By Sam Youngman
WASHINGTON – The National Rifle Association, unhappy with one of the co-hosts of a fundraiser for Alison Lundergan Grimes, assailed Grimes on Thursday as unfriendly to gun owners.
Grimes was set to appear at a fundraiser for her campaign in Las Vegas Thursday night. One of the co-hosts of the event, trial lawyer Mike Papantonio, has made critical comments about the NRA.
Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, told the Lexington Herald-Leader in an email Thursday afternoon that Grimes’ claims to be a friend to gun-owners appear to be “empty campaign promises.”
“Alison Grimes would clearly rather hold court with her anti-gun Las Vegas trial lawyer friends than stand with hundreds of thousands of NRA members, gun owners and sportsmen in Kentucky,” Cox said. “While she may make empty campaign promises to support Second Amendment rights, her actions say something completely different. Kentuckians deserve better.”
Grimes’ campaign took issue with the charge, noting that her family, including her husband Andrew, shoot and hunt.
“As a contributor to the NRA, Alison’s position remains clear that she is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” Grimes’ spokeswoman Charly Norton said in an email. “She is on record with the NRA and will always fight to protect Kentuckians’ right to bear arms. Anyone who suggests otherwise is simply playing politics.”
While the NRA generally grades politicians on their records pertaining to gun issues, a spokesman said they do not have one for Grimes, a relative newcomer to the political arena.
Grimes will receive an NRA grade when the 2014 set is released somewhere in the middle of next year.