Romney NRA speech marks general election kick-off, advisers say
April 13th, 2012
11:57 AM ET
10 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. NVa Native

    Where else would Romoney kick off his "tour of slander" ?
    In the belly of one of the most power hungry death-for-profit corpoate lobbyist groups sounds about right.

    April 13, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. pkfops

    Glad to see the NRA elite is having a good time with it's member donations.

    Only fools send money to the NRA.

    April 13, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Remember...Guns don't kill people....NRA members kill people.

    April 13, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. anagram_kid

    Per the head of the NRA, the expansion of gun rights under President Obama is just a ruse to trick the members into complacency so they will not be prepared for his ‘real’ plan to take their guns away. I am serious about this; he gave a speech on it a couple of months ago.

    April 13, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Tyler Anthony

    Mitt Romney is backed by the same big banks and corporate interest as Obama was back in 2008. Mitt Romney is in business to get elected by trying to appeal to voters by saying the "right stuff". Romney IS the new establishment candidate. Government and spending will continue to grow out of control under a Romney or Obama presidency.

    There is only one candidate out there that has been saying the same thing for 30+ years and doesn't pander to the crowds. His success is grossly under-reported, if not ignored, and he is constantly misrepresented by the media. This candidate will actually decrease our national debt. This candidate has more delegates than the media would report, and he continues to get delegates because his supporters understand the Primary/Caucus process. This candidate is one for peace and prosperity, and his name is Dr. Ron Paul.

    Evangelicals and former Santorum supporters, put your support behind Ron Paul! He is the only Pro-Liberty candidate and Veteran running for office! RON PAUL 2012!!!

    April 13, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. tony

    Lies , damned lies and Republicans. Still can't get over that more Americans preferred a smart black guy to run "their" white, "christian" country.

    April 13, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. John B.

    I can't wait to hear how Obama is trying to stop people from having guns. Come on Romney...give us another blantant lie.

    April 13, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Jonnyboiler

    Do they allow guns to be carried at these speeches?

    April 13, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Easy-Pushover

    What do you 'know' would happen when the government takes away the deterrents that give criminals and bullies pause to reconsider their ill will?
    Waiting 10 plus minutes for help to arrive is a gift to the criminals. And plays into the false narrative that government can protect us. The government cannot protect us from criminals and itself.

    April 13, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Gun in the bar, Gun in the park, Gun in the work place parking lot these are the things our state legislator discus every year and pass legislation against local police wish
    NRA has done enough damage to my state and put our first responders life in harm’s way
    So no vote for Romney

    April 13, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Bootstomper

    Squash Romney!

    April 13, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Cheryl Jefferies

    Good for Mitt! Keep it up! The left, led by Obama and Bloomburg and Holder, have already started hitting the 2nd Amendment. They've gutted the First Amendment and the 2nd is now fully in their sights. Way to go, Mitt! Take the fight straight to them. You can do it!

    April 13, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. katahdin

    The NRA is the lobbying arm of gun industry. Their job is to scare gun owners into buying ever more weaponry by convincing them that Barack Obama is going to try to take their guns away.
    Gun owners should know that Mitt Romney will sign the odious Ryan budget, which will definitely raise their taxes, while cutting taxes on the superrich and making it even easier for corporation to outsource jobs.
    Meanwhile, President Obama has actually expanded gun rights.
    Maybe the NRA doesn't have your best interests at heart.

    April 13, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Thinkergal

    There are 3 headlines preceding this one on the CNN website: N. H. Police Chief shot, killed;
    3 shot, killed in Ohio restaurant; 2 shot, killed on Coast Guard Base. The proliferation of guns in the hands of irresponsible people needs to be controlled.

    April 13, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. FlotsamJetsam

    The NRA is sh**ing a brick over this Trayvon Martin case. Stand Your Ground is being scrutinized along with all the rest of he laws the NRA is trying to pass.

    The NRA is no longer about gun safety but has a more sinister and more extreme agenda. They have the Republicans in their back pocket.

    Romney has no love for the NRA , but they have no love for him either. I think they would have preferred Santorum.

    April 13, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Skipper

    Guns don't kill people. People kill people..... mainly with guns.

    April 13, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. mattski

    Wow. Jumping right into the deep end, eh Mitt? Odd timing - hope it doesn't pun intended...!

    April 13, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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