The Daily Rundown | March 20, 2013
>>> daily flash back to this day in 1997 when president clinton arrived in helsinki in an unusual fashion. clinton in town for a summit with russian president boris yeltsin and was recovering from a knee injury after he suffered at greg norman 's house. he was lifted off air force one by an airline catering truck and then wheeled on to the tarmac. what an entrance for bubba there.
>>> harry reid will bring a weakened version of the gun control bill to the senate floor that will not include an assault weapons ban in the coming weeks. the news prompted a powerful reaction from "the new york daily news" which features pictures of the children killed in the newtown shooting on the cover. let's bring in our wednesday gaggle michelle bernard, illinois democrat lieutenant governor sheila simon , and senior political reporter for the huffington post , john ward . lieutenant governor simon , i start with you. obviously you're from a state that has a horrific problem right now with gun violence and gun deaths. what does it mean for you on the local level, the federal government is essentially washing its hands in assault weapons ban saying we're'going to make any move on that right now?
>> well, i'm disappointed with that. i am, though, encouraged because one of the big problems we have in chicago in particular is gun that's come in from other states.
>> the small purchases?
>> yeah. we have regulations in illinois. we require fire arm owners to have an identification card and a background check through our state police . we're pretty thorough about that. it's real easy to get to indiana and by a lot of guns that don't have any requirements like that.
>> in terms of the politics of this, i mean this is not necessarily something that is a slam dunk for democrats. harry reid had heavy nra backing the last few campaigns. is it really that surprising that they pulled it at this stage?
>> yeah, to me personally, it really is. i would have thought after what we saw happen in connecticut that it -- that there would have been -- it would not have been as difficult. if you're sitting back and watching this and you look, for example, at the headline that you just showed us earlier with all of the pictures of those children that were literally slaughtered, most numbers of the american public have to be saying this is an absolute travesty. what is so difficult about this? why is it that there is a belief in our country that you need to have these type of weapons at home? quite clearly this person could not have slaughtered all the children if you didn't have an assault weapon .
>> the politics are very tough, john. you have red state democrats in louisiana, arkansas, alaska, they don't want to touch an assault weapons ban with a ten foot pole.
>> and i think it was a big part of the democratic strategy in '06 was to get pro gun democrats elected in the senate seats. i think at the end of the day , you know, if you look back to a year ago or even six months ago if you said that there would be any gun legislation passing through congress there would have been little prospect of that. i think even for gun control advocates, it's not a total loss. it's a disappointment. but more than they would have been expecting even a short time ago.
>> let's wrap up the gun talk with you, lieutenant governor simon . how much can you guys really get at the local level from the federal government right now? i mean, is there -- i guess would the most important thing be the mandatory sentencing guidelines for straw purchase goes to zero to 20, 25 years?
>> i think the straw purchasing regulations tightening that up is going to make a big difference in the supply of guns. if we make a big difference in the supply of guns, the guns that go to people who own them illegally, the price is going to shoot up. that's a good thing. so anything that we can do in that direction along with i think the other important part is changing the culture and our approach to violence as a state, as a nation. we need to focus on that as well.
>> now someone who is a big proponent of gun rights , who is a failed gop presidential candidate back in 2016 , rick perry , his spokesman said this about a possible run. he said that he will first make a decision this summer about running for re-election as governor then sometime later on in the year he'll make a decision about 2016 . could this be perry's year, john? you spent a lot of time on the campaign trail.
>> i think he's quite an outsider at this point. i think his only calculus could be that circumstances somehow change dramatically and that the other frontrunners somehow are all taken down. he doesn't even have the consultants that helped him run this campaign this past cycle. dave carney in new hampshire and him have had a complete falling out from what i understand. and so he's -- it does seem like a little bit of a pipe dream .
>> he has tried to lead on immigration in the republican ranks. do you think he can use that to his leverage?
>> i think rick perry has seen his best days as a presidential conditioned da candidate are behind him. he could be an important voice but other than that, i don't see anyone actually taking him seriously as a presidential contender. he just -- there were so many mistakes that were made in the last campaign. he doesn't have the infrastructure. you hear his name and you just can't help but giggle. i mean that's just not the person you see running in 2016 .
>> and i would assume to believe that chris christie or marco rubio makes you more fearful in a republican administration than a rick perry ?
>> thinking of rick perry , one of my barometers is my husband and i have two daughters, 18 and 23 years old. the rick perry that caught their attention and that they forwarded to their friends was a very anti-gay commercial that he ran in iowa. it was disturbing enough to them that they spent a lot of time saying, look at this. can you believe this? he's from the past.