CNN's Chris Cuomo was barely able to mask his outrage during an interview Tuesday with Republican House candidate Tyler Tannahill, who has refused to suspend his campaign's AR-15 giveaway contest even after the same weapon was used to kill 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school last week. "Help me understand, brother," Cuomo said. "Why, after this, would you want to give away the same weapon used to kill all those kids?"
Tannahill, a candidate for Congress in Kansas, announced the giveaway on Feb. 13, a day before the Valentine's Day shooting. After the attack, he said his campaign considered what he called "the typical Republican response: 'Let's hide in our holes, let's say thoughts and prayers and move on.'" He said they ultimately decided against it: "We do have a problem, we have to protect our students, we have to protect our teachers," he told Cuomo.
An emotional Cuomo tried to offer some perspective. "God forbid you knew somebody who was in that school," he said. "And then, right on the heels of [the shooting], when you're trying to get your mind around this madness, there's a guy giving away the same damn weapon that just took your loved one's life."
Cuomo added: "You think that would be seen as a constructive step forward in a conversation about how to stop it, or a slap in the face, and somebody just shaming you with what you had to live through?" Watch the tense exchange below. Jeva Lange