Veteran conservative activist Grover Norquist has come under fire in his capacity as a board member of the National Rifle Association, with claims made that he is weak on dealing with Islamic terrorism.
But the NRA itself and a "Who's Who" of national conservative leaders have rallied Norquist's defense, saying the allegations are nonsense. Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform but has been a staunch defender of the Second Amendment in Washington for decades.
Norquist has made news lately after a small group has sought to recall him as a board member of the NRA—the first such recall in the NRA's century-old history.
The NRA leadership itself has urged a "no" vote in the balloting that will end May 1st.
For more than fifteen years, Frank Gaffney, president of Center for National Security, has charged that Norquist was promoting radical Muslims within George W. Bush's re-election campaign and the Bush White House. The "conspiracy theory" was denounced by the White House itself in 2003, declaring "there is no there, there."
Gaffney ran a campaign to defeat Norquist in his sixth re-election to the NRA boad last April. Norquist won.
Now, Norquist has been hit with a recall effort, which is easily obtainable under NRA rules.
The NRA has examined all the criticisms of Norquist and found them baseless and strongly urged all NRA members to vote "no" on the recall.
"Given the staleness of all allegations [and] the lack of factual support," concluded a special NRA panel, " disagree with the Petitioner in this case and recommend a NO vote."
The NRA was joined in its strong support of Norquist by leading conservatives, gun rights activists and national security experts.
"I have known Grover Norquist for over 25 years," wrote former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, "Grover is a patriot and loyal to the United States, and should continue as a valuable NRA board member."
Meese's view was seconded by David Keene, past national NRA president and former chairman of the American Conservative Union: "I've worked with Grover for twenty years. He has dedicated his life to constitutional principles. NRA members should vote no on the recall."
Another past NRA president, Sandy Froman, wrote: "Please vote ‘No' and tell other NRA members to vote no."
Dov Zakheim, undersecretary of defense during the Reagan presidency, said: "I can only urge you to disregard any scurrilous attacks on Grover originating with Frank Gaffney; they are untrue, baseless, and unfair."
And former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff not only endorsed Norquist as a "natural leader and patriot" but excoriated the accusations against him as "scurrilous and continuing" and advised the NRA that such charges "should not be given any weight."
"This nonsense has now been knocked down for the umpteenth time," Norquist told Newsmax, "I greatly appreciate the strong support of the NRA and the gun rights community and I will focus on electing conservative allies of the Second Amendment in November of 2016."
Norquist has been at the forefront of defending gun rights in Congress. Recently, his tax organization uncovered a 1990s plan authored by Hillary Clinton to place a 25 percent tax on gun purchases. Norquist believes that Hillary's gun tax plan could cost her the 2016 election.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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