- Pre-Primary Period
« Candidates/Potential Candidates at 144th NRA Annual
Meetings and Exhibits
144th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits
Music City Center
April 10-12, 2015
Dr. Ben Carson
Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Lindsey Graham
Gov. Bobby Jindal
former Gov. Rick Perry
Sen. Marco Rubio
Gov. Scott Walker
Former Gov. Jeb Bush
JEB BUSH’S REMARKS TO THE NRA’S ANNUAL LEADERSHIP FORUM
Tallahassee, FL — Right to Rise PAC Honorary Chairman Jeb Bush today delivered the following remarks to the National Rifle Association's Annual Leadership Forum.
As prepared for delivery:
“Thanks Chris Cox and Wayne LaPierre.
“Thanks to my friend Marion Hammer -- she’s back in Tallahassee. She is in the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in the capitol in Tallahassee.
“And she should be in the gun rights Hall of Fame for the good work she does!
“I’m very excited to be here, talk about the need to change the direction of this country.
- How we tax is stifling the next generation of businesses and workers and keeping them from rising up…
- Education system is broken and in need of reform…
- The DC deficits and debt are out of control…
- In the face of rising danger from Russia… and Iran ... and ISIS – among others -- our president is indecisive and weak… he’s making bad deals and leaving America exposed.
“Today I want to focus on a challenge at the heart of the Age of Obama:
“The government is too big… too powerful… and too intrusive:
- Regulating Internet with a law written in 1934;
- Government takeover of your health care;
- Greatest boon to our economy and national security is fracking – hydraulic and horizontal drilling -- and Obama wants to regulate it and choke it
“It’s a world view.
“It’s the liberal-progressive world view of Barack Obama and Eric Holder and all the other people who want to take guns out of the hands of the good guys…
“…the hands of law-abiding citizens.
“But the Second Amendment is one area where the Obama administration has run into a wall.
“And that Kevlar covered wall is the N R A.
“Because you’ve stayed informed on the issues… organized … made your voices heard… the Second Amendment is still safe.
“And that’s a good thing…
“… because the Second Amendment is the original Homeland Security Act.
“Look: To the Obama Administration, the Constitution is like a breakfast buffet.
“They pick the amendments they like. And they leave the ones they don’t like.
“The First. The Tenth. And the Second.
“But here’s the thing: The Bill of Rights is an all-in set of rights.
“It’s a package deal.
“You honor all of it… you protect all of it… because our liberty is diminished each time we don’t.
“Now, we’re seeing the Obama Administration take on gun rights wherever they can.
“You know what I’m talking about.
“If they can’t pass a law, they try executive orders.
“They try to ban certain guns.
“They try to ban certain bullets.
“They try to block banks from lending to small gun shops.
“It’s almost like the Obama Administration doesn’t realize that the best form of national defense is a nation of free men and women exercising their Second Amendment rights.
“I have a message for the Obama Administration:
“Why don’t you focus more on keeping weapons out of the hands of Islamic terrorists and less on keeping weapons out of the hands of law-abiding Americans.
“I’m not a newcomer to this issue – I’ve been an NRA life member since 1986.
“I’ve been in the trenches with you. And when I was governor, we were passing laws and creating protections for gun-owners that set the bar for other states to follow.
“I will match my record against anyone else’s when it comes to the support and defense of our Second Amendment rights.
“When you’re a governor for 8 years, you build a record. Here’s mine:
- I earned an A+ rating from the NRA. I was proud of that one.
- Florida's pro-gun laws have been a model for other states. Today, there are well over 1.3 million law-abiding Floridians with valid concealed weapons permits.
- Most in the nation – nearly double #2, Texas (700k)… Not that I’m competitive or anything…
- As governor, I had one year where I signed SIX pro-gun and hunting bills. That was a record for Florida, and the NRA gave it a good nickname:
- You called them the “Six Pack of Freedom.”
“Let me tell you about some of the laws we passed:
- There was an agenda to bankrupt gun manufacturers with frivolous lawsuits.
“The left-wing was brazen – they talked about it openly. So we passed a law stopping these kinds of lawsuits – because when a gun is used in a crime, the fault belongs to the criminal.
- We were seeing urban growth take away hunting lands.
“But hunting is a part of our heritage of independence. For many Americans, it’s a sport shared by generations.
“So we passed the No Net Loss of Hunting Lands Legislation. This law required that the state replace lands lost to development with new lands in that same area.
“Since that law was passed in 2006, Florida has seen acreage for hunting increase by 159,221 acres.
