You don’t get to be the guy best known for shooting a coyote while out on a run without having developed an infatuation with the firearm.
And in Iowa this morning, Rick Perry professed his love.
“It was a long love affair with a boy and his gun, that turned into a man and his gun, that turned into a man and his son and his daugher and their guns,” an orange-and-khaki-clad Perry said.
Perry’s attachment to guns — and his leadership of gun-lovin’ Texas for more than a decade — has led to a series of laws in the Lone Star State gun control advocates have called reckless. It’s also led to a top rating from the NRA and the adoration of gun-owning conservatives.
Gun control is another area where Perry’s chief rival, the former governor of less gun-lovin’ Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, makes conservatives nervous. He once advocated for the assault weapons ban, and was mocked in 2007 for buying his requisite lifetime membership in the NRA only as he spooled up his first run for the White House. Early signs suggest NRA-types are still not Romney fans.
Perry’s unquestioned pro-gun stance is an area where he can likely find traction on Romney, even as he acknowledges he’s got an uphill climb to get back in the top tier of the race.