By Amie Parnes - 10/02/15 05:04 PM EDT
President Obama said on Friday he plans to keep talking about gun control and “will politicize” the issue for the remainder of his time in office.
“The politics has to change,” Obama told reporters at a press conference at the White House, one day after nine people were shot by a lone gunman at an Oregon community college.
But the president conceded that he is up against the strength of gun rights supporters led by the National Rifle Association, who he argued “know how to stir up fear.”
“They know how to stir up the base. They know how to scare politicians,” he said.
During the news conference, Obama was also asked about comments Friday from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is running for the Oval Office next year, when he surmised that “stuff happens” and that more government isn't necessarily the solution to mass shootings.
“I don’t even think I have to react to that,” the president said. “I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgment based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting. And, in terms of — they can decide whether they consider that ‘stuff happens.’”
Bush made the remark in question at the Conservative Leadership Project in South Carolina on Friday.
“We’re in a difficult time in our country, and I don’t think more government is necessarily the answer to this,” Bush said. “I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else, it’s very sad to see. But I resist the notion — and I had this challenge as governor, because, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis, and the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”
Obama's press conference comes a day after he delivered blistering remarks about gun control. On Friday Obama pledged to keep bringing the issue to the surface in the “hope that I'm changing enough minds.”
“I don't think that's going to happen overnight,” he said.
Bradford Richardson contributed.