A story Jeb Bush has told multiple times this year on the campaign trail about being the NRA's "Statesman of the Year" in 2003 is inaccurate, as the award doesn't actually exist.
"In recounting the story, Jeb was mistaken and conflated multiple events unintentionally," Tim Miller, his campaign’s communications director, said in a statement, The Washington Post reported
Bush had as recently as Sunday told his supporters and the media that he had attended the NRA's 2003 national convention a governor of Florida, had given the keynote address, had been given a rifle by actor and organization president Charlton Heston, and, lastly, had received the "Statesman" award.
"You know who you're lookin' at here? You're looking at the guy who won the NRA Statesman of the Year award," Bush said at a December town hall in Milford, New Hampshire, CNN reported
. "Not the Florida award. The national award. And I got a rifle from Charlton Heston, I got a rifle from Moses."
As it turns out, the award does not exist, and it was Heston's successor who gave Bush the rifle.
Bush did, however, give the convention's keynote address, and has always maintained a strong rating from the NRA, and received praise from Heston in the past.
"Heston met with Jeb at that NRA convention and was the head of the NRA at the time, but it was Kayne Robinson [Heston's successor] who presented Jeb with the rifle for being keynote speaker," Bush's spokesman explained further.
"Heston had previously said he supported Jeb’s reelection at a 2002 campaign event. Jeb was lauded by the NRA on multiple occasions for his second amendment record, including signing legislation that the NRA dubbed the 'Six Pack Of Freedom.' Jeb has a lifetime A+ rating from the NRA."
Bush is currently ranked sixth in the Republican primary race, according to an average of national polls created by Real Clear Politics
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