Tags: Trump Administration | Gun Rights | Rand Paul | nra | snubs | rand paul | convention

WSJ: NRA Snubs Rand Paul Because He Supports Rival Group

By    |   Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 09:26 PM

Several Republicans who are either in the presidential race or are expected to join it will speak at the National Rifle Association's three-day annual convention starting Friday, minus one newly confirmed candidate: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

The Wall Street Journal reports the reason is because Paul, who joined the 2016 race for the White House this week, has long supported the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR). That group, according to the Journal, markets itself as a "more conservative alternative" to the NRA.

Neither Paul nor New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is mulling a presidential run, were invited to the NRA's convention in Nashville, Tenn.

The NRA said Tuesday it "could not accommodate everyone," alluding to its packed speaking schedule as a reason. The Journal report claims politics were the real reason.

According to the report, the NRA has informed Paul's team he will not be invited to any NRA events unless he severs his ties with the NAGR.

Three other potential candidates for president — South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson — were not initially invited to speak at the NRA's conference, but they were added to the list of speakers after requesting to be put on the schedule, according to the Journal.

The report adds that Paul and Christie did not submit a request to speak at the convention, which is expected to draw more than 70,000 attendees.

Paul is the only candidate or potential candidate for president who is a member of the NAGR, according to the Journal report that cites the group's president Dudley Brown.

"It was no secret that Sen. Paul is more pro-gun than the NRA," Brown told the Journal.

"I've been a gun lobbyist for 22 years and there's never been a point at which we did not have tension," Brown said, referring to the NRA and the NAGR. "We're younger, we're hungrier and we care less about the cocktail parties in Washington, D.C."

The NAGR has close ties with the Paul family, according to the Journal report. The NAGR's founder Michael Rothfeld still works with the NAGR and also owns a direct mail firm that has been used by both Rand Paul and his father Ron Paul, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 1988, 2008, and 2012.

There's also attorney David Warrington, the NAGR's chairman and who served as Ron Paul's general council during the 2012 presidential campaign, according to the Journal.

Next year's NRA convention is in Louisville, but it's unlikely Rand Paul would be invited to speak despite it being in his home state.

Paul launched his presidential campaign in Louisville on Tuesday, and has been on a tour of the country touting his message since. He was in New Hampshire on Wednesday, followed by a visit to South Carolina on Thursday. He also plans to visit Iowa and Nevada this week.

Paul was the second major candidate to enter the presidential race, behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Among the other Republicans expected to join the race are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

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Several Republicans who are either in the presidential race or are expected to join it will speak at the National Rifle Association's three-day annual convention starting Friday, minus one newly confirmed candidate: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
nra, snubs, rand paul, convention, republicans, president, 2016
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2015-26-09
Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 09:26 PM
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