After the U.S. Senate confirmed Justice Sonia Sotomayor in August, a debate began over how much influence the National Rifle Association had over the final tally of 68-31. Liberals said the NRA, which opposed Sotomayor, had failed, while conservatives said they were encouraged the gun-rights group even got involved.

Gregory Craig, who helped direct the confirmation as White House counsel, said Tuesday that the NRA opposition certainly hurt.