Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, focused more of his Friday speech at his group’s annual convention on attacks against likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton instead of gun rights.
“I vow on this day the NRA will stand shoulder to shoulder with you and good, honest decent Americans and we will stand and fight with everything we’ve got and in 2016, by God, we will elect the next great president of the United States of America and it will not be Hillary Rodham Clinton,” he said.
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“One day America will elect a woman … not because of her gender but because of her character and integrity and moral fitness to hold the highest office in land,” he added. “That is how a candidate should be judged … and how a president should be elected.”
LaPierre spoke at the convention’s political rally inside the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Almost every Republican presidential hopeful will pay tribute to gun rights at the three-day event, which kicked off on Friday. But Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul – who this week declared his intent to run for president in the 2016 election – was left off the speakers’ list. The lawmaker has an “A” rating from the NRA.
Clinton has not yet made public her campaign for the presidency, but that is expected to change on Sunday.
The 4,000-person crowd reportedly enthusiastically applauded LaPierre’s anti-Clinton litany, which included references to the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, according to USA Today.
“She will not bring a dawn of new promise and opportunity,” LaPierre said. “It would be a permanent darkness of deceit and despair forced upon the American people to endure.”
“She’s been coming after us for decades,” he added. “Hillary Clinton hasn’t met a gun control bill that she couldn’t support.”