- We passed legislation to stop “name-and shame” campaigns to keep the government or media from publishing information about those with concealed weapons licenses.
- We had women who had good reason to want to keep their address secret.
- When you buy a gun, it’s not an invitation for anyone– not the government and not the media -- to name you and try to shame you.
- It’s your home and it’s your family. And it’s nobody else’s business.
- We passed legislation to slam the door on gun registration – so that state government agencies and private entities couldn’t collect and maintain lists of law-abiding firearms owners.
“And if anybody tried to create such a registry, we created a fine of up to $5 million – so that the law had some I’m-not-kidding-teeth.
- Florida was one of the first states to make the Castle Doctrine the law of the land.
- If someone enters your home and you fear for your safety, you shouldn’t have to try to escape first. You can use your weapon to defend yourself.
- Before the law was passed, juries were being told that you were supposed to run from your own home rather than defend yourself and your family. So we fixed that.
- And we built on that concept with the principle that you can Stand Your Ground.
“In Florida, you can defend yourself anywhere you have a legal right to be if you reasonably believe you are in danger of death, or injury, or rape, or kidnapping.
- This is a sensible law that other states have adopted… because you shouldn’t have to choose between being attacked or going to jail.
- The only thing you should worry about is keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
“When I was governor, we were passing these laws and other states were following our lead. We were often the model.
“That’s how it should work.
“The Second Amendment creates a sacred right. But it’s through the Tenth Amendment for each state to extend that right.
“What I know for sure is that it’s not up to the federal government to centralize power in Washington D.C.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee
UPDATE: Huckabee to walk NRA vendor floor at 11:30 a.m.
# # #EVENT: Gov. Huckabee walks vendor floor at NRA Convention
Gov. Bobby Jindal
Governor Jindal’s remarks to the NRA as prepared for delivery:
What a great crowd we have here today.
I think all of us are what Hillary Clinton once called the “vast right wing conspiracy.”
You remember that? Those were her exact words.
She was wrong about the conspiracy part. But she was not wrong to say it is vast.
we are going to show her how vast it is next year!
We showed President Obama exactly how vast our movement is.
When he tried to ban green-tip ammo, we rose up and stopped him!
I guess that’s why he complained about how much we cling to our guns and religion.
He said we were bitter. Do you remember that?
Like you, I am not bitter.
But I am gravely concerned about things in our nation… and that is what I would like to talk about today.
This month we have seen something very dangerous happen in our country.
If you saw the news out of Indiana and Arkansas, I’m sure you are just as concerned as I am.
Those two states debated laws to protect the religious freedom of their citizens – laws to keep government from compelling anyone to participate in wedding ceremonies that are incompatible with their deeply held religious convictions.
We saw something in those states uncommon in our history.
We saw Hollywood liberals and editorial columnists form a new alliance with some of the biggest corporations in our country.
They came together to bully the elected representatives of the people.
And let’s not mince words about it.
It was bullying.
Indiana legislators passed a law that matched the values of Indianans.
And in just days, the radical left wing and corporate America bullied them into backing down.
I believe in competition.
And I am not whining because my side lost.
Winning and losing is a fact of life.
But what I am troubled by…. is that this was not a matter of competing policy preferences.
This was different.
This was an attack on our Constitution.
It was an attack on the fundamental right to speech and association and the free exercise of religion.
It was large corporations and Hollywood saying: we don’t care about the First Amendment.
Now I am still a young man, but I remember the days when Hollywood liked the First Amendment. Don’t you?
Maybe they haven’t read it lately.
I guess they’re too busy dealing with record low movie attendance.
Now, I know you did not come here today expecting to hear a speech on religious liberty.
But my friends, if these large forces can conspire to crush the First Amendment, it won’t be long before they come after the Second Amendment.
Michael Bloomberg is already trying.
He’s pressuring grocery stores and restaurants to ban guns.
Next, he will bully sporting goods stores to quit selling guns and ammo.
Bloomberg can not beat Chris Cox and Wayne LaPierre in the elections….so he’s trying to beat us in the boardrooms of corporate America.
When you read the Constitution, there are only seventy-two words in these first two amendments...but in those seventy-two words there is one essential, God-given, truth that defines us as a country.
In America, the people’s voice trumps the government’s voice.
In America, the politicians take orders from the people -- and not the other way around.
In America, the people rule.
That should never, ever, change.
Those first two amendments have no gray area.
