New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe the recall last week of two Colorado state senators who voted for expanded gun control laws was a loss for his gun control group.
The recall has widely been viewed as a battle between Bloomberg’s gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which sent dozens of organizers to Colorado in support of the senators, and the National Rifle Association, which pushed for the recall and supported their opponents. However, at a press conference Wednesday, Bloomberg argued the election was really a victory for advocates of stricter gun control because the laws supported by the senators were still in place.
“The truth of the matter is, in Colorado, the NRA lost. We got the law passed, and it’s the law of Colorado,” said Bloomberg. “It helps the citizens of Colorado, but because you can buy guns and transport them easily across borders, all the other 49 states in this country are better off.”
Bloomberg also said the NRA was only able to defeat two politicians that they identified as especially weak.
“Nineteen senators stood up to the special interest pressures and voted to pass a gun background check on all gun sales. Instead of challenging all the members that voted for the bill, the NRA picked out four of the most vulnerable … and tried to mount a recall election against them,” Bloomberg said. “They failed to get enough signatures for two of the four. … They did get enough signatures of two cherry picked races that — including one against someone who was term limited — leaving office in three months anyway — and they funded a major campaign to go after them.”
Bloomberg went on to dispute the notion the Colorado recall was simply a referendum on guns by claiming the opponents went after the two senators on an array of issues.
“They threw the sink at them, accused them of everything from Obamacare, to civil unions, to drivers license for undocumented immigrants. I mean it was every single argument that they could get to stir up dissension against them,” said Bloomberg. “It was not just on guns, although thats the way the NRA phrased it.”
Bloomberg described the two recall contests as “teeny, tiny elections” and said the gun control laws had the support of the majority of people in Colorado.
“Something like 50,000 people out of 5 million in the state voted, so it was not a lot. And, incidentally, the will of the the people strongly supported in every poll these background checks and opposed these recalls,” Bloomberg said. “What happened there did not reflect the will of the people of Colorado.”