Prominent gun-control advocate and mass-shooting survivor Gabby Giffords will support Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, according to CBS News. The former Congresswoman’s endorsement, obtained by CNN, insists that Clinton is the only candidate for president “that has the determination and toughness to stand up to the corporate gun lobby.” The announcement follows a very public and emotional push by President Obama for more gun-control measures over the past week, during which he announced a series of executive actions designed to shore up and expand existing gun laws — moves strongly supported by Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. Obama has also declared that he will not campaign for any candidate who does not support “common-sense gun reform,” a move which some perceived as a slight directed at Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders voted for an NRA-supported 2005 law, which excused gun manufacturers from legal liability over any deaths resulting from the use of their products, a vote Sanders has previously linked to the prevalence of gun owners in his home state of Vermont. Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Sanders added that he was originally wary of how “complicated” the bill was, but would be willing to reexamine the legislation.
Clinton, who voted against the 2005 bill, is trying to make gun control a major differentiating factor between herself and Sanders in what remains a very tight two-way race ahead of the first Democratic contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Sanders continues to perform well in polls, with a new Marist/WSJ/NBC poll indicating that among likely primary voters, he was only three percentage points behind Clinton in Iowa. According to Real Clear Politics, Sanders also maintains a slight lead in New Hampshire polls.