Bloomberg dismisses Dem concerns about gun lobbying, proposes a simpler strategy
Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning dismissed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's reported concerns that by targeting anti-gun control Democrats, Bloomberg was endangering the party's control of the Senate.
"If I wanted to control the Senate and there was an issue that 90 percent of the people across the country want, I might adopt policies that supported that view," said Bloomberg today, at a press conference in SoHo.
The mayor was referring to several polls finding that a vast majority of Americans support expanded background checks for gun purchases.
"If the Democrats want to lose control, just go and support people killing each other with handguns on the streets, and the handguns in the hands of criminals and people with mental problems," continued Bloomberg. "If the Republicans want to win the Senate, what I would do is, I’d go out there and I’d say, 'We support the Second Amendment, but we don't want guns in the hands of criminals and people with mental problems. Period. That’s just dangerous. Whether you're a gun owner or not.'"
In recent years, Bloomberg has made himself the face of the national gun control movement.
Following Adam Lanza's massacre of 20 small children in Newtown, Bloomberg worked with Vice President Joe Biden to craft a bill that would have expanded the nation's background check system to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from purchasing guns.
The effort failed to attract enough votes in the Senate to overcome an implied Republican filibuster, and Bloomberg has vowed to exact retribution on those Senators who voted against it. Four of those senators were Democrats from gun-rights states.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which he co-founded and underwrites, has already begun running ads targeting, among others, Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, one of the Democrats who voted against the bill.
Today, Politico reported that Reid's staff had warned Bloomberg's that his targeting of Democrats like Pryor might endanger the Democrats' control of the Senate.
"So Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell, if they want to talk to their members and say 'Hey, we want to be in charge next year,' great," said Bloomberg today. "It’s pretty obvious how you do it. I don’t know there’s ever been an issue where 90 percent of the people want something and Congress has gone against it. I don’t think ever. So they want a strategy. They don’t have to be rocket scientists to figure this one out."