In what is likely a disappointment, the NRA has chosen not to endorse U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, even though he has a 100 percent legislative record on gun rights and has bucked his party when voting on gun restrictions. Most recently Begich did so amid huge pressure from his party, the president, gun restriction advocates and weeping mothers when he voted against a bill that would ban assault rifles and tighten up background checks. He was one of four Democrats to do so.
The NRA said it chose not to endorse Begich because of his votes for Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, both of whom the NRA opposed.
The group gave Begich an “A minus” rating, and GOP candidate Dan Sullivan an “A q” rating, the “q” standing for “qualified” because although he filled out the group’s questionnaire to their satisfaction, Sullivan doesn’t yet have a legislative record.
Referring to attacks on Begich by Sullivan on Begich’s gun record, Ed Kilgore with the Washington Monthly wrote that voting pro-gun isn’t giving Democrats like Begich cover. “(N)o one should be under any illusion that defensive voting on individual issues will provide any significant political protection these days,” he said even before the NRA announced that it wasn’t endorsing Begich.