President Joe Biden is withdrawing David Chipman as his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) after months of struggling to win support for the controversial nominee, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday.
The move marks a setback in Biden’s confiscatory gun agenda, which Chipman, a gun control lobbyist, gave every indication of supporting wholeheartedly.
Chipman’s work at the gun control lobby Giffords and patronizing comments about gun owners contributed to the setback.
Biden walks back ATF pick
Biden, for his part, has said the Second Amendment is not “absolute” and has mocked those who say it provides a safeguard against tyranny. In past incendiary statements, Chipman made clear that he shared Biden’s contemptuous views of gun owners.
In remarks that resurfaced following his nomination, Chipman compared gun owners to people preparing for a zombie apocalypse, falsely stated that the Branch Davidians shot down helicopters during the ATF’s deadly Waco siege in Texas, and said the First Amendment is “frustrating,” according to various reports.
Biden was forced to withdraw Chipman’s nomination Thursday, but not without whining that Republicans blocked the “exemplary” nominee.
“Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have made clear that they intend to use gun crime as a political talking point instead of taking serious steps to address it,” the president said, according to Politico.
Always blaming Republicans
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden also accused Republicans of choosing to support “gun manufacturers over the overwhelming majority of the American people” who support so-called “commonsense” background checks, presenting Chipman as a moderate pick despite the serious red flags raised by his background.
Former colleagues of Chipman at the ATF had spoken out against his nomination, calling him an arrogant bully with an agenda.
While Biden blamed Republicans for the defeat, Chipman had failed to win over Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT), among others, Politico noted.
Chipman now joins the dubious company of Neera Tanden, Biden’s defeated nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), who was spiked by Manchin. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) welcomed the news, calling Chipman a “partisan, anti-Second Amendment activist,” as Politico reported.
The rabid activist said he expected difficulty getting confirmed and said it “remains essential that ATF is led by a confirmed Director who is accountable to the public and places no special interests before the safety of our children and our communities.”