Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participates in the sixth Republican presidential debate on Jan. 14, 2016 in North Charleston, S.C.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty

2016 GOPers claim Obama and Clinton want to take all guns away

Updated

“Unless you’re clinically insane,” Ted Cruz declared Thursday, you pledge allegiance to the Second Amendment in a Republican primary. “That’s what you’d say.”

But while the candidates offered up their usual boasts on their Second Amendment views, they went into far more detail about just how much they think the president — and Hillary Clinton — want to seize Americans’ weapons.

“The first impulse of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is to take the rights away from law abiding citizens, that’s always what they do whether it’s the San Bernardino terrorist attack or these tragedies that take place,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said. 

RELATED: Cruz brings the fight to Trump on presidential eligibility 

Though gun sales have surged during the president’s term, Sen. Marco Rubio argued that that’s precisely because Americans fear the president will take their guns away.

“I am convinced that if this president could confiscate every gun in America, he would, I am convinced that this president, if he could get rid of the second amendment, he would. I am convinced because I see how he works with his attorney general not to defend the Second Amendment, but to figure out ways to undermine it,” he said rapidly. “Whenever there is an act of violence in America, his immediate response is —before he even knows the facts — is gun control.”

Pressed on when exactly Obama has said he wants to seize Americans’ guns, Rubio said the president hosts press conferences practically bimonthly to promote his gun control ambitions. 

Sen. Ted Cruz jumped in on the question a few minutes later.

“A moment ago Neil asked, ‘What has President Obama done to illustrate that he wants to go after guns?’ Well, he appointed Eric Holder. Eric Holder said he viewed his mission as brainwashing the American people against guns,” Cruz said, bringing up the president’s controversial 2008 quote when he said Americans in small towns cling to guns or religion” as further proof.

He went on to argue that Clinton believes the Second Amendment doesn’t protect individuals’ right to have guns. (His source appears to be leaked audio published on a conservative blog that purports to have Clinton espousing views on a Supreme Court ruling on guns.)

Cruz argued that under Clinton Supreme Court nominees, “the court will rule that not a single person in this room has any right under the Second Amendment and the government could confiscate your guns.”

Behind the sixth Republican debate with photographer Mark Peterson
Photographer Mark Peterson provides a behind-the-scenes look at the sixth Republican presidential debate.

Barack Obama, Debates, Eric Holder, Gun Policy, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz

2016 GOPers claim Obama and Clinton want to take all guns away

Updated