Spin Cycle

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ALBANY - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Wednesday attacked the gun control position taken by candidate Bernie Sanders during the Democratic presidential debate.

In Tuesday’s debate, Sanders defended his record on gun control and his practice of involving pro-gun advocates in creating more effective legislation. Sanders, Clinton's closest rival in the race, also noted he has a D-minus grade from the National Rifle Association.

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On Wednesday, Cuomo, a Clinton surrogate, called into WNYC as an unscheduled guest to say the Vermont senator opposed a federal gun control measure that would have made gun manufacturers liable in lawsuits stemming from fatal shootings like those now plaguing the country.

Then-President Bill Clinton and Cuomo,  as his housing secretary, sought the measure to force gun manufacturers to make safer firearms. Cuomo said the measure would have required manufacturers to produce handguns that could only be used by the legitimate owner through a technology using finger prints.

Cuomo also told “The Brian Lehrer Show” that Sanders doesn’t get a pass on his vote against the measure pushed by then-President Bill Clinton because Sanders has said he stands on principle, not political positions to get elected.

“No,” Cuomo said, “not when Bernie Sanders looks in the camera and says, ‘This is about doing what is right and not what’s popular at the polls.’”

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In the debate, Sanders said he had no intention of giving gun manufacturers immunity from law suits for making dangerous firearms, but he wanted to protect gun shop owners from being sued for massacres by customers.

“All the shouting in the world is not going to do what I hope all of us want, which is to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have guns,” Sanders said. He said political rhetoric has gotten in the way of effective legislation.