NRA sharpens political attack on Obama
October 17th, 2012
06:39 PM ET
2 years ago

NRA sharpens political attack on Obama

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's vow Tuesday to try and ban assault weapons prompted the National Rifle Association to immediately modify its political advertising campaign against Obama in seven toss-up states.

The NRA is spending $1.5 million on television commercials in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and an additional $800,000 on online ads in the aforementioned states as well as Colorado, Iowa and Nevada each week, an NRA official tells CNN. The initial ads featured a broad theme that blamed Obama for the country's debt, stated the nation's sovereignty was threatened and warned that people's rights were being attacked, including the Second Amendment during his presidency.

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But the NRA decided to focus the new ad campaign entirely on the people's rights to defend themselves after Obama mentioned a ban on assault weapons during the second presidential debate.

"What I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally," Obama said in response to an audience question about assault weapons. "Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap hand guns."

The NRA, which endorsed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney earlier this month, has been very vocal about trying to defeat Obama in November.

"Some gun owners took Obama at his word four years ago, when he said he wouldn't take their guns away," said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "So, after years of paying lip service to the Second Amendment, President Obama finally let it slip last night that he supports the most draconian form of gun control – a gun ban."

The new commercial charges that Obama is jeopardizing people's rights to defend themselves and specifically mentions the president's nominations to the Supreme Court - Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

"Obama put two justices on the Supreme Court, who threaten our right to self defense," the ad's narrator says.

The assault weapons ban was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in September 1994, but it expired 10 years later during President George W. Bush's first term in office.

When Romney was asked about assault weapons during the debate, he repeated that he is against instituting any new gun laws.

"I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal," he said.

When asked why he no longer supports an assault weapons ban after signing one into law as governor of Massachusetts, Romney said the law was a compromise between pro- and anti-gun advocates.

"In my state, the pro-gun folks and the anti-gun folks came together and put together a piece of legislation," Romney said. "And it's referred to as an assault weapon ban, but it had, at the signing of the bill, both the pro-gun and the anti-gun people came together, because it provided opportunities for both that both wanted."

In addition to the NRA's new ad campaign against Obama, the organization has hired political operatives to work in 13 states and expects to have reached 50 million homes through phone calls and direct mail by Election Day. The NRA is expected to spend between $30-$40 million on this election.

"NRA has an effective strategy with a heavy emphasis on our ground game," Cox said. "We will be working overtime to mobilize the gun vote in every state but paying very close attention and marshalling extra resources in key states."

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Filed under: 2012 • Ads • NRA • President Obama • Presidential Debates
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Kentucky Windage

    >>
    ...When someone with an assault rifle shoots an NRA member or family member, THEN THEY WILL WANT THEM BANNED...................................Cold dead victims can be ANYONE !
    >>

    October 18, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  2. Taxxfreeee

    That's all good an I don't think ppl should look down on other ppl because of there Opinion r who they vote for I voted for Republican John McCain but I no now Obama is doing right By our country I did not hav a job I have 2 good jobs now so 4 me And the people I know it's looking up I don't know about everyone else after Losing a house I'm buying my second home so tell me why Obama is bad???? Any 1

    October 18, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  3. DDanny1

    As a lifetime gun collector that is the descendant of a gun collector I can tell you a surefire way to get all private ownership of automatic weapons banned. Make every voter in the country attend one "machine gun shoot" in the south.
    But after seeing the average southern automatic weapons owner, it might very well get all firearms banned.

    October 18, 2012 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  4. Valar Morghulis

    I am a life member of the NRA. It is unlikely they will every see any donations in the future.

    October 18, 2012 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  5. Edom Meshesha

    I am just wondering why Erin Burnett didn't put red republican flag on her forehead, cause she is anti Democrats and I am very tired listening to her bull crap every day. She is anti Obama. Guess what your boss Robme support, not women! He doesn't like women. If you are women who are standing for women right, then get you shut together.

    October 18, 2012 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  6. chemteck29

    Those fools,.....go ahead dump all your money into saying OOH OOH OOH, Obama's gonna take all the guns.....etc The only people you will reach with that rhetoric are the same people who are going to vote for Romney in the first place! Obama made no mention of all guns as they would have you believe, but only mentioned the AK47 specifically which as most people would agree has no place in the public to begin with. That weapon was designed to do one thing and it has nothing to do with hunting or target practice, but rather to kill many people quickly period. But what Obama also said (and I'm paraphrasing) that he like to get down to the root causes of the violence to begin with. Which really the is the only Real way to stem the violence, not by taking all the guns the NRA wants you to believe Obama is trying to do. Frankly, they had a better argument to start with and to switch to an agenda that claims Obama is after all the guns and wants to trample the 2nd amendment is a mistake, because most folks with common sense will see that as the typical NRA scare tactic! But go ahead folks NRA waste your money!

    October 18, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  7. Chuck

    Has there ever been a bigger group of whiny babies than the NRA?

    October 18, 2012 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  8. carmine

    Uh oh! The NRA are pretty influential in Wisconsin. Could spell trouble for the Teleprompter in Chief. I hope we send him packing. This guy belongs in the European parliament. Not in the White House.

