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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

What Will Mike Pence Say About Elena Kagan?



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Later today at the NRA convention, Rep. Mike Pence will address the attendees, and he is expected to talk about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. At first glance, it might seem surprising that a House member is talking about a potential justice, instead of one of the senators in attendance (Thune, Burr). But the senators probably need to appear open-minded on Kagan, while Pence can articulate all of the concern about her meager, and not promising, comments on the Second Amendment.

The NRA scored the vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor, meaning that it counted towards the organization’s annual “grades” of candidates and potential endorsements. Pence has already compared Kagan to Harriet Miers (and he didn’t mean it as a compliment), and if he really hits Kagan hard today before an audience of tens of thousands of NRA members, he may make it difficult for the NRA to not score the Kagan vote.

One other wrinkle? As I noted earlier this week, the Florida Senate race represents a unique headache for the NRA, since their longtime ally Charlie Crist has alienated many conservatives and Republicans but been solid on the gun issue. Meanwhile, while many conservatives enthusiasically back Marco Rubio, the NRA was underwhelmed with Rubio’s effort on a bill that gave employees the right to keep guns in their cars when they park in workplace lots. The NRA is “evaluating the race”, and on paper, they appeared set to be Charlie Crist’s last ally . . . except that the Florida governor just declared about Kagan, “I think she’d do a great job.”


Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio , Mike Pence , NRA Convention


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