Romney-backer Melissa Joan Hart undecided for 2016
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She supported Mitt Romney in 2012, but Melissa Joan Hart says it’s too early to determine which presidential contender she’ll cast her ballot for next year.

“There’s a lot of research that has to happen first,” the “Clarissa Explains It All” star told ITK. ”I want to hear them all speak, and I want to hear who wants to run."


Hart — who has said she got “called every name in the book” after tweeting her support for the GOP candidate to her more than half a million followers three years ago — has some work to do this time around. “I’m not that up on 2016 yet. I’ve got to do some research, for sure. Like we all do.”

The actress and director appeared at the National Press Club in downtown Washington on Monday to launch a new gun safety campaign called Be SMART, with the organizations Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety.

Hart says although gun ownership can be a hot-button issue, the public education initiative she’s touting isn’t political. “The Be Smart campaign is simply being responsible and just gun safety. If you own a gun, if you don’t own a gun, that’s your choice. But if you do own a gun, just be responsible.”

The “Melissa & Joey” star and mother of three boys says she was drawn to promoting gun safety after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“I couldn’t wrap my head around it,” she says, “I had just had my third son. And there was nothing anyone could do to make that situation better. And the only thing we can do moving forward is to try to prevent things like that from happening again.”

Hart appeared to choke up as she heard the stories from women affected by gun violence, including Texas mom Ashley Beal, whose 4-year-old son Codrick McCall Jr. died from an unintentional self-inflicted gunshot wound last month.

“I’m not a crier, but this is really powerful to me,” Hart told the crowd, seemingly holding back tears.

“Eighty percent of kids know where their parents’ loaded guns are, even if the parents don’t know that they know,” Hart later said.

Despite the serious subject, there were moments of levity Monday. When ITK noted the numerous amount of D.C.-based journalists Hart had recently followed on Twitter, she said it wasn’t a calculated move ahead of her trip to Washington: "I move in groups as I start thinking about certain things. Like in Australia, they thought that I was going to do some reality show down there because I started following all of Australia’s politicians and celebrities.”

She continued with a laugh, “I started off with following off all of Alabama’s football team, and I almost became an ESPN announcer for a minute there. It’s just a fun move I do on Twitter.”