Bloomberg: Illinois congressional win shows NRA's waning power
February 27th, 2013
02:23 PM ET
2 years ago

Bloomberg: Illinois congressional win shows NRA's waning power

(CNN) - The powerful National Rifle Association lobby should see Tuesday's outcome in a congressional election as a sign that their influence is declining, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, predicting future wins for pro-gun control candidates would require less than the $2 million he injected into this race.

"I think it's a harbinger of what is going to happen here," Bloomberg said in an interview to air Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room."

Illinois state Rep. Robin Kelly defeated former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson on Tuesday in a Democratic primary for the U.S. Congress that was closely watched nationally because Halvorson had once been endorsed by and scored a top rating from the NRA; Bloomberg's super PAC Independence USA invested heavily in this race; and Kelly has spoken out in favor of gun control efforts.

This primary - to replace the disgraced Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. - was the first congressional race since the December 14 Newtown, Connecticut shooting which left 20 students and 6 teachers at an elementary school dead and led to calls from President Barack Obama and others for greater gun control.

Bloomberg's group ran ads in support of Kelly and against two other candidates, Halvorson and a second who dropped out, but he predicted his super PAC wouldn't have to spend so heavily in the future for the election to go his way.

He said the election was "a great victory for our kids who are getting murdered on the streets." Despite his massive spending in the race, he told reporters outside the White House on Wednesday that "I didn't win" in the election.

Instead, he said, the election was a sign of public sentiment.

"You don't have to put money into every race," Bloomberg said in the CNN interview. "At the end, the money doesn't matter - it's the people who show up at the polls."

The climate in Chicago - which saw 506 murders last year, up from 433 murders in 2011, local crime statistics showed - may be especially receptive for a gun control message. Obama recently spoke in the city against gun violence and his wife attended the funeral for a teenage gun violence victim who had participated in the festivities surrounding her husband's second inauguration last month.

"The NRA has had the field to itself of talking about guns and it's time for a balanced approach. The public can get the information and then let the public decide," Bloomberg said.

The district where Kelly won includes parts of Chicago's South Side and is considered a likely win for Democrats in the special election on April 9.

Bloomberg urged Congress to pass a number of gun control measures, including the assault weapons ban and a tightening of background check requirements.

"If it can be done as one package [or] if it can be done individually, as long as they get done I think this country will be a lot better off," he said.

He said none of the senators he met with on Thursday - including majority leader Harry Reid and Republicans Susan Collins, John McCain and Mark Kirk - "made a specific commitment," but "I walked away comfortable that they understand the issue and that they will be there."

An earlier version of this story erroneously reported the number of murders in Chicago last year.


Filed under: Illinois • Michael Bloomberg
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. DENNA

    This is awesome. I think little Wayne LaPierre is losing some of his influence. Seriously, what the heck is wrong with a few really good gun laws? No one is doubting the Second Amendment rights, but I really doubt the interpretation that the NRA has put on it to bolster their need for big guns. I hope that the stranglehold they have is loosening. I am not against gun ownership, but seriously, no one needs an AK-47 unless they are hunting rogue elephants. If you can't hit your targe with a '357 or a '44, you don't need to be shooting.

    February 27, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. rs

    If only it were true. The United States would be a far, far better place if the irresponsible crazies at the NRA were gone, and were't able to peddle their insanity to politicians.

    February 27, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Terry

    "The climate in Chicago – which saw 535 murders last year, up from 433 murders in 2011, local crime statistics showed – may be especially receptive for a gun control message. Obama recently spoke in the city against gun violence and his wife attended the funeral for a teenage gun violence victim who had participated in the festivities surrounding her husband's second inauguration last month. "
    ----------------–
    They already have strict gun control laws in Chicago. Everyone is obeying them except for the criminals.

    February 27, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Tommy G

    It is sad to see that the people of Chicago will contnue to be left defenseless in the face of failed local government, failed local law enforcement and their failed gun control laws. Many more will die as gangs and criminals laugh at the gun control laws that keep everybody but them defenseless. Actually, these stupid people will get exactly what they deserve. Unfortunately, too many young ones will pay the price for their stupidity.

    February 27, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Ancient Texan

    The anti-second admendment zealot has spoken, but the folks in America that are not in NYC, Chicago, and D.C. don't agree.

    February 27, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Ed1

    Not even close this has been and always been an area against the NRA nothing new get a grip people.

    I would say 90% of the anti-gun people out there don't have a clue what they are talking about when it comes to what an assault weapon is.

    Bloomberg is a threat against this Country no matter how you look at it kind of like Obama his way or the highway.

    February 27, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. rs

    Ed1
    And the 2,300 Americans killed by guns since December 14? The slaughter has to end, and the NRA and the GOP have to come to grips with the fact that 90% of Americans want it. More background checks, registration, licensing and no 2nd party sales.

    February 27, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Carson

    For all of you anti-Wall Street types, you should be careful about getting too cozy with Bloomberg. His companies are some of the largest data and information suppliers to the financial community. Did you ever see a trading floor at a brokerage house or an exchange? Chances are those are Bloomberg terminals.

    February 27, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. just askin

    where is all the liberal outrage about outside money buying an election??? not too hypocritical are you?!

    February 27, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. DENNA

    @ Ancient Texan – The anti-second admendment zealot has spoken, but the folks in America that are not in NYC, Chicago, and D.C. don't agree.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................................
    Ancient Texas, I do live in Chicago and I appreciate Bloomberg's PAC. There are too many guns on the street in the wrong hands and "lawful" gun owners are not going to make it better by running around armed to the teeth. It will be just a matter of time until another George Zimmerman stands his/her ground and kills another innocent bystander. By the way, no one has even considered that Zimmerman's victim have been standing his grown and confronting the man (Zimmerman) who was stalking him. What about that?

