Marco Rubio: Obama ‘doesn’t have the guts’ to admit he opposes Second Amendment

Republican reaction to President Obama's gun control agenda generally has been negative, but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was particularly combative in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday night.

“I actually think the president, and he just doesn’t have the guts to admit it, is not a believer in the Second Amendment, although he states that he is,” Rubio said. "If he doesn't want the Second Amendment to be in the Constitution or if he wants to reform it, then have the guts to admit that." 

In the same interview, Rubio said he supported background checks for gun purchases but that the issue should be left to the states.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) similarly said Obama was acting "like a king or a monarch" in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

The mood on Capitol Hill does not appear to have changed much in the wake of the Newton, Conn. elementary school shootings. Republicans who had previously said they were open to a discussion about gun violence have condemned Obama's proposals as violating the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

In New York, the politics of gun control are a little different. A new Siena Poll finds large majorities support an expanded ban on assault weapons and higher penalties for using illegal guns, two measures Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law this week.

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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David Nakamura | January 17, 2013