Left and Right Already Swinging at Mark Pryor

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Monday, Jun. 17, 2013 7:34 am  

Mark Pryor's re-election race is 17 months away, but the Democratic incumbent seen as perhaps the most vulnerable in 2014 is already taking hits from the right and the left. (Photo by Trent Ogle)

Without an opponent, Pryor is casting the fight over gun control as one with Bloomberg.

"The mayor of New York City is running ads against me because I opposed President Obama's gun control legislation. Nothing in the Obama plan would have prevented tragedies like Newtown, Aurora, Tucson or even Jonesboro," Pryor says in his television ad. "I'm committed to finding real solutions to gun violence while protecting our Second Amendment rights."

When Bloomberg's group ran ads before the background checks vote, Pryor responded: "I don't take gun advice from the mayor of New York City. I listen to Arkansans."

He's also distanced himself from Obama and national Democrats on other issues. He's opposed gay marriage despite a growing chorus of support from lawmakers from his party in other states and criticized the Internal Revenue Service for targeting conservative groups.

Pryor said he's trying to keep his focus on Arkansas.

"All I can do is be the very best senator I can be. I wish these outside groups would let me do that and not have to fool around with the election," Pryor said. "People in Arkansas are tired of the election. They want us to get up to Washington and take care of the nation's business."

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