Trump Is Endorsed By A Group Clinton Despises
On Friday, the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, for president. Trump spoke before the NRA's annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the same day. As ABC News reported, before Trump took the state, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action Chris Cox announced that the gun rights group was giving its stamp of approval to the reality TV business mogul. "Now is the time to unite. If your preferred candidate dropped out of the race, it's time to get over it," Cox said.
Throughout this election, Trump has been an outspoken opponent of gun control, so the endorsement isn't exactly shocking. During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed that if he is elected president, he would abolish gun-free zones around schools and military bases. In reality, Trump — or any president — couldn't do that on his own. As the Wall Street Journal noted: "Mr. Trump would need Congress to repeal a 1990 federal law signed by former Republican President George H.W. Bush that forbids most firearms near school grounds."
Shortly after the terrorist attack in Paris last November, Trump said at a rally in Texas that "if they had guns — if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry — it would have been a much, much different situation." Trump doubled-down on this sentiment during Friday's NRA convention:
However, Trump has also been accused of flip-flopping on gun control. In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump wrote, "I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun."
It's no secret that Hillary Clinton has vocally supported gun control and has used opponent Bernie Sanders' relatively weaker record on the issue to attack him in the Democratic race for the nomination. Clinton has also denounced the NRA, saying in an MSNBC town hall in April, "We've got to break the grip of the gun culture on our young people because the number one leading cause of death for young African American men are guns ... If you care about this issue, vote against people who give in to the NRA and the gun lobby all the time."
In turn, the NRA isn't exactly a Clinton fan. NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told NBC that Clinton's gun control advocacy and criticism of the NRA "will be an opportunity for Donald Trump to galvanize anti-Hillary Clinton NRA members from both parties."