Bloomberg: Illinois congressional win shows NRA's waning power
February 27th, 2013
02:23 PM ET
10 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."

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

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. Sniffit

    "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?"

    Who said "gun store"? These are "private transactions" that are not required to go through background checks, not required to be registered and require no fitness-to-carry evaluations. They happen completely and utterly under the radar. Know what that's called if it's not made legal via loopholes in the regulations? That's right...a black market.

    February 27, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Donna asked:

    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.
    Proof you ask? Poof, here it is. More than half of the guns being recovered from criminals and crime scenes can be traced to having originally been sold in Indiana or Kentucky alone.

    February 27, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Terry


    @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....
    I have no problem with background checks. I would never sell a firearm to anyone without a background check.

    February 27, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. just askin

    so has this blowhard liberal buffoon gotten rid of his armed protection detail? when he does then he can talk about disarming the rest of us.

    February 27, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Joe

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg your never getting my weapons.

    February 27, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. jane

    @just askin (aka just sayin): Do you EVER listen to what comes out of your mouth or put in print?? It's really rather embarrassing.

    February 27, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Charlie Daniels

    Rudy – For the thousandth time – Criminals are not leaving the Chicago area or state to purchase firearms. You keep spewing the same garbage over and over again. Ole' Tyrone will let you borrow his piece for a forty or sell it to you for some PCP. How can you honestly defend policies that disarm the law abiding citizens that unfortunately have to live in and around that cesspool?

    February 27, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. jane

    @Terry: You know, you're right. PRESIDENT Obama has caused many firearms to be purchased, because of the hysterical, uninformed reactions of bigots and cowards listenin to fear mongers and draft dodgers like Limbaugh and LaPierre.

    February 27, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Terry wrote

    I have no problem with background checks. I would never sell a firearm to anyone without a background check.
    If you say criminals cannot buy guns in a store then guess what? Some "law abiding citizen" is selling weapons and ammo to your criminals. LaPierre doesn't want to do anything to stop it, either. He wants to sell as many guns as possible to as many people as possible, no matter who you are.

    February 27, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. rs

    just askin

    where is all the liberal outrage about outside money buying an election??? not too hypocritical are you?!
    You mean the dump truck of money the Koch Bros and Edelson spent on Romney- too bad their loss.

    February 27, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Tony D

    This tiny little fart of a mayor obviously has a Napolean Complex. He's just another rich liberal that thinks he knows better how all of us should live our lives, right down to the size of our soda cup. Stupid New Yorkers kept this guy in office for what? Did he offer to wipe their backside and burp them too? Honestly, people like this idiot are a great danger to freedom in this country.

    February 27, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Ed1


    Lets get rid of all cars and trucks that don't have backup cameras they kill 50 children a week you are a joke.

    How many of the people killed were from gangs and people who will steal a gun so the can kill you with no questions asked.

    I put you right up there with Bloomberg and that's not saying much.


    Agree with your comments on Rudy NYC must not work for a living at least I did and got out of the rat race love being retired.

    February 27, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Charlie Daniels

    Rudy- As always and to no surprise it took 2 seconds to call your BS. Saying you have proof is not stating your fabricated facts. New York Times January 2013 article: 50,000 guns recovered in Chicago between 2001 and March 2012: Illinois 22,051, Indiana 7,747, Miss 4,296, Wisconsin1,647, Kentucky 1,226, Ohio 1,121, Tenn 1,090, Alabama 1,070, Arkansas 944, Texas 937. Personally, if I was a criminal I would have traveled from any number of these states and headed off to the land of the unarmed in Chicago. Free game.

    February 27, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    Bloomberg, the gun control champion........lies to the people, yet again!

    February 27, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
1 2