David Keene says Republican Party is a “vehicle” for NRA
For National Rifle Association president David Keene, the Republican Party is simply a viable vehicle upon which his movement can ride.
“Our movement and the Republican Party are not the same,” Keene clarified as he opened his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday afternoon. He called the Republican Party the path his movement has chosen in order to reach their policy goals.
“The way that party operates and the way it looks at the world is important to us because without it we don’t have a viable vehicle in this point of our history,” Keene said.
Keene, like many other CPAC speakers, heavily criticized the Republican establishment for the reaction to new party members.
Among those criticized, Keene admonished Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for not supporting “hero” Rand Paul and for not wanting the Kentucky Senator to be a member of the Republican Party because of Paul’s appeal to young people.
“Party establishments tend to want voters,” Keene said. “They just don’t want them in their clubs,”
According to Keene, his movement has been about ideals and principles since the very beginning and has attracted anyone with the same values. He speculated that exclusionist policies adopted by the GOP will be the basis for why the party will die instead of grow.
Keene used his CPAC stage to give a brief history of the Republican Party, highlighting conservative trials and former President Ronald Reagan.