Speaking at the Democratic Women’s Leadership Forum Friday, Clinton suggested her efforts to curb gun violence have been taken less seriously because of her gender.
“I’ve been told to stop, and I quote, ‘shouting about gun violence.’ Well, first of all, I’m not shouting. It’s just when women talk some people think we’re shouting,” Clinton said to a round of raucous applause. “And second, I will not be silenced, because we will not be silenced. Not by the gun lobby. Not by the size of this challenge. Not by any of it.”
The line played so well that she trotted it out again the next day at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Iowa.
Clinton name-checked the gun lobby, but her remarks were aimed at Sanders, who has referred to all the “shouting” about gun violence numerous times on the campaign trail. (The Vermont senator’s record on gun control has been cast as a weak spot for the candidate; for example, he voted against the Brady Act in 1993.)
On Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Sanders about the comment during an appearance on State of the Union. “She is suggesting, in public, that you have a problem with women speaking out,” Tapper said.
Sanders chuckled at the question. “All that I can say is I am very proud of my record on women’s issues. I certainly do not have a problem with women speaking out. And I think what the secretary is doing there is taking words and misapplying them.”
He continued: “What I was saying is: if we are going to make some progress on dealing with these horrific massacres that we’re seeing is that people have got to start, all over this country, talking to each other. It is not Hillary Clinton.”
The senator pivoted to make a more substantive point about gun control, naming a number of areas where he felt a majority of Americans were in agreement, including banning assault weapons, expanding background checks, ending the so-called gun show loophole and enacting “straw purchase” laws at the federal level.
“Right, but she’s suggesting that you’re saying that she’s shouting and that you, when you hear a woman talking, you think that they’re shouting,” Tapper said.
“Well,” Sanders said, laughing. “What can I say? That’s just not the case. That’s just wrong.”