It starts, and I quote, “Congress shall make no law” restricting the freedoms of speech or religion.
Did you hear that President Obama?
NO law. NO law.
If they’d known President Obama was coming the Founders might have put executive orders in there too.
The Second Amendment ends by saying that our right to keep AND BEAR guns quote “shall not be infringed.”
You don’t need to go to court to have that language interpreted.
That is so clear even Michael Bloomberg ought to be able to understand it.
The Founders knew what they were doing.
They had seen religious persecution first hand.
They had proven that a well-armed citizenry is all that stands between freedom and a tyrant.
They knew that it was impossible to build a society that was truly free without the right to speak…the right to worship…and the right to bear arms.
You sometimes get the idea that President Obama and Hillary Clinton believe these are “crazy right wing ideas” dreamt up by talk radio hosts.
But these are not the ideas of a right wing conspiracy.
They are the pillars of our nation.
That’s why I was proud to write the law in Congress after Hurricane Katrina ensuring that NEVER again could the government seize your firearms in a disaster.
That’s why I was proud to guarantee the right of Louisianians to carry their firearms in their cars to work, even if their employer objected.
That’s why I was proud to pass Louisiana’s own 2nd Amendment to our state constitution, giving us the strongest pro-gun laws in America.
And that’s why I was honored to earn the NRA’s highest national award for legislative achievement.
We are not defending these principles because we just want to beat the other guys.
We don’t fight for these principles for ourselves.
We fight for the right to bear arms and the right to dissent and the right to worship because we know that the day those rights disappear…is the day this is no longer America.
Freedom is the right of every individual – but it’s not a guarantee.
It has never been guaranteed.
It has to be preserved, it has to be protected, It has to be defended by selfless people willing to fight and take action.
That’s why you are here today.
That is why I am here today.
That is why the National Rifle Association is the most effective civil rights organization in America.
It is our duty to not only exercise our freedom – but to defend the freedoms of all Americans.
That is what separates us from our opponents.
Liberal elitists believe CNN should have First Amendment freedom, but average American small businesses should not.
Liberal elitists believe it’s ok for companies to do business in nations with oppressive regimes….and then boycott Indiana.
Liberal elitists believe they should be able to have armed guards and gated communities…while gun control leaves your family defenseless.
The only freedom they believe in absolutely is the absolute freedom to engage in hypocrisy.
You and I are called to a different path.
We stand up for the rights of all Americans.
We believe all men and women should be able to worship their God, speak their mind, and defend their families.
Those are not rights dreamt up by politicians…and they weren’t even created in our Constitution.
They are rights endowed by our Creator…given to humanity by God above.
In closing I want to talk about our road ahead…
There’s a big election next year.
A monumental, history-changing election.
You and I know that after Barack Obama, we need a President who will not settle for even one more Supreme Court Justice who is against our right to keep and bear arms.
No more Kagans!
No more Sotomayors!
Not one more!
We need a President who will push the Congress to guarantee your right to bear arms….
A national right to carry promised by our national constitution.
Your right to defend yourself should not end at the state line.
Every state. Every city. Even Washington. No more exceptions.
That’s what we need.
But before the next President, whoever that might be, embarks on that task we have to face up to a difficult fact.
Barack Obama has fundamentally changed a few things.
In his six years, he has emboldened the left-wing radicals to shoot for the moon.
Now we face not just liberal politicians, but out-of-touch Hollywood elitists…and big businesses afraid to stand up for freedom.
This alliance is determined to rob us of the freedoms we cherish.
There are going to be days when it feels like we are behind.
There are going to be days when it seems too many powerful forces are lined up against us.
But America has overcome tyrants before.
And we will do it again.
In a world wracked with chaos, we can preserve this nation of faith and this island of freedom.
It is the destiny of our nation.
It is the duty of the brave.
And the National Rifle Association will be there in the gap, day in, day out, through sunny days and storms.
Never stop fighting.
Never stop believing.
God bless you. God bless the NRA. And God bless the United States of America.
