Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., admitted she was "embarrassed" of not better understanding "gun violence" after touting her top ranking from the National Rifle Association on gun rights issues when she first ran for office in upstate New York.
"After I got appointed, I went down to Brooklyn to meet with families who had suffered from gun violence in their communities. And you immediately experience the feeling that I couldn't have been more wrong. You know, I only had the lens of upstate New York," Gillibrand told CBS in an interview that aired Sunday.
When pressed on the fact that she had lived in New York City as a lawyer for about a decade before seeking election in New York's 20th congressional district in 2006, Gillibrand said "that's why I was embarrassed."
"I was wrong. What it’s about is the power of the NRA and the greed of that industry. Let's be clear. It is not about hunters' rights, it's about money," Gillibrand, a hunter herself, continued.
Gillibrand's "A" rating from the NRA was downgraded to an "F" in 2010 after she was elected to the Senate and reversed her public rhetoric on the Second Amendment.
The possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who replaced former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the junior senator from New York in 2009 also said she was "ashamed" of her more moderate stance on immigration while representing her conservative district in the House.
"I came from a district that was 98 percent white. We have immigrants, but not a lot of immigrants. And I hadn't really spent the time to hear those kind of stories about what's it like to worry that your dad could be taken away at any moment," Gillibrand explained of her past positions against amnesty and sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, while supporting accelerated deportations.
"And I just didn't take the time to understand why these issues mattered, because it wasn't right in front of me. And that was my fault. It was something that I'm embarrassed about and I'm ashamed of," she added.
Gillibrand has categorized Trump's immigration policies as "racist" in the past.