Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown told reporters Wednesday that Republicans have done the National Rifle Association’s “bidding” for years, adding that lawmakers “can’t get anything done” with gun legislation because of it.
A reporter said Democrats and Republicans have been “pointing the finger at each other,” then asked if both parties are to blame for the inability to find solutions to mass shootings. Brown said “no,” and blamed Republicans for the continued lack of solutions on gun legislation.
“Republicans for years now have dug in and done the bidding of the NRA,” Brown told reporters. “The National Rifle Association, the gun lobby gives millions of dollars to Republican candidates and spends millions and millions against Democrats like me that get an F from the NRA — that have stood up to the NRA. We can’t get anything done in the Senate because Mitch McConnell and the president of the United States are in bed with the gun lobby.”
President Donald Trump visited Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday following two mass shootings that killed a total of 31 people. After Trump departed from Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley and Brown met with reporters to discuss their talk with the president. Originally, Brown had said he would not meet with Trump, but changed his mind and met with him Wednesday, according to The Hill.
“Guns is a big, big part of this, and we have a whole political party in this country now — with the exception of Congressman [Mike] Turner, I want to add now, who’s been on the right side — that’s in bed with the gun lobby,” Brown said. “You can call it gridlock, but it’s because of that special interest group — that swamp that has a lock on the government.”
Whaley told reporters she isn’t holding her breath about potential change as a result of the shootings, and suggested the president and others are just biding time until people “forget” about those killed in Dayton. (RELATED: Dayton Mayor Laughs As She Mocks Trump Over Gaffe)
“Too often we see complete inaction because they’re waiting just for more time for people to forget that nine people died in Dayton because of a gun that shouldn’t be legal, frankly,” Whaley said.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the news conference hitting back at Trump was “clearly premeditated,” according to the Daily Mail.
“The issue here is that the two of them are playing up what little conversation they had, saying that they made comments or demands and that’s just not true,” Grisham told the Daily Mail. “The President allowed them to be part of the entire visit, which was very gracious of him. Their little press conference was clearly premeditated and not in the best interest of anyone but themselves.”
“It’s a disservice to their country and I have a real problem with that.”
Trump met with lawmakers and those recovering from the Dayton attack. He then flew to El Paso, where a Walmart shooting killed 22 people Saturday.