Jeb Bush Claims He Received Non-Existent NRA Award

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush frequently talks about receiving the “NRA Statesmen of the Year” award. But the NRA does not give such an award.

For example, CNN reports that Bush stood before a town hall audience in a Milford, New Hampshire, in December and said, “You know who you’re lookin’ at here? You’re looking at the guy who won the NRA Statesman of the Year award. Not the Florida award. The national award. And I got a rifle from Charlton Heston, I got a rifle from Moses.”

And Buzzfeed reports that Bush told a similar story on Fox News Sunday on January 3, saying, “I’m proud of the fact I have perhaps the most pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment record as a governor of any state in the country. It’s why I was statesman of the year of the NRA. I received an award from Charlton Heston about 10 years ago.”

Bush even claimed the award as a way to differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton. He tweeted, “As former NRA Statesman of the Year, I will fight to protect the 2nd Amendment. A clear contrast to Hillary Clinton.”

But the NRA “does not hand out a statesman of the year award.”

Moreover, Charlton Heston did not present Bush with a rifle. Bush was supposed to be handed a rifle by Heston at the 2003 NRA convention, but Heston fell ill and had to leave, so “the rifle was instead presented by the new president, Kayne Robinson.”

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