Ed Rendell on MSNBC: Boosting Gun Control is the 'Good Thing' About Sandy Hook

Former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell channeled Piers Morgan on Friday's Now with Alex Wagner program on MSNBC. Rendell even upped the ante, claiming that there was a positive side to the Newtown, Connecticut massacre – that it boosts liberal efforts for stricter gun control [audio available here; video below the jump]:

ED RENDELL: The good thing about Newtown is, it was so horrific that I think it galvanized Americans to a point where the intensity on our side is going to match the intensity on their side.  

The former politician from Pennsylvania also contended that the strong stand from gun rights supporters "convince the average American that the other side is absolute – looney, nuts, off their rocker – and that drives people to the conclusion that we've got to do something reasonable."

Host Alex Wagner, who called for a repeal of the Second Amendment on Bill Maher's HBO program in 2011, set up Rendell to make his eyebrow-raising statement (moments after claiming that "no one, anywhere" wants to get rid of that part of the Bill of Rights):

Bill Burton, Priorities USA; Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell; & Alex Wagner, MSNBC Host; Screen Cap From the 11 January 2013 of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner Program | NewsBusters.orgALEX WAGNER: ...Newtown seemed like an inflection point, if you will – a change in the national dialogue about sensible gun laws. And yet, the response that we have seen in recent days from members of the gun-toting – gun-toting enthusiasts and the NRA has been, to say the least, something that has – has dismayed me and very much disappointed me. I wonder what you make of some of that rhetoric.

The former DNC chair began his answer by playing up his pro-gun control pedigree: "The battle on guns and reasonable forms of gun control didn't start after Newtown. We've been doing it. There were mayors in the '90s, when I was mayor of Philadelphia, that were suing the gun manufacturers. So this has been an ongoing battle." His "good thing" remark then followed, along with his "looney" smear of Second Amendment supporters.

Besides channeling Piers Morgan, Rendell also follows in the footsteps of fellow MSNBC personality Chris Matthews, who blathered about the upside of Hurricane Sandy for President Obama on the night of the election:


CHRIS MATTHEWS: I am so proud of the country, to re-elect this President....A good day for America. I'm so glad we had that storm [Hurricane Sandy] last week, because I think the storm was one of those things — no, politically I should say, not in terms of hurting people — the storm brought in possibilities for good politics.

For that remark, Matthews was the runner-up in the Media Research Center's 2012 "Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste Award for Exploiting Tragedy to Promote Liberalism".

Back in July 2012, Rendell bashed the NRA on Wagner's program and offered a bizarre explanation for his home state's high number of NRA members – that "a lot of people" joined the group "because they want the magazine...they want the discounts."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the segment from Friday's Now with Alex Wagner:

ALEX WAGNER: Governor Rendell, we have talked about gun safety for months – for most of the year that this program has been on television, and Newtown seemed like an inflection point, if you will – a change in the national dialogue about sensible gun laws. And yet, the response that we have seen in recent days from members of the gun-toting – gun-toting enthusiasts and the NRA has been, to say the least, something that has – has dismayed me and very much disappointed me. I wonder what you make of some of that rhetoric.

FMR. GOV. ED RENDELL, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there's two things: number one, the battle on guns and reasonable forms of gun control didn't start after Newtown. We've been doing it. There were mayors in the '90s, when I was mayor of Philadelphia, that were suing the gun manufacturers. So this has been an ongoing battle. It goes all the way back – it even predates Columbine, and each tragedy, we resolve to do more.

The good thing about Newtown is, it was so horrific that I think it galvanized Americans to a point where the intensity on our side is going to match the intensity on their side. Secondly, I'm not dismayed by those statements at all. Those statements convince the average American that the other side is absolute – looney, nuts, off their rocker – and that drives people to the conclusion that we've got to do something reasonable.

[H/t: Creative Minority Report blog's Twitter account]

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center