Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has won a major endorsement from the National Rifle Association as he faces a tough primary challenge from Rep. Steve Stockman, a tea party conservative.
The backing from NRA's Political Victory Fund is a massive boost to Cornyn's campaign for a third term, and deals a crushing blow to Stockman, an outspoken gun-
rights activist, The Dallas Morning News
"John Cornyn is a consistent and passionate champion of our Second Amendment rights," said Chris Cox, chairman of NRA-PVF. "The choice is clear for law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in the U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Texas, and that choice is John Cornyn."
Cornyn's campaign described the deputy GOP leader in the Senate as a lifelong hunter and outdoorsman, and touted his unwavering support for Texans' right to keep and bear arms.
"For many folks like myself, hunting and shooting sports are part of a rich and long Texas tradition of enjoying the outdoors," said Cornyn, who claims he's been instrumental in helping to safeguard the rights of people with concealed weapons permits.
The campaign says the senator introduced a bill allowing people with carry permits to cross state lines into other states with similar laws, and he opposed pro-gun control Justices Elena Kagan and Sonya Sotomayor's nominations to the Supreme Court.
The Dallas Morning News said that Cornyn's NRA endorsement is "a signal that some of the savviest minds in conservative politics are betting that Cornyn ... will survive the challenge."
Stockman is also a longtime gun advocate, and he even invited NRA board member Ted Nugent to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to protest his plan to enforce more gun controls following the Newtown massacre.
Nugent revealed last week on Twitter that he is a supporter of both Cornyn and Stockman, and did not plan to endorse either candidate.
Stockman, who previously served in Congress from 1995-1997, once raffled off a Bushmaster AR-15 while pointing out it is "the No. 1 firearm on the gun banners' wish list."
And he's notorious for accusing the government of "executing" members of the Branch Davidian cult in the 1993 siege of their compound near Waco, Texas, to justify a ban on assault weapons.
According to USA Today
, Cornyn has a massive fundraising treasure chest compared to Stockman, with $7 million in the bank versus $32,000 for his main rival in the March 4 primary.
But Stockman could be hoping to make a killing in the fundraising stakes with his "Official Obama Barf Bag
," which he's selling for $10 on his website.
Calling himself a proud and principled tea party Republican, he says, "Dear liberty patriot, Obama's socialism makes me sick! And I have the barf bag to prove it! And I'm saying what no one else in Washington has the backbone to say. Just go here and chip in $10 to make your tea party friends jealous."
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