FISHERSVILLE, Virginia — The National Rifle Association, the biggest gun rights lobby in the United States, announced Thursday its endorsement of Republican Mitt Romney for president.
“I am proud to have their support for my candidacy, and when I am president, I will do all in my power to defend and protect the right of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms,” Romney said in a statement.
NRA Political Victory Fund chair Chris Cox said it was important to have “a friend of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage in the White House,” referring to the part of the US Constitution which enshrines the right to bear arms.
“Today we live in an America… led by a president who mocks our values, belittles our faith, and is threatened by our freedom,” said Cox in Fishersville, Virginia, where Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, a congressman and avid hunter, attended a rally.
“So on behalf of the four million men and women of the National Rifle Association, representing tens of millions of NRA supporters, it is my honor to announce the NRA’s endorsement of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan,” Cox said in a statement.
Obama incurred the wrath of conservatives and gun owners in April 2008 when, as a Democratic presidential candidate, he told donors in liberal California that amid economic decline, some people “get bitter (and) cling to guns or religion.”
NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre spoke of the tight Obama-Romney race playing out in Virginia, “the front line of this election.”
“This is where the race could be won or lost,” he said. “This is where gun owners must make that difference.”
Gun control has not emerged as a campaign issue this year despite tragedies including the 2011 shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a political event in Arizona in which six people died, and the shooting at a Colorado theater during a screening of a Batman movie in July that left 12 people dead.
A survivor of the Colorado shooting made an advertisement this week calling for the candidates to finally address gun violence, as has New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but the issue has received scant attention on the campaign trail.
The NRA’s support of Romney is somewhat controversial in that Romney once favored a toughening of some gun laws. In 2004, while governor of Massachusetts, he signed off on a permanent assault weapons ban for the state.
“These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense,” Romney said at a July 1, 2004 signing ceremony, according to non-profit group Media Matters, which posted a copy of a state press release on its website.
“They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people,” Romney said.
Romney’s 2012 political platform, however, states that “Mitt does not believe that the United States needs additional laws that restrict the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019