Rand Paul, Hardline Gun Group in Dogfight With GOP

Supports group attacking GOP's Eric Cantor, Scott Rigell

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 3, 2013 12:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's a showdown at the GOP corral: CPAC prom king Rand Paul is in a shootout with fellow Republicans Eric Cantor and Scott Rigell after a gun group backed by the Kentucky senator launched about $50,000 worth of attack ads accusing the Virginia reps of "wanting to pass Obama's gun control schemes," reports Politico. Rigell says the National Association for Gun Rights—an organization that considers the NRA too soft—is spreading lies about his position on gun control and has called on Paul to publicly withdraw his support for the group, which uses his name on fundraising material. Cantor and Rigell have A and A- ratings by the NRA, respectively.

Paul is a noted hardliner on gun control, but his office denies he is actually "affiliated" with the group. "Rand signs normal, run-of-the-mill activist emails and letters for numerous groups and this is one of them,” says a spokesman. But Rigell says lending his name is tantamount to an endorsement. “They are lying about who I am," he said, "and so for a senior Republican to saddle up with a group like that and with the money Rand Paul raises, he is providing the mechanism by which these ads are launched. So he is as responsible as they are for these false attacks.”

Rand Paul is backing a hardline gun group that's running attack ads against fellow Republicans, including Eric Cantor.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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An NAGR ad accuses Cantor of “voting with Obama on gun control."   (CLSzjyXJANI?list=UUHsC66ET51067rw0fjH2JPw)

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