Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will find a receptive audience when he delivers a speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting on May 20; the NRA’s leadership has for years made the types of inflammatory claims about race, gender, and ethnicity that Trump has now brought to presidential politics.
Trump To Speak At The NRA’s Annual Meeting
Trump To Address NRA Leadership Forum. The NRA will host a series of speeches featuring Donald Trump and other Republican politicians on May 20 at the organization’s annual meeting in Louisville, KY. The NRA bills the event as “a must-stop for candidates seeking the highest levels of elected office,” saying it features “our nation’s top Second Amendment leaders in government, media and the entertainment industry.” [NRA, accessed 5/18/16]
On Hillary Clinton
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre: "Eight Years Of One Demographically Symbolic President Is Enough.” Wayne LaPierre made a race- and gender-based attack on President Obama and Hillary Clinton during the NRA’s 2015 annual meeting, claiming that when Obama “is finished, he intends to go out with a coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I have to tell you, eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough”:
[National Rifle Association annual meeting, 4/11/15]
Trump: “The Only Thing She’s Got Going Is The Women’s Card.” Trump said that “if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote” and that “The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card, and the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her” during a speech following primary victories on April 26. [ThinkProgress, 4/26/16]
LaPierre: “So The Border Today Remains Porous … To Criminals Whose Jobs Are Murder, Rape, Robbery And Kidnapping.” In an opinion piece that was widely criticized for its racial overtones, LaPierre raised the threat of “Latin American drug gangs” and said that “the border today remains porous not only to people seeking jobs in the U.S., but to criminals whose jobs are murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping”:
During the second Obama term, however, additional threats are growing. Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States. Phoenix is already one of the kidnapping capitals of the world, and though the states on the U.S./Mexico border may be the first places in the nation to suffer from cartel violence, by no means are they the last.
The president flagrantly defies the 2006 federal law ordering the construction of a secure border fence along the entire Mexican border. So the border today remains porous not only to people seeking jobs in the U.S., but to criminals whose jobs are murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping. Ominously, the border also remains open to agents of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Numerous intelligence sources have confirmed that foreign terrorists have identified the southern U.S. border as their path of entry into the country. [Daily Caller, 2/13/13]
Trump: Mexicans Immigrants Are “Rapists.” Trump announced his run for president with a speech in which he claimed that Mexico is “sending people that have lots of problems … they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists.” According to CBS News:
“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems,” he continued. “And these aren't the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best...they're sending people that have lots of problems...they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” [CBS News, 6/16/15]
On Buying Guns Because Of The “Knockout Game”
LaPierre: We Need Guns To Protect Our Families From “Knockout Gamers.” Although criminologists cast doubt on the claim that “knockout game” attacks -- where someone attempts to knock out an unsuspecting victim -- were actually a widespread phenomenon, LaPierre cited “knockout gamers” as a reason that Americans should own “all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want”:
WAYNE LAPIERRE: We don't trust government, because government itself has proven unworthy of our trust. We trust ourselves and we trust what we know in our hearts to be right. We trust our freedom. In this uncertain world, surrounded by lies and corruption everywhere you look, there is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want. We know in the world that surrounds us there are terrorists and there are home invaders, drug cartels, carjackers, knockout gamers, and rapers, and haters, and campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse our society that sustains us all. [Media Matters, 3/6/14]
Trump Repeatedly Cited The “Knockout Game” To Promote Carrying Guns In Public. Trump wrote, “Knockout assaults are the new rage by sick and depraved youth. We better start getting tough in this country-and they want to take our guns!” and made several other claims on Twitter that used the “knockout game” to promote gun ownership during a series of tweets in November 2013:
NRA Board Member Ted Nugent: Obama Has A “Phony Birth Certificate.” Nugent endorsed the conspiracy theory that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery in a 2013 column for conspiracy website WND, writing that “more of us believe in the American hero Sheriff Joe Arpaio's thorough investigation into your phony birth certificate and phony history than the phony media's smoke and mirrors.” [WND, 7/31/13]
Trump Was One Of The Most Prominent Promoters Of “Birther” Conspiracy. According to ABC News, “In 2011, when he was vocally mulling over a possible presidential run, Trump launched a public pursuit of Obama's birth certificate, announcing that he has sent private investigators to Hawaii to see what they could find”:
The re-emergence of a discussion over President Obama's religion and birthplace as part of Donald Trump's presidential campaign might give some people a sense of deja vu.
