NRA to Score Vote on Controversial Surgeon General Nominee

Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 11:03 PM

By Greg Richter

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The National Rifle Association will be scoring the Senate vote for confirmation of surgeon general nominee Vivek Murthy in hopes of persuading vulnerable Democrats to vote against the gun-control advocate.

Murthy is a co-founder of Doctors for America, formerly known as Doctors for Obama. Gun rights advocates oppose Murthy's nomination because of his frequent tweets and public statements calling for gun control.

"Mr. Murthy's not just a gun-control supporter, he's a gun-control activist. And it's clear that his agenda is to treat a constitutional freedom like a disease," NRA official Chris Cox said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."

"He supported every radical gun-control scheme ever thrown out there," Cox said, including gun and ammunition bans.

Murthy also supported repealing provisions in Obamacare that prevent doctors from keeping records on their conversations with  patients who are gun owners, Cox said, and repealing provisions to prevent insurance companies from charging gun owners higher premiums.

"This is a gun-control activist," Cox said.

He described President Barack Obama as a "partisan ideologue," and said Obama is free to nominate whomever he wishes, but added that the surgeon general should not be a partisan ideologue. Instead, Cox said, he should focus on obesity and other health issues.

Murthy said in recent congressional testimony that, if confirmed, he won't use his bully pulpit to advocate for gun control but will focus on obesity prevention.

Cox told Kelly he has trouble believing Murthy.

"We were told to trust this president when he said he supported the Second Amendment. We were told to trust Eric Holder when he was going to be a truth-and-justice kind of attorney general. We were told to trust the NSA that they would never spy on Americans," Cox said. "We don't trust this nominee, and there's a reason for it. And that's because he's been an activist."

Though Democrats have 55-45 majority in the Senate and the chamber's rules were changed late last year to allow presidential nominees to be brought to a vote with only 51 votes, Cox hopes the fact that the NRA is scoring the vote will help.

Seven vulnerable Democrats are facing re-election, and the NRA has 5 million members and "tens of millions" of supporters who pay attention to the group's scoring of votes, Cox said.

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