DOWNTOWN, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, (KTVI) – The National Rifle Association flexed its political clout on Friday by bringing republican presidential hopeful to St. Louis to address the organizations members.
‘When the sun goes down on Election Day Barack Obama will have us to thank for his defeat,’ said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA.
Hundreds of gun owners sat and listened to a number of speakers including the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Some hard core conservatives have had a hard time cozying up to Romney.
‘He’s not really conservative enough,’ said one NRA member. ‘But I’ll vote for him.’
One NRA member referred to Romney as a ‘rhino’ or a republican in name only.
‘He’s not as conservative as we like,’ said Jack Krisel, Larry Levan, NRA member. ‘I think he’s a Rhino.’
Romney’s address did not dwell on guns. He wove his campaign speech into a message for his NRA audience.
‘The answer for a weak economy is not more government it is more freedom,’ said Romney.
The former governor has been at odds with the NRA before but received cheers during his speech.
‘President Obama is moving us away from our founders` vision,’ Romney told the crowd. ‘Instead of limited government he’s leading us toward limited freedom.’
Romney appeared with his wife, Ann, who has been a growing figure on the campaign trail in recent weeks.
The NRA convention was in St. Louis in 2007 and set a record attendance. The convention continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday.