The National Rifle Association (NRA) has drawn in nearly all of the 2016 Republican candidates to its annual conference, this year being held in Nashville, Tennessee. One notable exception is Rand Paul, who was not extended an invitation due to his association with gun rights groups, such as Gun Owners of America, that are often critical of the NRA, accusing it of not being strong enough in pushing to expand Second Amendment rights.


Report from Fox News:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took aim Friday at President Obama and Washington lawmakers over gun control measures during a speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Tennessee.

“The constitutional right to bear arms is constantly in jeopardy,” Rubio told the crowd during his 10-minute speech. “Our people have a right that must never be denied.”

Rubio, who is expected to formally enter the race for the White House on Monday, was among a group of potential GOP presidential candidates speaking at the Nashville convention.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took a jab at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s record, telling attendees, “She actually gave Russia a reset button! A reset button!”

“I wonder what her campaign slogan will be?” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal asked the crowd: “It may be – what difference does it make?”

Among the other headliners: From Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz and former Gov. Rick Perry; from Florida, former Gov. Jeb Bush; former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania; Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; and neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who officially launched his presidential campaign Tuesday, did not attend due to a campaign event in Iowa. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has a C-rating from the NRA, also did not attend.

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence were scheduled to attend but canceled their appearances.

Many of the full speeches delivered by the candidates are at the links below:

Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee

Scott Walker’s video was not yet available. I’m sure I’m missing some, leave a comment below if I’ve left a candidate off the list. Note that neither Rand Paul nor Chris Christie were in attendance as neither were invited.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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