2020 Presidential Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand Accused of 'Flip-Flopping' By the Left

Posted: Mar 04, 2019 12:30 PM
2020 Presidential Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand Accused of 'Flip-Flopping' By the Left

Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

CBS’s Gayle King asked presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Monday on “This Morning” about the "flip-flopping" in her political career, The Washington Free Beacon noted.

"It's still the talk of dinner party conversations about Senator Gillibrand that she flips and flops, that she betrayed the Clintons, that she seems to go with whatever the wind is blowing," King said to Gillibrand. "I know you've heard that. How do you feel about that, and how do you address it?"

Gillibrand answered by referencing her victory in the House campaign for New York’s 20th congressional district.

"It's certainly not my record. It’s not who I am," Gillibrand said. "It's true that my first election was a two-to-one Republican district in upstate New York. I was able to run that campaign on getting out of Iraq and ‘Medicare for all', but still won a two-to-one Republican district. And won reelection by a 24-point margin."

Gillibrand believes she can pull off what she did in that election, get the votes from centrists and right-leaning voters to secure the election in 2020 against President Donald Trump.

The Free Beacon pointed out that Gillibrand is one of the, “most liberal members of the Senate,” and that she felt shame for some of the more conservative policies she supported during her time in the House.

“She sported an ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association, an organization she now denounces and proudly holds an ‘F’ rating from,” The Free Beacon wrote.  “And she opposed amnesty and driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, called for increased funding for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement—she now calls for ICE's abolishment—and supported English being the country's official language.”

On Jan. 15, Gillibrand announced that she would join the 2020 presidential race against Trump on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” During that time, she reintroduced her bill to provide universal paid family leave every year since 2013 and jumped onto the #MeToo bandwagon, calling for Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign after he was accused of sexual harassment. 

But despite her doubling-down on left-wing policies, she's being reminded of her not-so-radical past. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow accused the senator of having, “conservative bona fides,” the day after she announced she was running.

"Senator Gillibrand has had a transformation,” Maddow said. “She has changed a great deal on policy in the decade since she was a card-carrying member of the Blue Dog Democrats. She has been on her own party's right. She has been on her own party's left."

Gillibrand apologized on Maddow’s show for her previous stances on gun-rights and immigration policy. She said that when she became Senator, she met a family in Brooklyn who lost a daughter because of a gun.

"I recognized I didn't know everything about the whole state … I just knew I was wrong," Gillibrand said.

She also touched on her shift of opinions regarding immigration.

"I recognize, as we all do, that immigration and diversity is our strength as a country,” she said. “It's always driven our economy. It's the American story. So looking back, I just, I really regretted that I didn't look beyond my district and talk about why this is an important part of the United States story and why it's an important part of our strength."