Former Texas Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on Thursday's Today show, was cornered by NBC's Matt Lauer on his anti-gun control stance, as Lauer pressed: "In the wake of...that shooting out in Tucson, Arizona, do you today feel the same way about gun control that you did when you were an elected official?" DeLay was invited on to discuss being sentenced in his campaign finance case but Lauer felt the need to shoe-horn in a question about the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as he attempted to guilt DeLay into rethinking his support for overturning the assault weapons ban back in 2004.
First up, Lauer's colleague, Norah O'Donnell, foreshadowed the anti-gun bias turn in the interview, in her set up piece as she reported: " In Congress, DeLay was known for his ruthless ability to make his fellow Republicans tow the line, blocking renewal of the assault weapons ban in 2004, in the news again today because of Saturday's Arizona shooting."
Lauer then advanced that line to DeLay in the subsequent interview segment as seen in the following January 13 Today show exchange:
MATT LAUER: I wonder if I could turn subjects on you, a little bit here, and get your opinion on some things. Gun control, it's a hot topic again, right now, in the wake of those shootings or that shooting out in Tucson, Arizona. Do you today feel the same way about gun control that you did when you were an elected official?
TOM DELAY: Absolutely. In fact, I understand there' been a bill introduced that has a 1000 foot barrier around an elected official so people couldn't bring guns. If I were still in Congress, I would welcome and urge those that have license to carry, to come to my town meetings. I'd feel more safe having them there, rather than shutting them out and letting some crazy come in and, and, and shoot up the place.
LAUER: So you would have-
DELAY: You know I had a shooting in my office from one of these crazies, too, back, back in-
LAUER: You would have no difference of opinion, in terms of the assault ban, of the ban on assault weapons that you didn't allow to come to a vote in 2004? And I'm not connecting dots that don't exist here, Congressman, believe me. But, but in that law would have prevented the new manufacture of things like these extended magazine that, that was used by this alleged shooter in this case. He could have still gotten one, he could have gotten an old one. But no new rethinking of your, of the philosophical idea of that?
DELAY: Absolutely not. Guns and people that carry guns are a deterrent. Happened right here in Texas. We, we had a situation where people would bump into women in expensive cars and rob them right on the freeway. The day that concealed carry went into law in the state of Texas, that all stopped, because the robbers didn't know if that women they were bumping into had a gun or not. So, you know, this is all stuff that we shouldn't be talking about. And what we ought to be talking about is, is the rhetoric in Washington, what people ought to be - how people should be treating each other civilly. And gun control and grandstanding doesn't help anybody.
—Geoffrey Dickens is the Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here