Gov. Scott Walker
Walker’s 2nd Amendment Record:
· A+ rating from NRA
· In 1995 and 1997 he cosponsored legislation that would include the Right to Keep and Bear arms in the state constitution, and joined voters in approving the change in 1998
· In 2003 he joined voters in approving a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the Right to Hunt and Fish in the state constitution
· Signed concealed carry, making WI the 49th state to have the law
· Signed into law the Hunting Heritage Act which encourages the recruitment and retention of hunters and trappers
· Signed legislation to allow residents to purchase long guns in non-contiguous states. This brings the state into line with forty other states that already allow their residents to purchase and sell rifles and shotguns in non-contiguous states, provided the purchase or sale complies with state and federal law
· Signed a shooting range protection bill that expands the provisions of current law concerning zoning restrictions regarding noise and provides that a person who owns or operates a sport shooting range is not subject to state or local zoning conditions or rules related to noise and non-conforming use
· Committed to sign legislation repealing the antiquated 48-hour “time tax” on handgun purchases
· Walker owns a shot gun and a rifle. He started hunting duck, pheasant and deer about a decade ago with friends.
**EMBARGOED UNTIL 1:30 PM CT**
Governor Walker Remarks As Prepared For Delivery to the NRA Leadership Forum
Freedom. Endowed by our Creator. Defined by our Constitution. But defended each and every day by the men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the United States military. Will all of you who have served or who are still serving today please stand so we can thank you.
I carry patches with me each day to remind me of the men and women from my National Guard units that are still deployed today. We need to keep all of our service members – particularly those who are deployed – in our prayers.
Thank you Chris for that great introduction. It is my honor to work with the NRA in my state and across the country. I'm proud of my A+ rating as governor.
Some on the Left might call it a Scarlet Letter but I consider it a badge of honor.
It's about protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms – but it is bigger than just that. It is all about freedom – the very thing our founders spelled out in our nation’s Constitution.
Sometimes I think that the current occupant in the White House forgets that when the president is sworn in he takes an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Well Mr. President, the 2nd Amendment is part of the Constitution. You don't get to pick and choose which part of the Constitution you support. Preserving, protecting and defending it is not optional. It's mandatory.
And I think it's about time we had a president who understands that.
My support for the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms goes back to my days in the state Assembly in Wisconsin, through my time as an elected County Executive in Milwaukee County (where my friend David Clarke is the Sheriff) to my time as governor. And like so many people in my home state, I love to hunt – be it with my rifle, my shotgun or occasionally with my Mathews bow.
Some might think that my work with the NRA is because of our strong hunting heritage in our home state, but it goes deeper than that. When I signed shall-issue concealed carry and when I signed Castle Doctrine, we did it to allow law-abiding people to defend themselves, their loved ones and their property. You see, it's all about freedom.
That is what is at stake in this country today. Our freedom is at risk in other areas as well.
We have a president who thinks that you grow the economy by growing Washington. Think about it: 6 of the top 10 wealthiest counties in America are in or around Washington, D.C.
We believe that you grow the economy in cities and towns and villages all across the country. That people create jobs and not the government. It's all about freedom.
Today, we have a president who measures success in government by how many people are dependent on the government. We measure success by how many people are no longer dependent on the government.
We understand that true freedom and prosperity come not from the mighty hand of government but from empowering people to control their own lives and their own destinies through the dignity of work.
There is a reason we take a day off to celebrate the 4th of July and not April 15th, because in America, we celebrate our independence from the government and not our dependence on it. It's all about freedom.
And we have a president who draws a line in the sand and then allows people to cross it – who calls ISIS the JV squad, Yemen a success story and Iran a place we can do business with.
We need a Commander-in-Chief who will say that radical Islamic terrorism is a threat. A leader who will affirm that Israel is indeed our ally. And a president who will look the American people in the eye and say that we will do whatever it takes to take the fight to them before they bring the fight here to American soil. It's all about freedom.
As challenging as these times are, I am an optimist. The successes in many of our states over the past four years shows that with the right leadership, we can make America great again. The history of our great country shows that to be true.
Back in 2011, Tonette and I had an opportunity to go to Philadelphia for the first time. As a kid, I loved to read about our founders so it was a real treat to go over the Independence Hall for the first time.
We walked into the hall and I was ready to be blown away as I always thought of our founders as bigger than life – almost like super heroes. As I looked as the desks and the chairs, it dawned on me that these were ordinary people. Ordinary people who did something quite extraordinary.
You see, these people didn't just risk their political careers. They didn't just risk their business ventures. These were patriots who risked their lives for the freedoms we hold dear today.
It is in moments like this that make me realize that what makes America great, what makes us exceptional, what makes us arguably the greatest country in the history of the world is that - in times of crisis – there have been men and women of courage who have been willing to think more about the future of their children and grandchildren then about their own political futures.
This is one of those moments. This is a time when we can tell future generations that we heard the call and took action. We can tell them what we did to protect freedom. Help us make America great again.