ABOARD THE CLINTON PLANE – Hillary Clinton took a swipe at Barack Obama today on gun control, an issue that has barely registered in the Democratic race so far. But her larger point was to return to something she’s hit quite a bit – the idea that Obama has been inconsistent.
Earlier today in Idaho, Obama told a crowd: “I have no intention of taking away folks' guns.”
The Clinton campaign put out a refutation, pointing to a 1996 questionnaire Obama filled out when he was running for the Illinois Senate, in which he said he "supported banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.” According to the Associated Press, once he got into the state senate, Obama backed limiting handgun purchases to one a month, but did not tried to ban them.
Clinton, who was running a couple hours behind schedule partly because of a mechanical problem on her plane, held a press availability in the air between Los Angeles and Tucson.
When someone asked her about Obama’s gun comments, Clinton said her opponent’s position has “obviously changed over a relatively short period of time."
“My understanding is that really within the space of 4 or 5 years, he’s had several positions on a number of really challenging issues,” she said. “You’ll have to ask him why he has so rapidly changed position from year to year.”
Clinton also argued that her health care plan would make her a stronger opponent than Obama against John McCain. Clinton would mandate everyone purchase insurance, while Obama would not.
“John McCain’s going to get up there and say, ‘I have a health plan, it’s going to cover a lot of people. How many is your plan going to leave out?’” she said.
Clinton imagined Obama’s response: “Well, I don’t know, more or less than your plan.”
And she concluded, “That is a losing argument for Democrats.”