The blunt exchanges came on the same day that Mr. Obama pledged in an Op-Ed article published by The New York Times that he would not “campaign for, vote for or support” any candidates, including Democrats, who do not support “common-sense” gun control measures.
Taken together, the twin public-relations efforts reflect the president’s desire to demonstrate for his supporters a commitment to gun control even as he seeks to reassure gun owners that he has no intention of confiscating their weapons.
In the article, Mr. Obama urged Americans who agree with him on gun control measures to join him in pushing to elect new lawmakers in Congress.
“We need the vast majority of responsible gun owners who grieve with us after every mass shooting, who support common-sense gun safety and who feel that their views are not being properly represented, to stand with us and demand that leaders heed the voices of the people they are supposed to represent,” Mr. Obama wrote.
The election-year warning is a reminder by the president to the Democrats campaigning to replace him, including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, that they must not stray too far from his agenda. Mrs. Clinton has pushed aggressively for more gun control measures, and Mr. Sanders, who has been accused of being too friendly to the firearms industry, also says he backs Mr. Obama’s actions.