    October 18, 2012 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  9. Iamnotfooled

    I think the people of America are intelligent enough to figure out that something has to be done. The violence is so bad it could affect any one of us, like what happened in Colorado. Innocent people are getting killed with weapons that are meant for war zones. It's crazy. Of course he won't take away your personal protection or your hunting guns, that's just fear mongering. But we need some common sense laws.

    October 18, 2012 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  10. NameAttoshAttosh

    No gun pls

    October 18, 2012 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  11. Tim

    IT IS THE SINGLE MOTHERS FAULT THAT THERE IS GUN VIOLENCE...yepp just get them girls married off and the Americer will be a safer place fer us all!! Good God and he wants to be the President???

    October 18, 2012 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  12. vc

    The debate segment on guns really showed the level of awareness that each candidate had on gun control. I was actually pretty surprised that Romney didn't seem to know much outside of his talking points and went as far as to give false facts.

    I guess in a debate that's covered nationally, you have to save face by acting like you know something even if it means making something up in the heat of improvising, otherwise it would be a disaster to stumble.

    October 18, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  13. Tom

    Game changer. You just earned my vote for Romney. Keep your hands off my guns.

    October 18, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  14. yem

    Obama is by far the most inclusive of the two candidates. He did mess up in his first debate appearance. Can he recover now? I sure hope. Mitt is in hurry to occupy the WH. His policies are extreme both in domestic and foreign issues. He thinks of America of the 40or50 years ago. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld had taken us to a very costly war.Just check the wounded and dead Americans who fought for us. It has never to happen again. It is the wars that bankrupted the country. And Romney's policies scare me. He might take us to war with Iran.

    October 18, 2012 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  15. DonK

    What a bunch of knucle-draggers! "Hey Bubba, let's grab our AK-47's and go deer huntin'".

    October 18, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  16. REDFIRESTORM

    Second amendment rights - defense of self within the home -DC v Heller and McDonald v Chicago - are you a lawyer mr. Prez?? any stranger who breaks into my home while i am there won't be running back out, got it fool?

    October 18, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  17. Pile of crap

    There hasn't been one thing Obama has done to threaten gun owners. His statement in the debate was mirrored by Me-Too-Mitt Romney. This has nothing to do with protecting gun rights. It has everything to do with the fact that the NRA is an arm of the GOP. They will gladly support and vote for a Governor who signed strict gun legislation into law, as long as he's Republican.

    October 18, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  18. Don

    Mitt Romney is the only candidate in this race that has actually signed gun control legislation. The NRA is exposing itself and a tool of the GOP.

    October 18, 2012 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Leave it to the NRA. You don't need an assault weapon to kill a deer. There needs to be a ban on it. I'm not saying you don't have a right to defend yourself but I don't think the second ammendment was intended for americans to shoot in American schools, movie theatres, ect.

    October 18, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  20. Larry Dickens

    The NRA does realize that Romney also said "We, of course, don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons" (Source:CNN). The NRA should be listed as Republican Super PAC. Nevermind that our gun rights have actually expanded more under Obama than the last 2 administrations. This, in addition to all their inaccurate scare tactic mailings and advertisements based largely on fallacies, is why I no longer belong to the NRA. At one time, believe it or not, at one time they were a great organization that primarily supported hunting and firearm safety.

    October 18, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  21. clarke

    Instead of these ads, why not do something useful with the money, like buy computers for the school children, feed the poor by paying for the lunch program at school, purchase school supplies. Anything would be better served than these ads, Makes no difference your party line, but put money to good use, That might make a bigger statement.

    October 18, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  22. anonoymous

    This are probably the same nuts who want to know why there wasnt more security at the embassy....I say let em all have all kinds of guns and weapons but I dont want to hear about the mall shootings etc. bunch of nuts!

    October 18, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  23. n

    The NRA in a nutshell . . . fueled by greed, a bunch of blood thirsty vampires hiding in the shade morphing into the epitome of a Borg empire while assimilating and collectively gathering army of fascist, authoritarian, totalitarian, autocrat, extreme right-winger, rightist, Nazi, blackshirt, nationalist, xenophobe, racist, anti-Semite, jingoist; neofascist, neo-Nazi. Yeah, that's right, the gathering of a bunch of cowards hiding behind the protection of the Constitution, in plan sight. Resistance, is said to be futile. So here comes the attack ads. These ads are not what they appear to be, they are coded ads threatening all who may fall under their mighty thumbs. Ads of warning to those who might be considering voting for this president, the Day Walker. LOL!

    October 18, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  24. Sally

    Let's call it like it is. NRA does not care about people's rights. All they care about is sales. Period.

    October 18, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  25. Pat

    You want to curb gun violence? Mandatory life in prison for the use of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Not enough room in prison you say? Stop throwing people in prison for marijuana! What about the cost you say? Stop providing cable TV, internet access, and other stuff that should not be in prisons in the first place. They'll riot you say? Shoot prison rioters on site. Not enough bullets you say? I'll provide the bullets...

    October 18, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
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