NYC Mayor: Hold Obama, Romney accountable on gun control


Last Updated 10:03 a.m. ET

(CBS News) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a question for President Obama and Mitt Romney in response to the mass shootings in Colorado: "What are you going to do?"

"You know, Governor Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts actually passed a ban on assault weapons, and President Obama when he came into office in 2008 said he would reinstitute a federal ban on assault weapons," Bloomberg told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer, in an interview for "Face the Nation."

"The governor has apparently changed his views, and the president has spent the last three years trying to avoid the issue - or if he's facing it, I don't know anybody that's seen him face it.

"It's time for both of them to be called, held accountable," he continued. "You know, we spend all our time talking about tax returns, and gaffes, and things like that. This is one of those issues, along with a handful of others, that really matter to the American public. It matters to the future of our country, it matters to you and me and to our children and grandchildren. And it's time I think that we hold them accountable and say, 'Okay, you want our votes? What are you going to do?'"

Bloomberg began his remarks by saying that, while "expressing sympathy is nice," incidents like Friday's shooting happen to far too many people.

"There are about 34 people killed with illegal guns every single day," he said before pointing to other recent tragedies.

"Somebody's got to do something about this and it requires, particularly in a presidential year, the candidates for President of the United States to stand up once and for all say, 'Yes they felt terrible, yes it's a tragedy, yes we have great sympathies for the families, but it's time for this country to do something,'" Bloomberg said. "And that's the job of the President of the United States. I don't know what they're gonna do, but I think its incumbent on them to tell us specifically, not just in broad terms."

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The New York City Mayor also said "reasonable restrictions" on guns are constitutional and that federal laws need to be enforced.

"I think the Congress passed reasonable restrictions, but to not enforce them is just ridiculous," he said.

The mayor also noted that the gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, has an effective lobby to remove gun regulations. "The NRA is an organization that is adamant about no controls on weapons, in spite of the fact that we have federal laws that say you cannot sell guns to minors, to people with psychiatric problems or drug problems, or convicted felons.

"And yet they pressure Congress and the White House, and they've been doing it for decades, to not fund enforcement of those laws," he said.