While Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton would appoint Supreme Court justices who uphold liberal principles, GOP nominee Donald Trump made it clear during Sunday night’s sizzling presidential debate that he would nominate someone in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia in an effort to preserve the Second Amendment.
It was one of the most striking contrasts between the two candidates who took the gloves off in a debate that a poll on the Drudge Report website says Trump won by a landslide. Another poll at the Conservative Firing Line, shows an even wider margin for Trump.
The Los Angeles Times has provided a transcript of the debate highlights, which can be found here.
Trump indicated that the Second Amendment “which is totally under siege by people like Hillary Clinton,” would be an important consideration on who he appoints to the high court.
Clinton, on the other hand, stuck to the issues that fire up her liberal base including marriage equality, Roe v. Wade and women’s right to choose as qualifiers for her Supreme Court nominations.
“So I have very clear views about what I want to see to kind of change the balance on the Supreme Court.”—Hillary Clinton
Whether either candidate scored any points outside of their bases remains to be seen. Still, the exchange showed that they have far different perspectives about which rights they hold important.
It seemed like almost an afterthought when Clinton added, “The question was about the Supreme Court. And I just want to quickly say, I respect the Second Amendment. But I believe there should be comprehensive background checks, and we should close the gun show loophole, and close the online loophole.”
It was a variation on a phrase that Second Amendment activists often repeat with disdain: “I support the Second Amendment…but.”
Clinton has made gun control a cornerstone of her campaign and the issue of gun rights in the Democratic Party platform was almost entirely devoted to gun control, with little more than lip service to the right to keep and bear arms.