Sen. Mitch McConnell held a campaign event this morning at the Jefferson County Sportsmen Club, where he once again touted his endorsement from the NRA and criticized the Obama Administration’s gun control policies.
I’m quite pleased to say that McConnell’s campaign decided to respect the First Amendment at his Second Amendment event today, as his campaign decided not to dispatch law enforcement to bar me from the event, and even allowed me to ask the senator a question for the first time since last July. Progress!
At the rally, attended by roughly 60 supporters, the NRA’s Chris Cox blasted President Obama and Attorney General as gun grabbers who hated the Second Amendment, saying McConnell was an even better advocate for gun rights than Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and that he would fight the United Nations Small Arms Treaty.
He then turned the mic over to McConnell, who spoke for only 53 seconds to the crowd.
Shortly after his speech, McConnell addressed the media with his wife Elaine Chao at his side, ripping state House Democrats for a “cover up” of the John Arnold scandal, saying that he stood up against Sen. Bob Packwood in the 1990s even though he was a Republican. McConnell then opened the floor for questions, and I asked the first (and last) question, referencing his campaign’s tweet this week claiming (along with Grumpy Cat) that AG Holder was for tracking bracelets on guns.
Since this claim is 100 percent false — Holder did no such thing — I asked McConnell if he stood by this claim:
LEO: Your campaign tweeted out this week that Eric Holder is advocating tracking bracelets for guns. Do you stand by that claim?
McConnell: What I’m here to talk to you about, in addition to what we did in there, was what I just had to say. Anybody interested in any follow up on the statement that I just made?
After two seconds of silence, McConnell said “OK, well thanks a lot,” turned around and walked away from reporters. That’s obviously not the first time he’s laid out ground rules for what topics reporters are allowed and not allowed to ask him, but it seemed odd to me — and the other reporters present — that questions about the Second Amendment are somehow not relevant at an campaign event that was supposed to tout his Second Amendment credentials.
I asked Cox if he agreed with the McConnell’s campaign’s contention that Holder is for gun tracking bracelets, who went into an indictment of Holder’s tenure without addressing the specific question. After I followed up to ask about the tracking bracelet claim, Cox said, “You can talk to the Justice Department about that.” The AG’s office corrected multiple false media reports this week by saying that he has never advocated for such a thing.
The McConnell campaign’s tweet about Holder’s support for tracking bracelets — from the frowny mouth of Grumpy Cat… so hip — remains on their Twitter account.