4:20 pm Feb. 4, 2013
President Obama appeared in Minneapolis today to make his first push outside Washington for new gun control legislation.
"We don 't have to agree on everything to agree that it's time to do something," Obama told a group of local police officers and sheriffs deputies.
Obama didn't mention it, but Minneapolis was also an important symbolic location the last time the country passed gun control legislation.
In August of 1994, President Clinton flew to Minneapolis for a national convention of police chiefs, one day after a preliminary vote on this omnibus crime bill, which included a federal assault weapons ban, had failed in the House.
"This crime bill cannot die," Clinton said, his voice hoarse.
Joining him on the trip was Rudy Giuliani, who urged his fellow Republicans to pass the bill.
"I am very very proud to say, not only as the mayor of New York City, and as someone involved in law enforcement, but as a Republican, that I support this bill," Giuliani said. "I believe it's necessary and will do everything I can to help the president to pass it."
Obama has yet to recruit such a high-profile Republican to back his current gun control bid, and the push to renew the assault weapons ban doesn't have the benefit of an omnibus crime bill around it.
In his remarks, Giuliani spoke of the hundreds of new police officers that would help New York City and other places, along with the tougher sentences for offenders, and he didn't mention the controversial assault weapons ban. This weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested the new ban might be offered as an amendment to a broader gun bill, but that's unlikely to prove as persuasive as baking a ban into a crime bill like the one that passed in 1994, and most observers consider the ban a non-starter.
Some Republicans were offended at Giuliani's high-profile appearance with a Democratic president—including, reportedly, his future ally, Rep. Peter King—but the appearance helped brand Giuliani as an unconventional Republican early in his mayoralty, which could only help in an overwhelmingly Democratic city.
This was of course long before Giuliani ran for president, and dropped all talk of federal action on guns, in favor of defenses of second amendment and states rights.
Here's a video of the appearance, with Rudy around the 16:00 mark, and Clinton around 24:30.