Skip to comments.Romney, appealing to core GOP voters, toughens pro-gun rhetoric
Posted on 01/17/2007 10:39:34 AM PST by neverdem
BOSTON - During his two campaigns in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney adopted a decidedly moderate approach to gun control, vowing not to "chip away" at the states gun laws and conceding his backing of an assault rifle ban was "not going to make me the hero of the NRA."
Now as he weighs a run for the GOP presidential nomination, Romneys rhetoric is shifting in an effort to appeal to the Republican Partys core conservative base.
On Friday, Romney toured a gun show in Florida where he said he supported "the right of individuals to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution" and reminisced about shooting rabbits as a boy.
Romney, who has launched a presidential exploratory committee, appeared at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Orlando with his wife, Ann, and Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.
"Im proud to be among the many decent, law-abiding men and women who safely use firearms," he said.
Courting the NRA seemed to be the last thing from Romneys mind during his unsuccessful 1994 bid to oust Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy.
In an interview with the Boston Herald during the 1994 campaign, Romney positioned himself as a moderate outsider, warning special interest groups to stay out of the race and saying he supported a ban on assault rifles and the Brady gun control law.
"Thats not going to make me the hero of the NRA (National Rifle Association)," he said at the time. "I dont line up with a lot of special interest groups."
Its theme that would carry over into Romneys 2002 campaign for governor.
During a debate with Democratic candidate Shannon OBrien, Romney said he would do nothing to change the states firearms statutes.
"We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them; I wont chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety." he said.
And as governor, Romney signed one of the toughest assault weapons laws in the country. The state ban mirrored a national ban set to expire at the time. Assault weapons bans are typically opposed by gun rights activists, who say the guns are rarely used in crimes and have a legitimate purpose for target practice and self protection.
But Romney also took steps to protect the rights of gun owners as governor.
The assault weapons ban won the backing of Massachusetts gun owners in part because it included provisions that would extend the term of a firearm identification card and license to carry from four to six years and create a Firearm License Review Board to provide an appeals process for people whose firearm license applications have been denied.
In 2006, Romney signed NRA-backed legislation creating exemptions for the makers of customized target pistols who had found it too expensive to sell their guns in Massachusetts because of a state regulation requiring them to test at least five examples of new products "until destruction."
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said Romney stands by his record on guns.
"Like President Bush, he supports restrictions on assault weapons, but Mitt Romney has also worked with gun owners and sportsmen to ease the gun licensing laws in Massachusetts," Fehrnstrom said on Sunday.
Its not the first time Romneys recent rhetoric has clashed with past comments or positions.
During the 1994 campaign Romney said he would be a stronger advocate for gays than Kennedy, considered by many conservatives to be the most liberal member of Congress - comments that seem at odds with Romneys vigorous opposition to gay marriage.
In his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney pledged to uphold abortion rights in Massachusetts. Today, he says the landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion is wrong.
And a day after stepping down as Massachusetts governor, Romney signed a "no new taxes" pledge _ a pledge he refused to sign in his 2002 run for governor, when the state was in poor fiscal shape.
In Florida, Romney described himself as an outdoorsman, but acknowledged that he was not a firearms expert, and while he once owned a pistol, he doesnt own any firearms now.
"As a boy, I worked on a ranch in Idaho and shot rabbits with a single shot .22 rifle," Romney said. "After a while my cousin said youre not very good at that. Try using this semiautomatic."
Mitt Romney's political views are like what Will Rogers said about the weather in Oklahoma - if you don't like them, wait a minute.
Good he's gotten rid of all those icky views that made him electable in Massachusetts.
""We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them; I wont chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety." he said." He never had my vote, and based on this, he ain't going to get it. Ever. Nuthin' in the 2nd Amendment about hunting.
Pomney is SLIME. Do NOT trust him. He is too AFRAID to even own a single firearm.
If mitt worked on a ranch in idaho, this is what he used to kill bunnies.
400 IDAHO FARMERS CLUB JACKRABBITS TO DEATH TO RESCUE CROPS
SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
Hundreds of farmers clubbed jackrabbits to death today in a roundup that had been called to save crops from the proliferating animals. The hares were rounded up in a three-mile-square area by 400 farmers on horseback, motorcycles and on foot, armed with pool cues, baseball bats and homemade spears and golf clubs. Eventually the hares were herded into a fenced enclosure where they were killed. Other farmers slit the throats of the jackrabbits, and still others skinned the carcasses to prepare...
December 13, 1981 U.S. News
I want to be mit Duncan Hunter.
Duncan Lee Hunter (born May 31, 1948), American politician, has been a Republican member of the House of Representatives since 1981 from California's 52nd congressional district in northern and eastern San Diego. It was previously numbered the 42nd District from 1981 to 1983 and then the 45th District from 1983 to 1993. Hunter was the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee during the 109th Congress. He is currently seeking the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States.
Hunter was born in Riverside, California. He briefly attended the University of Montana and the University of California, Santa Barbara before enlisting in the United States Army. He served in the Vietnam War in the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 75th Army Rangers. After leaving the Army, he enrolled at Western State University College of Law and earned a BSL and JD in 1976. He then worked as a plaintiff's attorney.
This is the guy out of ALL republican candidates that will make the best president.
You can put all the sugar you want on a turd and it is still...........................................a turd.
A great big amen to that! Great post!!!!
Any asshat who backed the so-called AWB and Brady Bill will never get my vote at the primary level. However, given a choice between Romney with his "new" position on guns and Hitlary or some other gun-grabbing Democrap, I'm afraid I'd vote for Romney and hope he wouldn't change him mind again. Sigh.
I'm a Duncan Hunter fan too.
Anything granted by government...can be removed by government.
Mr. Romney: Can I buy a new M4?
Whatever happened to "ONE SHOT....ONE KILL?"
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