Intense opposition from the National Rifle Association has all but doomed prospects for Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, President Obama’ss nominee for surgeon general as pro-gun Senate Democrats peeled away from the White House on a volatile issue in an election year, the Los Angeles Times reports. Facing a potential high-profile setback for the president, the White House is not pushing for a vote to confirm Murthy, a Harvard- and Yale-educated internist and former emergency room doctor who has advocated for stricter gun control laws.
Democratic leaders in the Senate have begun surveying senators to determine whether there is enough support to save the troubled nomination. Few Republicans are expected to back Murthy, and as many as eight Democrats also could be opposed. “We don’t expect a vote to happen,” a Senate aide said. The divide between the White House and the president’s party has widened as Obama’s low poll numbers leave Democrats increasingly concerned about their chances in the November midterm election and whether they could lose their majority in the Senate. The NRA said “Dr. Murthy’s record of political activism in support of radical gun control measures raises significant concerns.”