CNN's Costello Can't Believe That GOP Plans to Filibuster Gun Control Bill

CNN's Carol Costello praised Sen. Rand Paul's "champ" filibuster effort to get information on drone use from the White House. Now that Republicans are promising to filibuster a gun control bill if it comes to the Senate floor, however, Costello was in disbelief on Tuesday.

"Paul filibustered like a champ and got what he wanted, information on drones. This time, it's a little different. Republicans, including Paul, have vowed to filibuster away any debate on guns, as in we don't want to talk about guns, period," Costello dramatically uttered. She ludicrously asked if Sen. Paul would even answer his front door if a parent of a Newtown victim wanted to dissuade him from a filibuster.

"Okay, so Jason if one of the Newtown family members, let's say a mother who lost her child, knocks on Rand Paul's door and says please don't do this, what will Rand Paul say? Will he even meet with her and answer the door?" Costello asked.

Liberal CNN contributor Jason Johnson took a cheap shot at Republicans. "First off, he would meet her at the door with a gun. Because these gun rights advocates would wonder why she was there," Johnson cracked.

"They don't even want debate on a gun bill. They don't want any bill reaching the floor," Costello huffed. "What is that about, John?" she excitedly asked CNN contributor John Avlon.

Below is a transcript of the segments, which aired on CNN Newsroom on April 9 starting at 9:03 a.m. EDT:

[9:03]

CAROL COSTELLO: Let's talk about that filibuster threat. You said 14 Republicans have now signed on. They don't want any kind of debate over any gun bill on the floor of the Senate. A Republican Congressman, Peter King was on Early Start this morning. I want you to listen to what he said about that filibuster idea.

(Video Clip)

Rep. PETER KING (R-N.Y.): I believe we should have universal background checks. But even if I did not support that legislation, I would say let this come to a debate. This is an issue which has grabbed hold of the American people. It's an issue which I think has to be resolved. And even if it doesn't go down the way I want it to, I think the American people are entitled to a debate and, to me, to use Senate rules to block a debate on an issue of this importance is just wrong.

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: Okay, so Peter King isn't the only Republican. Senator John McCain came out and said yes, the people deserve a debate on the floor. Rudy Giuliani on Piers Morgan last night said, yes, the people deserve a debate on the floor. So what is this? What's driving this division among Republican lawmakers?

KEILAR: Well, you're seeing, Carol, Republicans who have different pressures. They're experiencing different pressures. On one hand, you have, for instance, Rand Paul of Kentucky, who's leading this effort to have a filibuster, and then on the other, you do have, yes John McCain, Peter King and, of course, there are also Republicans who feel that way but maybe aren't saying it, that there shouldn't be a filibuster.

Some of these Republicans, their biggest concern may be a primary from the right. You know, Rand Paul, for instance, could be concerned about that, even Mitch McConnell. If they come out and say that they're going to allow something – a gun bill to move forward, they could face a challenge from the right that could be successful.

So on the other hand, you have people like John McCain, who even if ultimately some of the folks aren't going to want to vote for a gun bill, it doesn't sit well with their constituents that it wouldn't even be allowed to come up, so they're trying to take a more measured approach. And Democrats are hoping they can enlist the help of people like Senator McCain to overcome that needed-vote threshold to discuss this issue.

COSTELLO: It's just crazy. Crazy, crazy politics.

(...)

[9:26]

COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, should Republicans allow a vote up or down on gun control? Make that 14. Mitch McConnell, the powerful Senate Minority Leader, just boarded the filibuster bus, along with 13 other Republicans who have no interest in allowing any gun bill to hit the Senate floor. If it does, they'll pull a Rand Paul.

(Video Clip)

Sen. RAND PAUL (R-Kent.): I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes.

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: Paul filibustered like a champ and got what he wanted, information on drones. This time, it's a little different. Republicans, including Paul, have vowed to filibuster away any debate on guns, as in we don't want to talk about guns, period.

(Video Clip)

Sen. JOHN MCCAIN (R-Ariz.): I don't understand it. The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate, and to vote, and to let the people know where we stand.

BOB SCHIEFFER, host, CBS's Face the Nation: So, you'd encourage Republicans not to filibuster.

MCCAIN: I would not only encourage it, I don't understand it. What are we afraid of?

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: Former Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, Republican Peter King and the President, surrounded by stunned Newtown families, wondered the same thing.

(Video Clip)

BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States: I know that some of these proposals inspire more debate than others, but each of them has the support of the majority of the American people. All of them are common sense. All of them deserve a vote.

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: If you're looking for an answer from those 14 filibuster-loving Republicans, they say it's simple. The Second Amendment trumps debate, compromise, even an up-or-down vote.

(...)

COSTELLO: Let's talk about the filibustering Republicans. Fourteen Republicans say they will filibuster any gun bill that makes it to the floor of the Senate. Here are the 14 senators. They don't even want debate on a gun bill. They don't want any bill reaching the floor. What is that about, John?

(...)

COSTELLO: Okay, so Jason if one of the Newtown family members, let's say a mother who lost her child, knocks on Rand Paul's door and says please don't do this, what will Rand Paul say? Will he even meet with her and answer the door?

JASON JOHNSON, CNN contributor: First off, he would meet her at the door with a gun. Because these gun rights advocates would wonder why she was there.


 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014