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“Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them,” the former Arkansas governor said, according to Politico. “A lot of these people live in a world very different from the world lived in by the people proposing these things.”

White House senior adviser David Plouffe, who appeared on several political talk shows Sunday, indicated that the administration is confident that immigration reform — another of Mr. Obama’s second-term priorities — is heading for congressional approval. On gun control, though, the longtime Obama strategist was less certain.

“There’s no reason that immigration reform first shouldn’t pass,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think on gun safety, we have a very good opportunity.

“I think there are 60 votes in the Senate, 218 votes in the House, if these votes come up for some of these gun-safety measures.”

Mr. Blunt, a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee and the fifth-ranked Republican in the upper chamber, left the door open on whether he and other gun-rights proponents could support the expanded background checks for gun purchases — one of Mr. Obama’s proposals.

“We ought to talk about that. Let’s look at that and see. We’ve had proposals before in Congress that tried to deal with some of the loopholes. … I think that gun owners are generally for that, but you’ve got to have a proposal that works,” Mr. Blunt said.

He was decidedly less interested in the proposed limits on assault weapons and magazine capacities.

“We had bans on things for a decade that didn’t seem to make a difference at all,” he said.