If New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) thought she was going to put the issue of her massive record of flip-flops behind her by talking about it, that strategy seems to be backfiring. To be fair, reporters keep bringing it up, so she probably doesn’t have all that much of a choice in the matter, but questions about her record simply aren’t going away. First she went on CBS This Morning to say that her record doesn’t show much flip-flopping. (Insert HeadDesk hashtag here.)
That appearance didn’t do the trick. Apparently, Rachel Maddow missed that show, because she brought up her blue dog days when Gillibrand went to speak with her on MSNBC. That’s when the Senator came up with a new defense against these allegations. According to her, Maddow was just reciting “Republican talking points.” (Free Beacon)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) dismissed liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and other media members’s coverage of her prior conservative views, rejecting their characterization in an interview published Wednesday as “talking points from the Republican Party.” …
“When you went on Maddow after announcing you were going to run, her intro to the interview was all about how you were once fairly conservative on a whole range of issues — prominently on guns and immigration — and how you’ve shifted left on all of them,” [New York Magazine‘s Gabriel] Debenedetti said. “That theme has been pretty front and center in a lot of the early coverage. Did you expect that?”
“Well, it’s certainly the talking points from the Republican Party,” Gillibrand said. “It’s what they’re putting out there. But, you know, my background, and where I’m from, is very much part of my story.
Well, it’s definitely “part of her story” I suppose. But calling these questions Republican talking points isn’t helping her cause. Republicans (along with plenty of Democrats and liberal media outlets) are talking about these things because they are part of her record.
Gillibrand went on from there to say that she was able to win an election in a district where Republicans outnumbered Democrats by two to one, portraying that as some sort of badge of honor. And yes… it’s true that she was elected in a conservative-leaning district. She managed the feat by talking like a Republican. She was arguably more conservative than her GOP opponent or at least claimed to be.
She was more pro-gun rights than Hillary Clinton claimed to be in her 2008 presidential primary bid. In fact, she even had a positive rating from the NRA and bragged about it on the stump. She claimed to hold views on illegal immigration that would make Donald Trump pause and ask if that wasn’t a bit harsh. And she remained a loyal fan of Bill Clinton throughout all the sexual abuse allegations, at least until #MeToo came along and she began throwing everyone under the bus.
When Gillibrand was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in 2009, all of that changed, pretty much overnight. She immediately reversed course on nearly every position she’d taken, just in time to win her first state-wide election. And she’s now claimed the position of being one of the most liberal opponents of Donald Trump in the country. Did she really think nobody was going to bring this up when she decided to run for president?
At least there’s one thing Senator Gillibrand hasn’t reversed course on. She’s still flip-flopping like an Olympic diver, with her only explanation being that she was “wrong” when she served in the House. And people aren’t forgetting about it.