Axelrod: GOP Must Act on Gun Control to Remain National Party

Sunday, 31 Mar 2013 12:04 PM

By Greg Richter

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Republicans must make up their minds whether they want to be a national party or a regional congressional party, and that hinges on their position with respect to gun control, Democratic strategist David Axelrod said.

“I heard Sen. (Jeff) Flake say it’s a bridge too far. Well, 90 percent of Amercians have crossed that bridge — 86 percent of Republicans,” Axelrod said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He was referring to a CBS News poll of Americans’ opinion on background checks.

Axelrod said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a good foil for Democrats who have joined Republicans in opposition. Their mantra: “I’m not gonna let somebody from New York City tell me how to vote.”

But Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has been running ads targeting member of Congress who are opposed to gun legislation.

“There are members for whom this could be an issue, especially if Bloomberg turns up the heat in the upcoming campaign,” Axelrod said.

Added former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., “It’s tough. It’s an intensity issue. Polls measure one thing, but the people who vote on it tend to be the people who don’t want the changes.”

In rural districts, Davis said, there’s no support at all for the legislation.

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