The White House has taken such great care to tip the public relations battle for new policy in its favor that administration officials even bought the silence of gun-control groups with promises of access to meetings.
Politico reports the reason gun-control groups — like the Brady Campaign, Third Way and Mayors Against Illegal Guns — have been strangely silent in the continuing Capitol Hill debate is because of one reason: They were asked by White officials to keep quiet. And White House officials asked them to be quiet because they knew the gun-control reforms they were pursuing would be controversial in Americans' eyes, and they wanted to control the public message, Politico says.
In exchange, Politico reports, these groups were given the right to attend high-level policy meetings on gun control and give their opinions behind closed doors. They were also guaranteed weekly discussions with Vice President Joseph R. Biden's chief of staff, Bruce Reed, Politico reported.
The caveat on those meetings, too: Keep quiet.
"The implication is very, very strong when they are calling these meetings, and we are all sitting there," said one regular attendee, who like the others, would only speak about them anonymously, Politico reports. "It's not like they're being bullies, it's them bringing everybody together, not being one-off meetings with groups that might be interested in things other than the bottom line, not providing the for that kind of stuff."
Another participant of the closed-door session with Mr. Reed told Politico: "You're glad to be in the room."
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