Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who is rumored to be eyeing a 2020 run for the White House, was forced to justify why she did a complete flip-flop on immigration policy and the Second Amendment.
She blamed her past position on her racist white constituents from her old Upstate New York congressional district. Really.
In an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” the New York Senator attacked her former constituents, saying their opinions on immigration and gun rights were “wrong.”
Interviewer Sharyn Alfonsi pointed out that, while representing New York in the House of Representatives less than a decade ago, Gillibrand held all of those same “wrong” views–and asked her: “Why the 180?”
“After I was appointed [to Hillary Clinton’s vacated Senate seat], I went down to Brooklyn to meet with families who had suffered from gun violence in their communities,” Gillibrand said. “And you immediately experience the feeling that I couldn’t have been more wrong. You know, I only had the lens of Upstate New York.”
Alfonsi attempted to point out that Gillibrand wasn’t some yokel who never left her home district, having lived in New York City for a decade, traveled extensively, and worked in Washington, D.C., as a Congresswoman–a city known for gun violence.
“That’s why I was embarassed,” Gillibrand claimed, adding that the gun rights fight was motivated by deep-pocketed corporations and the NRA, rather than “hunters.”
Alfonsi then turned to immigration–mentioning that her stance as a Congresswoman was closer to President Trump’s current stance than her own current one.
Alfonsi asked if Gillibrand could understand where Trump was coming from on the immigration issue, given her past support for those beliefs.
Gillibrand said she could not, saying flatly: “I think his positions are racist.”
Alfonsi then pointed out that Gillibrand had taken the apparently “racist” side on hot-button issues like sanctuary cities, amnesty, and accelerated deportation.
That’s where Gillibrand threw her former constituents under the bus, saying, “I came from a district that was 98% white. We have immigrants but not a lot of immigrants. I hadn’t really spent the time to hear those kind of stories.”
When Alfonsi pointed out that, clearly, stories about immigrants were featured prominently in the media, Gillibrand claimed that she was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of her past stances.
This isn’t the first time Gillibrand has been criticized for political opportunism.
In November, as the #MeToo movement gained steam, she said that President Bill Clinton should’ve resigned for his sexual conduct in the White House–despite the fact that she had been a key Clinton ally for nearly two decades and had appeared frequently with Bill as recently as the 2016 election, nearly two decades after his most recent sex scandal became public.