White House pledges to use campaign operation to push gun measures
January 15th, 2013
03:52 PM ET
9 years ago

White House pledges to use campaign operation to push gun measures

Washington (CNN) – Vice President Biden told House Democrats who attended a White House meeting on gun control measures on Monday that the Obama administration intended to mobilize the grassroots operation left over from the 2012 presidential campaign to help push for the gun-related measures it would unveil Wednesday, according to Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, who participated in the meeting.

The New York Democrat suggested that President Obama should take a page from former President Bill Clinton and wage a national campaign to enlist public support for new gun control measures.

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McCarthy didn't know the specifics of what the White House would unveil, or how far the President would go to press Congress to pass an assault weapons ban, saying it was up to the president how aggressive he would be to get proposals passed. "You've got to remember what the president wants and what we can get passed here, and what the Senate can pass are things that we're hoping can make a difference and save lives."

The House Democratic Task Force on Gun Violence, which McCarthy sits on, is scheduled to meet with the National Rifle Association next week.

Chris Cox will be representing the NRA at the meeting, McCarthy said, and told reporters that meeting follows a series of session, including outreach to pro-gun Democrats, and sportsmen groups. The House group, chaired by California Democrat Mike Thompson, will release its recommendations in early February and push for votes in Congress by the spring.

McCarthy expressed pessimism about the chances of getting an assault ban passed in Congress, telling reporters outside the House chamber, "We're not going to get an outright ban." But then later added "I think we should try for it absolutely" and pledged she was committed to enacting a full ban on assault weapons, arguing that public opinion had shifted in favor of one.

"If I see that even here [in Congress] and even the President will push for the assault weapons ban - again the polls are showing overwhelming support for it, but if we cant lift it to get it done than hopefully we'll go for the larger magazines."

Asked about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comment suggesting there aren't the votes for an assault ban in the House, McCarthy stressed that the top Senate Democrat was only referring to the assault ban, and said, "I think he could pass a package – without the ban, and I think he thinks that too, but let's play it out."

McCarthy said some House Republicans have told her privately that they are considering supporting some new gun restrictions. She declined to indentify which members of how many, but said she advised them to publicly announce their support for any new gun legislation separate from Democratic efforts. "Do your own press conference, come out as a group, there's power in numbers, and we [Democrats] should have nothing to do with that."

Filed under: Gun control • President Obama
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. rla

    Guess the Chicago machine just moved to Washington????

    January 15, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Your tears reveal your fears, Teatrolls.


    January 15, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Guess the Chicago machine just moved to Washington????"

    Yes, because clearly, the only party allowed to use any sort of attempt at grassroots mobilization is the GOP/Teatrolls. IOKIYAR IOKIYAR IOKIYAR. Next up, CNN and MSM stories trying to turn this into a bad thing, followed by stories where they interview Teatrolls and help them broadcast batsh-t crazy conspiracy theory nonsense.

    January 15, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Mikey

    Mr. President, just tell me what you would like me to do and I will help in any way I can. We can no longer let the most paranoid among us determine public policy. Sensible restrictions now!

    January 15, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    ......just like Craford idiots moved to DC!!!! Idiot.

    January 15, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Vinnie

    Obama wants a civil war? He may get his wish. Interesting how they twist the facts. 2/3rds of the Nation so not want his gun control. Hammers and cars kill far more people.

    January 15, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    Try grass roots when conventional Representative Govt.(Congress) is broken.

    January 15, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. urownexperience

    When the shooter walked into the school, the janitor ran to his locker where his heat was stashed but slipped on the floor he just waxed and slid out the door, which then locked behind him. Ah well, more training.

    January 15, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Don't look now teatards, but the ban is coming. Stock up on all of your ammunition and run to your bunkers. The black helicopters are coming. Nuts!!!

    January 15, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. urownexperience

    I wonder if gun nuts hide under their beds at night?

    January 15, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Sam

    When are we going to have political mobilization and serious REAL action on the economy and the continued and accelerating bad behavior of Wall St? I mean, we've done practically nothing. Even Reagan's justice dept. put tons of bankers in jail after the Savings and Loan Crisis.

    Its like we can talk about anything except the economy.

    January 15, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Laws against illegal drugs don't keep people from using illegal drugs. Laws against DWI don't keep people from DWI. Laws against murdering by gun don't keep people from murdering by gun. More gun laws will infringe upon the right of law abiding citizens to own and use guns legally. People who plan to use a gun illegally will continue to do so. They don't bother to pay attention to the laws.......past, present and/or future ones.

    January 15, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. DutchLady

    Criminals (murderers, for instance) don't pay attention to laws. Our President is just using these recent killings to convince people getting rid of certain guns/ammo is going to stop these mass murders so he can eventually take ALL guns away from law abiding gun owners.

    January 15, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Blake

    I didn't think they ever do anything else other than campaign. Maybe he can graduate to governing his last year of the 2nd term.

    January 15, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. Sensible gun control now!

    @Vinnie – Yet another threat from the cowardly and childish right. Go ahead and see how much protection your precious guns are from the most awesome military force in the history of the world. This is the reason the "I'm afraid of my Government argument" is a complete joke. I assume most gun owners have their weapons for sporting purposes or personal protection. Then there are those who are paranoid or are waiting for the impending.......? collapse of the government? natural disaster? race war? Those are the ones who probably shouldn't be allowed to own guns.

    January 15, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Moose

    You mean lie cheat and steal ??? forge more votes ??? threaten ??? throw a tizzy ??? have willie ( i cheat on my clinton) say its ok ???? oh thats right go get all the unemployed to start another occupy movement, real productive and more wasted time and funds, great just great !!!

    January 15, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Our President is just using these recent killings to convince people getting rid of certain guns/ammo is going to stop these mass murders so he can eventually take ALL guns away from law abiding gun owners."

    Evidence please. Oh wait, what's that? You have zero evidence for your claims? You're just repeating the substanceless, baseless accusations and wild imaginings piped into your head thru an NRA-issued tinfoil hat? Well, as long as we're clear on that, then please proceed, my friend...derp away to your heart's content.

    January 15, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "I wonder if gun nuts hide under their beds at night?"

    Nah...there's no room with all the boogeymen they keep under there.

    January 15, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. NRAVA

    I hardly think that 38% of the USA is majority! I guess I will have to join the NRA Grassroots campain then! FIX mental healthcare, make the laws tougher on repeat offenders and make people accountable for not properly securing and storing weapons. The politicians want you to forget that the guns in CT were stolen and wouldn't have been stopped by and assault weapons ban, this killing however would have been stopped if his mother would have not being and irresponsible with her weapons allowing a mentally ill person have access to them or if she would have had or been able to get him into the mental healthcare system!

    January 15, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    If you really desire to reduce gun violence then you should prohibit African-American males between the ages of 15-39 from having access to firearms. More than half of the gun violence problem would be solved overnight.

    January 15, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Mikey

    @Moose – You obviously spend too much time in right wing Fantasyland. The actual President is the one who won two elections by a total of 12 million votes, is only the 3rd President in a century to get 51% of the vote twice (only Eisenhower and FDR also did it, not Reagan), had the best campaign organization perhaps in U.S. history, and had the most donors and volunteers of any presidential candidate EVER !!!!! The silly sniping from the right is a reflection on their (your) character – not on the President, who is a greater man than you have ever dreamed of being. I am going to REALLY enjoy Monday's innaugeration and all the whining from the right just makes it all the more satisfying. Thank you.

    January 15, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |