With November 2018 getting closer Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is trying to run for re-election as the pro-gun candidate rejected by the NRA.
Machin’s Senate career began with a 2010 special election victory in which he ran as pro-gun and enjoyed NRA support. However, once in office Manchin expressed many of the same gun control views as Michael Bloomberg and spearheaded Barack Obama’s gun control push following the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. PBS reported that the Obama White House trusted Manchin to beat the NRA on gun control.
To be clear, Manchin’s gun control support has paid dividend among leftists. For example, Bloomberg held a fundraiser for Manchin on July 22, 2013, and Breitbart News reported that Manchin attended the fundraiser. Yet while leftists were giving Mancin money the NRA was severing its relationship with him.
Moreover, the NRA ran an ad in West Virginia highlighting Manchin’s embrace of gun control:
But Manchin did not recant his gun control support. Instead, he made efforts to reinvigorate his failed Sandy Hook gun control package whenever afforded the opportunity. Following Pres. Trump’s election, Manchin even expressed his hope that Trump could be persuaded to join the Manchin gun control campaign.
On April 7, 2015, Breitbart News reported that Manchin attempted to explain away the NRA’s rejection of him by suggesting the NRA was no longer the group it used to be. He claimed the NRA used to stand for “gun culture” but morphed into standing for “big business.”
Now Manchin is running for re-election in gun-loving West Virginia and the onus is on him to convince residents that he pro-gun despite being pro-gun control. Doing that will require him to run as a pro-gun candidate rejected by the NRA.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.