Democratic candidate challenges Obama's record on gun control

Obama has made gun control an early priority in his second term, issuing an appeal for Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons, placing limits on ammunition magazines and requiring universal background checks for gun buyers. He was in Chicago last Friday to tout his proposals. 

But Beale's adviser, Delmarie Cobb, quotes a 2010 Christian Science Monitor article that says Obama has only ever signed laws relaxing gun regulation. Cobb also points out that the pro-gun-control Brady Campaign gave Obama an "F" rating in 2010.

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Beale is facing off against former Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), whose support of gun rights has drawn national attention and money to the race, as well as former Cook County Administrator Robin Kelly (D), who's received the backing of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and a number of high-profile Democrats, including many close to Obama.

Kelly has become the anointed anti-Halvorson candidate, which has hurt Beale's ability to break through ahead of the Feb. 26 Democratic primary. Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, another high-profile Democrat, dropped out of the race last weekend. 

Beale is not the only candidate angry about the support Kelly is getting. After Hutchinson withdrew and endorsed Kelly, Halvorson accused them of a striking the deal in "a behind the scenes closed door meeting."

Kelly's campaign pushed back, accusing Halvorson of going "off the rails" and promoting "conspiracy theories."

The statement from Beale's consultant reserves most of its ire for Kelly, but also hits Obama and Bloomberg. It's unclear whether criticizing the president will be helpful — Obama remains highly popular in his hometown, and the district is heavily African-American.

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