Some potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates are already hard at work securing the future votes of gun rights advocates.
President Obama isn’t winning any favors among gun rights advocates as he lobbies for stricter gun control legislation following the National Day to Demand Action. So, it’s no surprise that aspiring contenders for the Oval Office are trying to cozy up to conservative voters. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida announced that he was teaming up with fellow Republican Senators Ted Cruz (TX), Rand Paul (KY), and Mike Lee (UT) to oppose the new legislation.
These Senators are generally united in their stand against President Obama, but they don’t quite see eye-to-eye on the best way to serve conservative voters. While giving a speech in Rand Paul’s home state, Rubio told an audience that Americans “cannot retreat from the world” because “a vacuum will be created.” This proactive foreign policy stance is in stark contrast to Paul’s belief that the US should reduce foreign aid.
Meanwhile, Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has been struggling to gather voting power in his home state. Impressively, 70% of NJ voters support Christie’s role as governor, but that number drops to 41% percent when pollsters asked NJ citizens if they thought that Christie would make a good president. Despite the fact that Christie leans right of center, he has expressed support for some gun control laws.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) hasn’t been terribly vocal in the gun debate recently, but the Connecticut Republican Party recently announced that Walker will give the keynote address at the annual Prescott Bush Awards Dinner. This could be a good sign for Walker; last year’s keynote speaker was Ann Romney.
It’s hard to predict what the 2016 Republican presidential candidate will say about the issue of gun control, especially since the current reactions range from outrage to enthusiasm to silence. Republican infighting over hot button issues like foreign affairs and gay marriage further complicates the issue. Will the increasingly factious Republican Party be able to set aside differences and stand together against the gun control push and eventually stop the eight-year Democratic presidential streak?