Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the National Rifle Association as a powerful organization, arguing that President Obama’s campaign apparatus can overwhelm opposition to new gun restrictions.
“The NRA is continually trumpeting [that] they increased their membership by ‘x’ amount in this month,” Gibbs said on Morning Joe today. “The president has the most exciting campaign apparatus ever built. It’s time to turn that loose. It’s time to turn that loose for something more than just an election. If the NRA’s got a list, then Obama for America has a bigger list and it is time to get activated again.”
The NRA says it has gained a quarter-million new members in the month since the Newtown shooting. “I warned you this day was coming and now it’s here,” Wayne LaPierre wrote in a fundraising email to supporters, per The Washington Post. “It’s not about protecting your children. It’s not about stopping crime. It’s about banning your guns … PERIOD!”
Gibbs thinks the Obama campaign can bury the NRA. “This list will get active and it will do things if the person in charge of this list asks them to do so,” he said, suggesting that Obama campaign volunteers should “get on that old pair of shoes that they knocked on doors with and get out there and do something.”
If Gibbs is right, that’ll be a significant improvement over the first term for Democrats. In Massachusetts, for instance, 850,000 Obama voters failed to turn out for Martha Coakley in her doomed campaign against Scott Brown.
“The relationship-building process we did with Obama for America,” OFA director Mitch Stewart told Rolling Stone after that race, “is not something you can manufacture in three weeks.”