Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made an unexpected comment during an interview on Fox News on 6 January. The often controversial candidate said he disagreed with President Barack Obama on his recently announced executive orders on gun control, but that he does not think the president's heart is in the wrong place.
"I think he probably means well," Trump said on Fox & Friends. The Grand Old Party (GOP) contender said the president gets "the concept" wrong behind his efforts but not his emotions. During a press conference announcing the series of gun control measures, Obama grew emotional and had to wipe away tears as he remembered the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary three years ago.
While some Fox News hosts were sceptical that the president's tears were genuine, Trump said they were. "I actually think he was sincere, I'll probably go down about 5 points in the polls by saying that, but I think he was sincere," the real estate mogul said. However, he reiterated that he believes the answer to mass shootings is having more guns, not less.
Despite thinking Obama was genuine in his emotion, Trump did not stifle his criticism of the president or other Democrats over their stance on gun violence. "His idea is just taking chunks and chunks out of the Second Amendment until we don't have a Second Amendment anymore, and people need protection," he said. "Hillary Clinton is, I think, worse than Obama on the issue, frankly, she wants to take everyone's gun away."
Trump later told CNN that Obama should move forward with the issue through legislation and not executive orders. "We have to protect the Second Amendment," Trump told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. "We have no choice. We have to do that."
The candidate's comments come a day after Fox News host Andrea Tantaros suggested Obama faked his tears when speaking about the victims of mass shootings in the US. "I would check that podium for like a raw onion or some No More Tears. It's not really believable. And the award goes to...we are in awards season," Tantaros said. Obama announced the package of executive actions, which included 10 separate provisions, on 5 January.