Team McCain Conference Call: Heller

posted at 11:48 am on June 26, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The McCain campaign shows once again that they have honed the rapid-response instincts in the campaign by quickly arranging a conference call for the media on the Heller decision and gun control within an hour of the decision. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and senior policy adviser Randy Scheunemann spoke about the decision and what it means, as well as how Barack Obama’s reversal on Heller affects the race.

As one might expect, it got off to a late start, par for the course for a quickly-arranged presser.  After 25 minutes, Brian Rogers kicked off the festivities with introductions.  Brownback started with a short statement expressing delight in the Heller decision, which he called “a long time coming”.  Brownback expressed amazement at Obama’s flip-flop on the DC gun ban today, calling it either “an incredible flip-flop or incredible inexperience”.  The entire debate on the DC gun ban has focused on whether the 2nd Amendment was a collective or individual right.  Brownback says Obama is simply an opportunist who is moving to the Right in order to compete in the general election.

He also warned that the next flip-flop will probably be on Iraq.  Brownback notes that he himself didn’t support the surge, but acknowledged his error and John McCain’s wisdom when it succeeded.  Why can’t the Democrats do that?  Obama talks bipartisanship, but his actions don’t match his words.

Scheunemann covered the shifts in positions coming from Barack Obama on this and other positions.  Obama didn’t sign the amicus brief despite several of his Democratic colleagues joining McCain.  He has supported gun bans in the past that resembled the DC version.  Obama, Scheunemann says, has established that he holds no position that he won’t change for political opportunism.  NAFTA, FISA, Jerusalem, and many other positions have changed, and sometimes rather rapidly.  Obama was wrong on the surge and wanted firm timetables for withdrawal, and the McCain campaign figures that another flip-flop may be coming.

Questions:

  • Election Night: Will Heller hurt McCain in the suburbs? — Brownback says no.  McCain wound up on the right side of the issue, and stuck to his guns [my pun] while Obama has vacillated.
  • USA Today: What about Bush’s announcement on North Korea? — Campaign will have a statement later.
  • Me: Fort Leavenworth and Gitmo? — The court found that their location doesn’t matter, so why close Gitmo at all?  We don’t have to move them, according to SCOTUS.  The disciplinary barracks are not set up for maximum security save for 30 beds or so.
  • IBD: Does this Heller decision end the debate, or does it make a difference in the election?  The narrow victory shows how important the presidential election will be.  Do we appoint strict constructionists in the next four years, or more of the four who couldn’t see the individual rights in the 2nd Amendment?  This could come back before the Court, and do we want more judicial activists instead?  Follow-up: McCain supported background checks; does this leave him open to charges of flip-flopping?  Scheunemann — No, he wanted the same kind of sales processes at gun shows as in gun stores.  That doesn’t prevent people from purchasing guns.
  • Who ought to be able to purchase guns — children, non-violent felons, immigrants?  McCain supports the restrictions in place now, and Heller doesn’t affect these.  The DC gun ban kept law-abiding citizens from owning guns, a much different issus.
  • McCain’s rating from the NRA hasn’t been great; won’t Obama make that an issue?  Brownback says no.  The central point is that McCain supports private ownership and the individual right to own guns, as well as strict constructionists on the Court.  McCain went to the NRA convention and has supported the organization’s initiatives.  My own thoughts: HA!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha!  I’d love to see Obama try that!

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Didn’t Obama say that if McCain brought a knife, he’d bring a gun?

BigD on June 26, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Since hussein is a total fraud zero nothing, he can’t pretend to be too happy about Heller nor can he appear to be disappointed. He’ll catch it from one side or the other before the day’s out. He’ll put his foot in it big time, guarantstinkinteed.

Akzed on June 26, 2008 at 11:55 AM

He also warned that the next flip-flop will probably be on Iraq.

That may be the best quote, keep hammering that, pulling the rug out from Obama.
Anticipate (which is getting easier) his next shift in position and expose it before he states it.
He (Obama) will next relent on energy; nuclear and drilling.

right2bright on June 26, 2008 at 11:55 AM

If McCain holds to his promise of nominating originalist justices, and a Democrat-controlled Senate keeps rejecting them, then the worst case is gridlock. That’s better than Obama’s activist justices sailing through a Democrat-controlled Senate.

RBMN on June 26, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Sure McCain wants to talk about Heller. When he’s talking about the gun case, he doesn’t have to acknowledge that another part of his campaign finance reform plan, the “millionaire provision”, got struck down as violative of the First Amendment

Dead Hand Control on June 26, 2008 at 11:56 AM

My own thoughts: HA! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I’d love to see Obama try that!

That would be great. Never happen,

joeswampy on June 26, 2008 at 12:01 PM

score one for McCain. If BHO doesn’t stand for some firm positions come election day it will be a l;andslide.

The dems are rightfully worried that if they show their true colors the voters will reject them.

Right now the anti-rep vote is big but that does not mean the pro dem vote is big.

unseen on June 26, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Dead Hand Control on June 26, 2008 at 11:56 AM

yes two victories for the people today. The SC must have been doing acid.

unseen on June 26, 2008 at 12:05 PM

He also warned that the next flip-flop will probably be on Iraq.

That’s my bet too. Of course he’ll weasel-word it as best he can, but it’ll be essentially a flip-flop on Iraq. Reason:

petefrt on June 26, 2008 at 12:06 PM

activist judges? By definition isn’t that what indeed the Supreme Court Justices who would overthrow a current established law be?

Activist Judges … another GOP/conservative buzz word with no meaning.

