Obama won't support any Dem candidates who don't back gun reform

Obama won't support any Dem candidates who don't back gun reform

President Obama said Thursday evening that he will not campaign for any candidate that doesn't back up his efforts on gun control, a major focus of his last year in office.

"I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform," Obama wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

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Obama's remarks came shortly before a town hall Thursday evening on CNN where he'll discuss his executive actions on guns unveiled earlier this week.

Those measures would expand background checks for some gun sales, tighten enforcement of existing laws and take steps to curb gun violence.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMueller recommends Papadopoulos be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison Poll: Dem opponent leads Scott Walker by 5 points Cuomo fires back at Trump: 'America is great because it rejects your hate-filled agenda' MORE, the Democratic presidential front-runner, earlier this week praised Obama's gun action. Clinton has also argued that her primary rival for the Democratric nomination, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersRealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win Sanders tests his brand in Florida Ocasio-Cortez slammed for banning press from public event MORE (I-Vt.), isn't tough enough on guns.

Clinton seized on the issue toward the end of last year in the wake of a series of high-profile mass shootings,

Gun violence is expected to be a focus of Obama's last State of the Union next week.

Obama's message to candidates comes just weeks before ballots are cast in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, where Clinton and Sanders are battling.