Romney NRA speech marks general election kick-off, advisers say
April 13th, 2012
11:57 AM ET
3 years ago

Romney NRA speech marks general election kick-off, advisers say

St. Louis, Missouri (CNN) - Mitt Romney's speech Friday to the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting in St. Louis will be mark the launch of the general election campaign against President Barack Obama, his advisers said Friday.

"This, is in our view, is the beginning of crystallizing for voters the choice that they are going to have in the fall between a big government liberal, represented by Barack Obama, and somebody who believes in the freedoms which are an essential part of our Constitution, which are consistent with our founders, and that would be Mitt Romney," said a senior adviser to Romney who briefed reporters before the speech but would only speak under the condition of anonymity.

The NRA speech will be the first in a series of speeches that Romney will deliver in the coming months to "clearly define the choice in this race."

The adviser would not announce dates and topics for the future speeches.

Though Romney will be speaking before an audience of gun enthusiasts, a constituency he has awkwardly courted over the years, advisers said his remarks will focus not just on Second Amendment rights.

Instead, he will frame his remarks in the broader context of the Constitution and accuse President Obama of attacking "economic freedom, religious freedom, and personal freedom."

"This President is moving us away from our Founders' vision," Romney will say, according to an advance copy of the speech. "Instead of limited government, he is leading us toward limited freedom and limited opportunity."

Asked which specific gun rights the president has abridged since taking office, a Romney adviser would not say, but pointed to the Justice Department's handling of the "Fast and Furious" scandal and "the way in which that was used to provide cover for potential efforts to restrict Second Amendment rights."

The advisers were also asked to elaborate on two shotguns that Romney now owns.

The former Massachusetts governor announced in February that he owns the guns, but his campaign offered few details on when he acquired them or where they are kept.

"I am not going to disclose where those are kept for safety an security reasons," one Romney adviser said.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • NRA
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Lolo

    Here we go with guns, religion and abortion rights. Is this all the republicans have again. We have heard this same argument for over thirty years. Please republicans can you get up to date with the world? You keep talking about smaller government, but you sure like to keep the government in our personal lives or should I say in your party personal lives. Such hypocrits. Your party is really pathetic. Plus Romney does not even like to hunt for his vittles, doesn't even know how and he has the nerve to be speaking to the NRA

    April 13, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Chris Willett

    "Asked which specific gun rights the president has abridged since taking office, a Romney adviser would not say, but pointed to the Justice Department's handling of the 'Fast and Furious' scandal and 'the way in which that was used to provide cover for potential efforts to restrict Second Amendment rights.'"

    That's absurd. There have been zero – yes, ZERO – restrictions on Second Amendment rights since Obama took office, even in the wake of the near murder of the Congresswoman from Arizona. Obama will not touch that issue. But, unsurprisingly, the gun nuts are paranoid. But I suppose if you're willing to believe other things the Republicans whisper about the president, then I guess you'll believe anything.

    April 13, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. FED up

    Typical Romney trying to suck up and fit in where ever he goes. As a proud member of the NRA and a Missourian I can tell you gun control is not an issue I want to trust to such a flip flopper like Mittens. He is only talking about the constitution because the Romney camp got their ass handed to them in the Missouri Caucus by Ron Paul. The statements Romney and the msm are fabricating, that this GOP primary is over is just another sad and deplorable attempt at manipulation of the voters. Romney didn't even come close to winning Missouri and he sure as hell does not have the support of any NRA members here just because he paid for a meeting. I personaly trust Romney about ad much as I trust Obama on gun control.

    April 13, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Linda

    Funny how he says our choice is between a big govenment liberal Obama but he calls himself a believer in Freedoms and the constitution.....he didn't say the other choice was ultra rich conservatives against raising taxes on the rich, giving more tax breaks and lookholes for the big corporations and wall street, and to hell with the middle class, against women and doing away with Planned Parenthood and womens rights to choose and make their own dicisions about their own health and body, remember he said he wasn't worried about the poor, with Romney we get a flip flopper from week to week as to what he believes in or what he will do, he also has to refer all questions to his wife about womens issues becasue she knows more about that than he does, he can't even answer the question as to whether he believes women are under paid, he'll get back with ya on that one he said.... .....I believe I will choose big govermnet liberal Obama.......