    February 27, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. just askin

    rs
    And the 2,300 Americans killed by guns since December 14? The slaughter has to end, and the NRA and the GOP have to come to grips with the fact that 90% of Americans want it. More background checks, registration, licensing and no 2nd party sales.
    --
    so how does any of this apply to the gangs and criminals doing the killing? they are already violating hundreds if not thousands of gun laws. do you think a few more will matter to them? total liberal lunacy to push their anti-gun agenda on law abidng citizens they rather see dead, than be able to defend themselves.

    February 27, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. scarf

    I'm not convinced that the proposed gun control laws will prevent the most heinous of these mass shootings, but I've heard nothing from the pro-gun crowd that would change anything, either. Don't tell me that armed guards in the schools will help, either. Columbine had an armed guard. Anyone who uses Columbine as an example of the success of armed guards is being intellectually dishonest. I want to hear some pro-gun person say something that doesn't sound like, "An occasional schoolhouse massacre is the price we pay for our 2nd Amendment rights."

    February 27, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. norma jean

    Any one with a brain cannot help but realize we can"t have idiots going around killing classrooms full of kids and any one else that gets in their way....The morning paper almost always has word of several people shot in any city you read about.. It is getting worse and we don't want to see a repeat of these mass murders ever... How can ANYONE think that their right to own guns is more important than the lives of others..... An assault rifle in not the best for home safety...is not used for hunting...and is only used to kill something or someone....as for the huge ammunition magazines....these are absurd... and should be banned!!!!....... Will you gun owners have to loose a family member or friend to make you wake up????

    February 27, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Terry wrote:

    They already have strict gun control laws in Chicago. Everyone is obeying them except for the criminals.
    -----------------------------
    Actually, the criminals are obeying the laws, too. Instead of purchasing their guns in Chicago, which they can't because of gun laws, they go to Indiana or Kentucky where they can legally purchase them.

    February 27, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. norma jean

    " ED "........ WE NOT ONLY KNOW WHAT AN ASSAULT WEAPON IS...BUT WE KNOW WHAT ITS ONLY USE IS!!!!. GIVE US A LITTLE CREDIT FOR BEING KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT A THREAT TO OUR LIVES..... The threat against our country is not Bloomberg but irresponsible and dangerous gun owners!!!!

    February 27, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Terry

    You know who is the best gun salesman in the world? Or put another way, which one person has caused more firearms to be sold in recent memory?

    Barack H. Obama

    February 27, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Bloomberg: Illinois congressional win shows NRA's waning power"

    And their pathological hissy fit shows they know it.

    February 27, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Guest

    More likely a harbinger of what will be the demise of the dumbocratic party! As the freedoms of Americans are slowly taken away and the swell of misplaced blame and social media driven outrage subsides there will be a growing number who realize what freedom really means. STAND AND FIGHT!

    February 27, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. tony

    @ED1 said bloomberg is a threat to this country.
    No not Bloomberg it is the noeconservative/teadumblikkklans who do not want to compromise, is the real threat to this countries security.

    February 27, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    Terry wrote:
    They already have strict gun control laws in Chicago. Everyone is obeying them except for the criminals.
    ---------–
    Actually, the criminals are obeying the laws, too. Instead of purchasing their guns in Chicago, which they can't because of gun laws, they go to Indiana or Kentucky where they can legally purchase them.
    ---------–

    And what proof do you offer of this totally bogus contention of criminals being able to walk into any gun store in Indiana and Kentucky and buy whatever they want? None of course. Because you don't know what you are talking about. If this was the case, why wouldn't Indiana and Kentucky have the same problem as Chicago? They do not have the problem because they don't have the CRIMINALS!

    But we are used to you and Sniffit making it up as you go along. Nice try though.

    February 27, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Susieq

    I live in down-state Illinois. Most districts in Illinois – 3 exceptions- Cook, Madison & St. Claire counties- wish we could remove all of Cook County from our state. The liberals that have had control of this state is because of these 3 counties. If you don't know anything about guns you shouldn't comment. Denna- you evidently don't because you wouldn't hunt a rogue elephant with an AK-47 or an AR-15. Try understanding what you are wanting to get rid of.

    February 27, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Gurgyl

    NRA is an American Talibab–ban it altogether. Period. Pass gun-ban laws. Nation needs direly.

    February 27, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. bcrunner

    @Terry: Actually the criminals in Chicago... all the have to do is drive about 20 miles outside of the city and buy all the guns they want... drive back into the city and commit all the crimes they want... I have 3 guns in my house and I am not worried the government is coming to get my guns away.. and I don't mind going through a background check.. and, I should be able to go into a gun store, buy 2 or 3 guns and then walk out into the parking lot and sell those guns to anyone I wish... How about some common sense here....

    February 27, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. bcrunner

    Correction to my post above: I should have said "I should not be able to go into a gun store, buy 2 or 3 guns and then..."

    February 27, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Terry

    @Rudy NYC
    "Actually, the criminals are obeying the laws, too. Instead of purchasing their guns in Chicago, which they can't because of gun laws, they go to Indiana or Kentucky where they can legally purchase them."
    -------------------
    Once again you are completely wrong. It is illegal for felons to purchase a firearm.

    Using your distorted logic, if the laws in Indiana and Kentucky are so loose to allow "criminals" to purchase firearms, they why doesn't Indiana and Kentucky have a similar murder rate as Chicago?

    By the way, how does it feel to live in New York City where your midget mayor tells you what to eat and drink?

    February 27, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
1 2