In December 2012, Donald Trump praised President Barack Obama’s comments about the shooting deaths at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school. Nearly four years later, he accepted the endorsement of the National Rifle Association as the presumptive Republican nominee for president.
President Obama spoke for me and every American in his remarks in #Newtown Connecticut.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2012
At the NRA’s annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday, Trump spoke the language of gun owners, decrying the Democratic presidential front-runner’s support for gun control .
“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment,” he said adding that as president he would preserve it and “cherish it.”
Trump used the opportunity burnish his credentials with gun advocates by mentioning he has a right-to-carry permit.
“Boy, would they be surprised if they tried to hit Trump,” he said, also adding that his sons are avid gun users and better shooters than he is.
The billionaire mogul also said he would undo executive actions that Obama issued in January that tightened rules on federal background checks for firearm purchases.
“They are going to be unsigned the first hour that I’m in office,” he said to applause.
By contrast, Trump once questioned the Republicans’ lockstep support for the NRA’s positions.
“Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed,” Trump wrote in a book in 2000. “The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.”
All that was forgotten as NRA leaders welcomed Trump on Friday.
“By God, we will elect our next president, we will save our freedom and America truly will be great again,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.