Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that President Barack Obama should unleash his vast network of campaign volunteers and supporters to help promote his new gun control proposals.
Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Gibbs, who was an adviser to the president's re-election campaign, said the president's campaign army could help counter any effort by the powerful National Rifle Association to prevent Congress from enacting new gun control laws.
"The president has the most exciting campaign apparatus ever built," Gibbs said, referring to a sophisticated list of millions of "Obama for America" volunteers that helped him win a second term in the White House.
"It's time to turn that loose for something more than just an election."
Gibbs added, "If the NRA's got a list [of supporters] then Obama for America has a bigger list. It's time to get activated again. I would turn them loose in a battle that's so important for our kids. "
Gibbs called the president's scheduled announcement today of new gun control measures and other proposals to help stem gun violence in America just "the beginning of a very long, arduous campaign." He said the president would also have "to get out of the White House and make his case to the American people" by traveling the country and using his base of supporters to spread the word as well.
He also advised the president to "get on the phone" with each member of Congress individually to explain why doing more to prevent gun violence is important.
Noting the reluctance of many in Congress to defy the NRA, Gibbs said, "I'm sure there's not a member in Congress that hasn't been told how many people have joined the NRA in their district" since the Newtown, Conn. shootings.
That's why, he added, the president needs to "make a concerted effort" to raise more public support for getting his proposals through Congress.
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