Trump campaign promises to ‘destroy the NRA’
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway says the president-elect is “going to destroy the NRA,” and says the group’s influence over the nation’s politics has reached “an all-time low.”
She spoke Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and said Trump is going to nominate someone who “has a track record of destroying the NRA.”
Conway, who was the White House press secretary under President Barack Obama, said Trump will nominate a candidate who has spent decades attacking gun rights, but said it’s a “very dangerous time to be an American” in the United States.
“The NRA has been at the heart of American politics for over a century, and the president is going not just to destroy it, he’s going to destroy everything it stands for,” Conway said.
“He’s going see that as a positive thing.
He’s going, I believe, to nominate a guy who has a track history of destroying it.”
She said the NRA has spent years attacking gun-control measures.
“This is a man who has had a history of attacking our gun laws.
He has attacked our gun manufacturers, he has attacked the Second Amendment and now he’s attacking the Second amendment as well,” she said.
Conway said the president will nominate someone “who has a history in attacking our Second Amendment.”
She also said the media and the left have a “moral obligation” to “stand up and defend” the Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, because they have a responsibility to the country.
She also slammed Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who said that “the NRA is a very effective and effective organization.”
She added that “nobody is going back to the old days” in terms of defending the Second and Fourth Amendments, and called for “a new era of common sense.”
“You know, the president has a choice.
He can nominate somebody who is going in the direction of the NRA.
Or he can nominate someone that is going, ‘Well, you know, I just think that the Second is a bit of a red herring, that we shouldn’t be protecting our Second amendment.
I just want to see somebody who understands that,’ ” Conway said of the president.
Trump has previously vowed to nominate an NRA-friendly nominee.
“I will have a person in my administration that will have great respect for the Second … and for the Fourth,” Conway told reporters Tuesday.
“That’s what I’m trying to do, is I’m going to put forward somebody that’s going with me.”
Conway said Trump also wants a nominee who is “not going to try to hurt the Second or the Fourth, and I think that’s what you’re going to see,” and a “real leader.”
She warned that “we need a leader that is not going to be the NRA, but a real leader that’s not going, like, the NRA of yore, but somebody who will really be able to understand the Second,” and “that is not someone that’s been around since the 1930s.”
She reiterated that she believes “the Second Amendment is absolutely an absolute right” and that it’s important to have “the courage to stand up and protect it.”
The NRA is one of the few gun-rights groups that has not endorsed Trump, but has been critical of his nomination.
Conway on Tuesday also took aim at Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who endorsed the former reality television star in April.
She called the senator “a weak leader” and “a coward.”
Heitkamp, a Republican from North Dakota, is the first female senator to endorse Trump, and said the former real estate mogul is “wasting our time” by trying to “get ahead of the next crisis.”
She was speaking at a news conference hosted by the pro-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety, and accused the Trump campaign of trying to influence her endorsement.
She said Trump “has gone so far as to try and influence the process in North Dakota and that’s an unprecedented behavior” and said she’s “very disappointed” in Heitkowski.
“So far, he hasn’t stood up to his own party,” she added.
“His whole thing is the idea that the NRA is weak and that we’re weak and it’s his job to try — and he’s not being strong.
He is the NRA’s leader, and that is the reason we’re here today.”
He added that she “is the leader of a strong party.”