NRA Takes Aim at Obama Using Hillary's Words


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NRA Takes Aim at Obama Using Hillary's Words - Elections

NRA Takes Aim at Obama Using Hillary's Words
WASHINGTON: The National Rifle Association endorsed John McCain for president Thursday and produced a full-page newspaper ad in which it uses a mailing by Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries to criticize Barack Obama.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

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WASHINGTON -- The National Rifle Association endorsed John McCain for president Thursday, saying McCain "has more than two decades of pro-gun and pro-hunting votes in Congress" and slamming Barack Obama for "his radical record of opposition to our constitutional rights."

The organization also pulled the trigger on a full-page national newspaper ad that revives a mailing in which Hillary Clinton accused Obama of hedging on gun issues.

The Clinton mailing, which was sent during the Democratic primaries, accused Obama of changing his statements on gun issues to to fit his audience.

"Hillary was right: You can't trust Obama with your guns," says the NRA political action committee's ad, which appears in USA Today on Thursday.

The ad includes a reproduction of Clinton's mailing, which mentioned Obama's comment at an April fundraiser in San Francisco that some small-town voters bitter about lost jobs "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

"We believe that he's trying to fog the issue and confuse the voter, and he says he's for the Second Amendment while he votes to run the firearms industry and the Second Amendment out of business," Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president, said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.

The PAC has spent at least $2.3 million on anti-Obama efforts, including more than $100,000 on the new ad.

Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said the senator did not approve the NRA's use of her campaign mailing.

Obama has said people have the right to lawfully bear arms and "there's nothing inconsistent with also saying we can institute some commonsense gun laws so that we don't have kids being shot on the streets of cities like Chicago."

"Senator Obama firmly believes that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms and that he will respect the tradition of gun ownership in this country, which is why he received the endorsement of the American Hunters and Shooters Association," Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said. The association calls itself a "mainstream group of hunters" and says it supports safe and responsible gun ownership.

Obama endorsed an Illinois handgun ban and supported the D.C. handgun ban. He tried to reconcile his two positions earlier this year.

"I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country," he told Politico. "I think it's important for us to recognize that we've got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally. And a lot of law-abiding citizens use it for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families.

"We also have violence on the streets that is the result of illegal handgun usage," he continued. "And so I think there is nothing wrong with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets. And cracking down on the various loopholes that exist in terms of background checks for children, the mentally ill. We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measures that I think respect the Second Amendment and people's traditions."

The NRA, in its endorsement of McCain, said they had differences on some issues. But LaPierre said the organization would "be foolish to overlook the vast areas of agreement" it has with him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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