TODAY   |  April 18, 2013

Obama ‘shell-shocked’ over gun bill failure

NBC political director Chuck Todd talks about President Obama’s reaction to the failure of the bill regarding background checks for gun purchases, saying the president is “genuinely angry” it did not pass in the Senate.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let's bring in chuck todd right now, nbc's chief white house correspondent and political director. there's an awful lot on the president's plate right now. he and the first lady heading to boston for that interfaith service today. we've got the letters that have tested positive for ricin and the reaction to gun control . let's start with the trip to boston .

>> right. this is something, and obviously on one hand, there's a little bit of a frustration, or there had been about they didn't have any good leads on the investigation. now they're starting to feel pretty good as if they're on to something. they feel pretty good about where the investigation is headed. and so today, it's -- you know, when you first heard the president speak about boston , there was this sort of sense of almost of a stiff spine, realizing before we were trying to figure out who was behind this. was this an international terrorist attack? was it domestic? what was it? now i think you're going to see him playing the role of what lester was talking about where he's got to be comforting the families and comforting the wounded.

>> and chuck, we want to play a piece of the president's reaction after his gun legislation went down to defeat in the senate yesterday. take a listen.

>> if action by congress could've saved one person, one child, a few hundred, a few thousand, if it could have prevented those people from losing their lives to gun violence in the future, while preserving our second amendment rights, we had an obligation to try. and this legislation met that test. and too many senators failed theirs.

>> chuck, what we see there appears to be very genuine anger. but was there genuine surprise at this result at the white house ?

>> well, there was only surprise when they lost. they knew this was an uphill battle. they knew they probably weren't going to get anything on the president's desk for him to sign. but in the last week when you had this unlikely combination of conservative democrat joe manchin , conservative republican pat toomey of pennsylvania coming together with what looked like the type of compromise that normally does get huge bipartisan support and it didn't happen, it was sort of that's where the white house -- i can tell you, he was genuinely angry. and i think the anger has to do with the fact that it was just he didn't see -- he didn't think they would reject this. he knew that the house, they probably weren't going to get it. and remember, in the state of the union , all he wanted was a vote. well, he got it, he just didn't think they were going to lose.

>> he called out a lot of people. called out the senate, the nra and then called on the american people to express their displeasure with their votes.

>> and he called them liars.

>> yeah, exactly. he called the nra liars.

>> he called the nra liars, i would also say he called out the american people and said you have to sustain passion on this if you want to see change. chuck, with the headlines in washington, thank you very much.