    April 13, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Niko_in_Richmond

    Let the silly season begin...

    April 13, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Way to go flip flopper. Let's start the rich men only campaign (the nra rednecks are too stupid to get it) with the group responsible for the "stand your ground" law in 21 states.
    You do know that this group is only good less than 20% of any votes for you right?

    April 13, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. ST

    It is not bad. Let Romney continue to eliminate more and more of independents with their far right issues on guns, abortion and religion.

    April 13, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    I think we should have factcheckers and truthsayers measure and grade every public speech the candidates might give. At least the major speeches, we can let the blogosphere handle the stump speeches.

    April 13, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Rick

    Ann, wash his Mom Jeans, they can stand up by themselves when he takes them off at night. And let him WEAR the pants (or Jeans) in the family, or run for president yourself.

    April 13, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Jack

    Ann, wash your husband's Mom Jeans, they can stand by themselves when he takes them off. And let him WEAR THE PANTS (or Mom Jeans) or run for president, yourself.

    April 13, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Anderson

    Why the republicans dislike this smart, well educated, family man so much? What are you so afraid of? Just come out and tell the trueth.

    April 13, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Gun rights expanded under Obama. We can now carry guns in national parks. How is it easier to be paranoid about somebody who has done nothing on the gun rights issue, Obama, than someone who changes his mind for political expediency, Romney? If gun control becomes politically better for Romney he will take away gun rights in a second.

    April 13, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    This should be his campaign motto:

    Mitt Romney: Pandering to the lowest information voter since 2003.

    April 13, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. No Way I'll Vote for Romney

    Romney says our President is attacking religious freedom. Romney is a Mormon we allow cults in this country.

    April 13, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. charles

    I guess Romney has to appease to the people that have bought him over. Money Talks!!!

    April 13, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Redneck Gun Lover

    Yeeee Dogggiieeee! I's loves me some Mitt Romneeee! Ya'all kin' hav ma gunz when ya'all pryem outta ma col' det fangers!

    April 13, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    If Obama puts another leftist loon on the USSC then Americans gun rights will END. THAT is a very dangerous position to be in.

    April 13, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. coy4one

    And we're to believe someone who gives a quote to the press who "would only speak under the condition of anonymity?" Come on! NO ONE speaks on behalf of a candidate without the candidate knowing about it. The press needs to stop giving "unofficial" quotes to the public! As far as I am concerned, if there is no name behind the quotes it means NOTHING to me.

    April 13, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Tyrone

    This is nothin compared for his upcoming meeting wit Exxon – Mobil. Yo Bishop, your nose be awful brown!!!!

    April 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. alko

    Not the gun rights thing again. They had everybody so scared about losing our gun rights that everyone went out and bought a gun before it was too late. Well, guess what? 3 1/2 years later and nothings happened to our gun rights. It was nothing but a scare tactic by the GOP and the NRA, and now they are at it again. But hey, the gun dealers absolutely loved all the extra business I'm sure.

    April 13, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. sftommy

    Liberals trained to handle firearms; 2nd Amendment is not the property of NRA or GOP.

    Lords knows when we might have to stand our ground in defense of the others freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights from enemies both foreign and domestic.

    April 13, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. spiffy53

    get your guns y'al. yeeeeeeehhhhaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    April 13, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. Tyrone

    Yo , easy on the bishop, he might go home to his puppy & RUN, PUPPY, RUN

    April 13, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Laverne

    Romney is pathethic, I don't know how he sleep at night with all his lies and pandering. Ann Romney is just as bad as he is, I guess she will use her MS and whatever else to try and get sympathy votes, but they are just alike, 2 peas in a pod. Hilary Rosen is right, this women hasn't worked a day in her life and she talks about choices, well some of us don't have the choice or chance to be a stay home mom with millions of dollars, nannies and all! If she raised 5 boys with no nanny and 20-30,000 a year then maybe she would know what real women are going through! She can take her phony hardships and stick em where the sun don't shine!

    April 13, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Republican Class Warfare

    Great luck having the top stories today be multiple gun murders while Romney panders to the Stand and Shoot murder club.

    April 13, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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