President Obama angrily blamed the defeat Wednesday of his centerpiece gun-control proposal on lies spread by the National Rifle Association, calling it “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
“The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” Mr. Obama said in the White House rose garden about 90 minutes after the vote. “It came down to politics.”
As he spoke, Mr. Obama was surrounded by family members of victims of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Also with him was former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, wounded in an assassination attempt.
Senators voted 54-46 late Wednesday to expand background checks of gun purchases, six votes shy of the 60 needed for passage of the amendment.
The vote was a huge blow to the president’s efforts since the Newtown, Conn., school massacre last December to enact a broad package of new gun laws. Mr. Obama and his team had considered background checks the most likely gun restriction to be approved by Congress, with polls showing as much as 90 percent of the public in favor of the measure immediately after the Newtown shootings.
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