WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Rudy Giuliani sought to reassure the National Rifle Association of his support for a constitutional right to bear arms as rivals Fred Thompson and John McCain focused on the former New York mayor's past calls for tough gun control.Yeah, well. Giuliani probably pegged it when he said later that it was all about electability, in other words, him or the Hillary-beast. Here's a link to Fred cracking wise about Bill Clinton...I wish Fred would run a little harder...at least work up a sweat...I still have faith.
"I'd like us to respect each other; I think we have very, very legitimate and mostly similar views," Giuliani told NRA members who clapped politely a dozen times during his 20-minute speech.
The audience of about 500 people gave a warmer reception to Thompson, the former Tennessee senator who announced his campaign this month. Some stood and cheered as Thompson said: "Our basic rights come from God, not from government."
"I've never subscribed to the notion that we made our country safer by infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," Thompson said.
And he reminded the group he has supported them consistently since the year he was elected senator.
"It's not just a matter of promises made, as far as I'm concerned. It's a matter of commitments that have been kept," he said in a veiled swipe at Giuliani.
The candidates addressed the NRA event as gun violence occurred on a college campus. Two students were shot and wounded, one seriously, at Delaware State University, and the campus was locked down as police searched for a gunman, according to officials.
McCain criticized Giuliani outright, describing the former mayor's "devious attempt to bankrupt gun manufacturers" with a lawsuit against them over violent crimes involving guns. A federal court heard arguments on the ongoing lawsuit Friday in New York.
The Arizona senator also mentioned Giuliani's use of the word "extremists" in talking about the NRA.
"My friends, gun owners are not extremists; you are the core of modern America," McCain said. "The Second Amendment is unique in the world and at the core of our constitutional freedoms. It guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. To argue anything else is to reject the clear meaning of our founding fathers.
Friday, September 21, 2007
A Political Apology
Yes, I should have gone to the NRA meeting with the Presidential candidates...I was invited, but I desperately needed some time off the road. Here's the first reports from AP: