News & Politics

Marco Rubio Was Repeatedly Humiliated at CNN's Gun Control Town Hall

The Florida senator had no answer for enraged parents and students.

Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab

On Wednesday night, CNN hosted a town hall featuring survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, their parents — and even an NRA spokeswoman — to talk about the possibility of real solutions to gun violence. Unfortunately, they also invited Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who tried to offer as few solutions as possible.

That didn't go unnoticed.

Hours after the debate, Rubio retweeted a comment from National Review columnist David French that denounced the crowd response as "cheers for the revocation of a civil liberty that’s essential to our constitutional republic," arguing that their position was "well outside the mainstream."



In fact, 50 percent of Americans support a ban on assault weapons, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll.

Even media outlets that don't normally cover politics took note of Rubio's inability to master the situation. When Cameron Kasky, one of the students who survived the Parkland shooting, confronted Rubio about accepting donations from the NRA, Entertainment Weekly noted that "Kasky’s question drew cheers and applause, but Rubio didn’t answer directly."

One point for which Rubio did receive some credit, however, was the mere fact that he was there. Both Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a fellow Republican and gun control opponent, declined CNN's invitation to appear at the town hall event.

"Rubio showed up for the CNN town hall knowing there would be a heated debate on guns and he'd likely get booed often," CNN acknowledged after the debate. "He answered questions directed to him and defended his stances on the gun debate, and many of the event's participants, even those who seemed frustrated with his answers, thanked him for being there."

One student at the Parkland high school made a similar point.

"A lot more than can be said for our so-called president and governor. We need you and your colleagues on both sides to come together with us and find a compromise if we are ever to solve this epidemic," Chris Grady, one of the Parkland shooting survivors, told Rubio, according to The New York Times.



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Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon.