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Doug Jones tackles gun rights, abortion and health care in national interview

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones is hitting the ground running. On the first day after former state Chief Justice Roy Moore won the Republican nomination, Jones began campaigning in Birmingham and took to the national airwaves to spread his message.

The interview on MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily with Chuck Todd, Jones — who is now facing off against Moore, a conservative stalwart — tackled hot-button issues like gun rights, abortion and health care reform.

“We are going to be talking about issues that are important to everybody across the state,” Jones said. “People in the state of Alabama know me.  They’ve seen me over the years, and I think that they respect what I’ve done as a U.S. attorney in my professional career.  And that’s what people are looking for.  They’re looking for a change.”

With recent Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, some Democrats — including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — have introduced bills for single-payer, Medicare-for-all plans.

Jones said he is not ready to support that type of health care system.

“I’m not there on universal health care like that, or Medicare for All,” Jones said. “I do favor a public option for health care.  But I’d like, I need to look at those numbers.  You know, that’s going to be an expensive proposition.”

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On abortion, Jones said he supports a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body.

“I’m going to stand up for that, and I’m going to make sure that that continues to happen,” he said. “I want to make sure that as we go forward, people have access to contraception, they have access to the abortion that they might need, if that’s what they choose to do.”

Todd asked Jones a series of questions in the 7-minute long interview, televised nationally. On gun rights , Jones said he is “a Second Amendment guy.”

“We’ve got limitations on all constitutional amendments in one form or another,” Jones said.  “I want to enforce the laws that we have right now. The biggest issue, I think, that’s facing the Second Amendment right now is that we need to make sure we shore up the National Crime Information System, the NCIC system for background checks, to both keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but at the same time, cut down on error so that law-abiding citizens can get those.”

Jones said he loves to hunt and has a case full of his own guns, but wants to make sure regulations are “smart.”

Jones will face off against Moore in December in the statewide election to decide who will be Alabama’s next junior senator.

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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