spokesman who was shot during the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Sanders also supported a 2005 law in the House, which Biden opposed in the Senate, to protect gun manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits if there was no reason to believe a weapon would be used in a crime.
“I’m the only guy that has ever passed an assault weapons ban nationally. I’m the only guy that ever limited the amount of bullets can be in a clip,” Biden said at a CNN town hall in February. “And I’m the only person who has taken on the NRA and beat them across the board.”
One of the country’s largest gun control advocacy groups, Everytown for Gun Safety, endorsed Biden for president.
Both candidates were asked about gun control during in separate appearances in Charleston, S.C., where a white supremacist gunman killed nine black people in a church in 2015.
Sanders said he has changed and that he is proud of his D-minus rating from the National Rifle Association. He supported a 2004 proposal to extend the assault-weapons ban, which didn’t succeed. He co-sponsored legislation to reverse the protection for manufacturers from lawsuits. He said people with violent records, including domestic violence, shouldn’t own guns. And he supports universal background checks for gun buyers.
“The world has changed, and my views have changed,” Sanders said at an ABC News debate in February.
That’s a funny way to phrase “I’m pandering,” Sen. Sanders.
Let’s be honest here, on this one Biden is easily the most consistent. However, it should be noted that Biden’s efforts on the Brady bill didn’t pan out as he planned. After all, there’s no five-day waiting period to buy a gun. Thankfully. He arguably lost on that issue. Sure, we got stuck with background checks for gun purchases–so yeah, we lost on that deal too–but that waiting period is something anti-gunners are still pushing for these days.
And really, Biden’s mind is well and truly gone if he thinks he’s the “only one” who passed the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban. After all, it takes more than just one vote to pass legislation. There were a lot of Democrats who voted for that measure. A lot of them found themselves out of work in short order, too. Biden just wasn’t one of them.
It’s clear, though, that even one-time pro-gun Bernie Sanders is now part of the Democratic Party’s jihad against the Second Amendment. Not that anyone is surprised by that fact, of course. If he wants to win, he has to pander to the base.
Now, of course, the question is whether the middle of the road voters will respond to that or not.