Sen. Manchin: I'm not supporting gun ban, I'm supporting 'conversation' on guns

Manchin's comments Wednesday morning came two days after, during an appearance on MSNBC, he called for "action" on gun violence in response to a shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Since Manchin's MSNBC appearance, he has been regularly mentioned as one of a number of legislators who have called for new action in response to Friday's shooting. That group of legislators also includes Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who, like Manchin, has an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association. President Obama also phoned Manchin on Tuesday to discuss gun violence.

On Tuesday, the NRA said it was prepared to "offer meaningful contributions" to prevent another shooting massacre. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) plans to introduce a new federal assault-weapons ban in the next Congress. Manchin would not say whether he planned to support the legislation.

"I absolutely cannot say that I do. But what I can say absolutely is I'm willing to look at. We got a copy of Dianne Feinstein's bill last night, 11 o'clock," Manchin said. "We're dissecting, breaking it down now, but I would tell my dear friend and colleague from California that if you're going to introduce that bill solo thinking it's all the gun owners problem and the NRA's problem and they're the villain in this, you're wrong. You better be working with us in a commission that looks at everything."

Manchin added that he was not walking back his comments from Monday.

"I'm saying it more articulate today than I said it on Monday," Manchin said.

The senator from West Virginia added that he never said he was for more gun control.

"I saw some of the media say 'Oh Joe Manchin's open to gun control.' I never said I supported it, I said I'm open to looking at the assault [weapons], open to looking at the clips, open to looking at the mental illness, open to looking at the violence in our culture because of our media."

Also on Wednesday, Obama announced a new task force headed by Vice President Biden that will work on recommending "real reforms" to reduce gun violence.

"The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing," Obama said during his announcement.