The reality TV star and businessman has spoken extensively about his questions over whether Barak [sic] Obama was actually born in Hawaii like he (and the state of Hawaii) says he was.
In 2011, when he was vocally mulling over a possible presidential run, Trump launched a public pursuit of Obama's birth certificate, announcing that he has sent private investigators to Hawaii to see what they could find.
The president then released the long-form version of his birth certificate in response to the uproar that Trump had caused. After its release, Trump said that he was “proud of myself because I've accomplished something nobody has been able to accomplish.” [ABC News, 9/18/15]
NRA’s Nugent: The “Black Problem” Could Be Solved If Black People Commited To “Delivering Excellence At Every Move.” Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges that he murdered Trayvon Martin, Nugent gave a series of racially charged interviews about the African-American community, claiming in one of them that “blacks can fix the black problem tonight” if they would put their “heart and soul into being honest, law-abiding, [and] delivering excellence at every move in your life”:
TED NUGENT: The food stamp scam, the welfare scam -- blacks can fix the black problem tonight if they just admit that they can do anything that I can do, anything that Alex Jones can do, anything that Thomas Sowell can do, anything that any American can do if you put your heart and soul into being honest, law-abiding, [and] delivering excellence at every move in your life. [The Alex Jones Show, via Media Matters, 7/17/13]
Trump: Black Youth Have “No Spirit.” Trump said after speaking at a GOP dinner that black youth have come to “a point where they've just about never done more poorly, there's no spirit,” according to The Independent:
Talking with reporters, he spoke briefly about race relations in the country following the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina last week and after President Obama discussed the matter with Marc Maron, with the country's first black president using the “N-word”.
Mr Trump said that African-American youth had reached "a point where they've just about never done more poorly, there's no spirit, there’s killings on an hourly basis virtually in places like Baltimore and Chicago and many other places.
“There’s no spirit. I thought that President Obama would be a great cheerleader for the country. And he’s really become very divisive.” [The Independent, 6/24/15]
On The Media
NRA’s LaPierre: The National Media Represent “One Of America’s Greatest Threats.” LaPierre frequently complains about media coverage of the NRA and claims that there is a national media conspiracy to push falsehoods about the group. During a 2014 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, LaPierre claimed, “One of America's greatest threats is a national news media that fails to provide a level playing field for the truth. …The media's intentional corruption of the truth is an abomination. And NRA members will never, and I mean never, submit or surrender to the national media”:
WAYNE LAPIERRE: One of America's greatest threats is a national news media that fails to provide a level playing field for the truth. Now it's all entertainment, ratings, personal celebrity, the next sensational story, and the deliberate spinning and purposeful use of words and language, truth be damned, to advance their own agenda. You see it every day in this country. And here's how you know the media is lying: they still call themselves journalists. I'll tell you they've never been honest about the NRA. They hate us. Just for saying out loud and sticking up for what we believe. As if we have no right. So they try to ridicule us into oblivion or shame us into submission. But their moral indignation, it should be directed right into their own makeup mirrors. The media's intentional corruption of the truth is an abomination. And NRA members will never, and I mean never, submit or surrender to the national media. [Wayne LaPierre, via Media Matters, 3/6/14]
Trump Suggested Loosening Libel Laws So It’s Easier To Sue Media Outlets. Trump said “I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money” during a February rally, as reported by Politico:
During a rally in Fort Worth, Texas, Trump began his usual tirade against newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, saying they're “losing money” and are “dishonest.” The Republican presidential candidate then took a different turn, suggesting that when he's president they'll “have problems.”
“One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected,” Trump said. [Politico, 2/26/16]