National Rifle Association President David Keene, who spoke before thousands at a gun-rights rally in Albany Thursday, said today on a local radio show that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s stringent gun-control law will wreck his chances for president in 2016.
Cuomo, a Democrat surrounded by 2016 presidential speculation, quickly passed the first gun-control law in the nation after the Newtown, Conn., massacre in December. Critics have said the move was to forward his political ambitions, but Cuomo said his intentions were to make New Yorkers safer from gun violence.
Keene said Cuomo will not be palatable to voters in most states after the gun law.
“If you look at the states in which governors are really going after firearms, they are states that are governed by people who think they really ought to be president,” Keene said on Talk 1300 (WGDJ-AM). “And they’re making the mistake tht they claimed Republicans made in the last cycle, which is trying to bolster their popularity with the extreme base in their own party.
“I think what Andrew Cuomo’s doing here is trying to make himself something of a hero of the extreme left of the Democratic party. And if he does that, that could help him in a primary or two, if he decides to run for president.
“It could make him completely unacceptable nationally in any kind of a general election. So I think what he’s doing, from a political standpoint, is playing a very short-term game that will, in fact, make him a persona non grata in most states in this country in the long term.”
Keene explained protesters’ use Thursday of signs comparing Cuomo to Adolf Hitler or other tyrants. He said in other countries, such as Germany in the 1930s, citizens lost their right to bear arms.
“Folks that are cognizant of the history, not just in Germany but elsewhere, look back to the history and say we can’t let that sort of thing happen here,” Keene said.
He said gun supporters believe that the Second Amendment is what “has made America what it is today.”
Photo by Gannett’s Haley Viccaro