10:33 am Aug. 10, 20127
One way to win over swing voters in the presidential election, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is to advocate gun control.
"I think the ways to get a majority of them would be to stand up and say, 'Look, I'm not gonna be president of the United States and have 48,000 people killed, murdered with illegal guns in the next four years in my term. I'm just not going to do that,'" he said, during his regular Friday morning radio appearance on the John Gambling Show. "'And here's what I'll do. Now, Congress may not pass it. But I'm gonna work as hard as I can. This is where I stand.' And I think that's the ways that they would get a majority of that 20 percent, which is what they need to win.
"And my political analysis—and I should leave it to the pundits, but—40-odd percent are gonna vote for Barack Obama no matter what, and 40-odd percent are gonna vote for Mitt Romney, no matter what, and the whole battle is for that 20 percent in the middle. And those are people who aren't dogmatic. "
(The number of genuine swing voters may be considerably lower than that.)
The mayor has come to represent the face of gun control in the United States (though he prefers the politically modulated term "crime control"), and shows every sign of boosting those efforts come 2014.
In the aftermath of the Aurora shootings, he's repeatedly called on President Obama and Mitt Romney to elucidate some sort of stance on guns. Aside from a assertion by Obama that assault rifles don't belong on the street, which his spokesmen subsequently said the president had no intention of pursuing legislatively, neither has complied.
The mayor, who overturned term limits and spent more than $100 million to win a third term, purports not to understand their motivations.
"And incidentally, as I've said before, if you lose, you lose," he said. "You really want to say, me getting this job is more important than saving lives? Now where'd you learn that? In Civics 101, 102? Not the one I took."
The mayor has yet to endorse a candidate for president, and recently he indicated that gun control would not necessarily swing his endorsement one way or the other.
Today, he implied otherwise.
"I don't know what I'm going to do about endorsement," he said, adding, "I don't think either candidate yet has represented New York in what we really care about, like getting guns off the streets."