Monkei on June 26, 2008 at 12:06 PM

I like the preemptive strike about flip-flopping on the Iraq War.

If McCain were to do that NOW in regards to drilling he would have Obumble over a barrel: flip-flop on it and prove McCain correct while pissing-off the base or stick to the losing party line and get your ass handed to you in November.

Bishop on June 26, 2008 at 12:09 PM

Geraghty reports that the NRA will immediately file suit to overturn the Chicago handgun law.

Wethal on June 26, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Obama is a hollow, walking billboard for whatever looks popular that very second.

This shape-shiftiness works among those who hate Bush beyond all.

Not so much for independents.

(Even Barry’s winning smile will end up a cheesy Cheshire Cat cresent.)

profitsbeard on June 26, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Geraghty reports that the NRA will immediately file suit to overturn the Chicago handgun law.
Wethal on June 26, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Lord, its like the dam is about to bust on the DFL village. What a sparkling opportunity to hammer the bejesus out of Obama; lets see him defend his hometown over it, or not. Either way, I just a Chris Mattews type of tingle up my leg.

Bishop on June 26, 2008 at 12:16 PM

No, he wanted the same kind of sales processes at gun shows as in gun stores.

This is the only response above that troubles me. This process is already in place, always has been. This interpretation is a liberal talking point.

Everything else above seems reasonable.

Now let’s see if they can get more of this out in the MSM…

catmman on June 26, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Incredible that 4 Justices can “see” a Constitutional right to sodomy, and rights for terrorists on foreign soil, but are blind to a written right to defense with arms.

T J Green on June 26, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Didn’t Obama say that if McCain brought a knife, he’d bring a gun?

BigD on June 26, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Yep. Sean Connery is now under the bus.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on June 26, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Dude, at first I thought Heller was a reference to the movie “Mystery Men.” Tom Waits plays a character named Heller who’s a non-lethal weapons designer.

Pcoop on June 26, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Didn’t Obama say that if McCain brought a knife, he’d bring a gun?

BigD on June 26, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Let him. His gun won’t do him much good if McCain brings his knife while flying an A-4.

Judges and drilling are two great issues. Iraq and habeas rights for Osama Bin Laden are two others. We have the ammunition. Its just up to McCain to pull the trigger. I suspect his sense of political timing is much better than mine.

tgharris on June 26, 2008 at 12:52 PM

alfie was not available for comment.

bernzright777 on June 26, 2008 at 1:01 PM

If McCain holds to his promise of nominating originalist justices, and a Democrat-controlled Senate keeps rejecting them, then the worst case is gridlock.

This kind of gridlock is good for us in two ways.
There’s one less liberal on the court. Today’s decision would have been 5-3 instead of 5-4. A 5-4 decision against us becomes a 4-4 tie.
After McCain puts up 2 or 3 quality judges, only to have them rejected, the majority of the country will become fed up with the Democratic Senate.

MarkTheGreat on June 26, 2008 at 1:06 PM

I see our favorite, formerly banned liberal is back to changing the definition of words in order to confuse the issue.

Where did you get the insane notion that “activist” courts were ones that found laws unconstitutional?

MarkTheGreat on June 26, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Maverick anticipates that Obama will flip on Iraq..

Obama anticipates that McCain will attack only on race..

look who is inexperienced..

DaveC on June 26, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Judges and drilling are two great issues. Iraq and habeas rights for Osama Bin Laden are two others. We have the ammunition. Its just up to McCain to pull the trigger. I suspect his sense of political timing is much better than mine.

tgharris on June 26, 2008 at 12:52 PM

What we have forming here is a Narrative. Sometimes the media can create them, or suppress them, but sometimes they get rolling on their own, and they become unstoppable. Kerry’s narrative was defined by the Swift Boat veterans, his “global test” comment, and the absurd level of flip-flopping on issues. Obama’s is becoming defined by towering arrogance: the endless list of shady acquaintances we’re not supposed to notice, the out-of-touch Supreme Court decisions from liberal judges, the Marie Antoinette attitude on the gas price crunch, the cringing no-debates, no-questions campaign style, and the increasingly thuggish antics of his supporters.

McCain would do well to craft a competing Narrative of competence and commitment to individual liberty. It’s too bad McCain-Feingold leaves him no room to criticize Obama on First Amendment abuses, as the Democrats begin to flirt with fascism, and fascism starts batting its eyes and idly toying with its hair. Luckily, there are lots more Amendments to beat them to death with, starting with the Second, and the Democrats seem set on offending them all.

Doctor Zero on June 26, 2008 at 2:02 PM

1. Is it really “honed the rapid-response instincts” or an opportunity to comment on a popular decision that everyone and their borther knew was coming down this week (and we had day warning it would be 10 AM today.

2. Is Senator Switchback who wanted to surrender in Iraq a good spokesman for McCain?

Clark1 on June 26, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Didn’t Obama say that if McCain brought a knife, he’d bring a gun?

BigD on June 26, 2008 at 11:53 AM

After his stay at Hanoi Hilton, I’m sure Mac is shaking in his boots.

davidk on June 26, 2008 at 3:08 PM

McCain’s rating from the NRA hasn’t been great; won’t Obama make that an issue? Brownback says no.

I say no, too, unless it’s a rope-a-dope strategy to con McCain into making an issue of his opposition to the lesser gun control laws most Americans support, such as waiting periods or a ban on ugly guns. In fact, aside from background checks on private sales at gun shows, McCain’s record is about as solidly pro-gun as it gets. His main sticking point with the NRA is over the First Amendment, not the Second.

Xrlq on June 29, 2008 at 8:24 AM