POLITICS
12/16/2012 05:02 pm ET Updated Dec 18, 2012

Michael Bloomberg: NRA Power Is 'Vastly Overrated'

Standing as one of the nation's most vocal politicians for gun control, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg downplayed the "vastly overrated" power of one of the nation's most prominent gun-lobbying groups on Sunday.

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting, Bloomberg appeared on NBC's "Meet The Press," addressing the notion that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has kept officials from taking action on the guns issue.

"The NRA's number one objective this time was to defeat Barack Obama for a second term," he said. "Last time I checked the election results, he won and he won comfortably. This myth that the NRA can destroy political careers is just not true."

The mayor's "Meet The Press" comments coincided with the decision made by 31 pro-gun rights lawmakers' to decline an appearance on the same show.

"We reached out to all 31 pro-gun rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on the subject this morning," host David Gregory said. "We had no takers."

"Meet The Press" did not release a list of the names of those elected officials. But the show did tell The Huffington Post that the group was comprised of 113th Congress members who were given an "A" rating by gun groups -- specifically the NRA and Gun Owners Of America.

Bloomberg also reinforced his Friday comments that President Barack Obama must take "immediate action" on gun control, adding that "this should be his No. 1 agenda."

"The public, when you do the polls, they want to stop this carnage," he said. "And if 20 kids isn't enough to convince them, I don't know what would be."

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