Responding to the governor of Illinois, Bloomberg defends his anti-NRA spending
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC has spent more than $2 million in an Illinois special election against a candidate who's won high marks from the National Rifle Association, something that this weekend earned him the criticism of Illinois' Democratic governor, Pat Quinn.
"We should not allow anyone with huge amounts of money to dictate the terms of the political debate," said the governor on Sunday, following an appearance at a church on Chicago's South Side.
In the 2012 elections, Bloomberg's PAC spent $10 million supporting pro gun-control candidates across the country, something that, at the time, he said was nothing more than a test run.
In recent weeks, Bloomberg has gotten heavily involved in the special election to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., spending more than $2.1 million to support a pro-gun control candidate, Robyn Kelly, and to stymie the congressional bid of former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who has opposed, among other things, an assault weapons ban.
Asked today about Quinn's criticism, the mayor said that if guns weren't such a problem, he wouldn't have to spend all that money.
"If we could get Congress to pass sensible gun laws—like requiring background checks on gun show purchases and the internet purchases, and it would be great if we could also ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines—there would be no reason to spend any money on that whatsoever," Bloomberg said.
Asked how much he was willing to spend on this effort, the mayor said, "We'll see."