The polls lie, he said. More pro-gun voters are single issue voters than anti-gunners.
Clinton said that passing the 1994 federal assault weapons ban “devastated” more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers in the 1994 midterms — and cost then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley (D-Wash.) his job and his seat in Congress.
“I’ve had many sleepless nights in the many years since,” Clinton said. One reason? “I never had any sessions with the House members who were vulnerable,” he explained — saying that he had assumed they already knew how to explain their vote for the ban to their constituents.
“A lot of these people … all they’ve got is their hunting and their fishing,” he told the Democratic financiers. “Or they’re living in a place where they don’t have much police presence. Or they’ve been listening to this stuff for so long that they believe it all.”
Clinton closed his remarks with a warning to big Democratic donors that ultimately many Democratic lawmakers will be defeated if they choose to stand with the president.
“Do not be self-congratulatory about how brave you for being for this” gun control push, he said. “The only brave people are the people who are going to lose their jobs if they vote with you.”