Donald Trump showered love on Kanye West at the National Rifle Association’s annual get-together in Dallas.
Bragging about just-released April stats showing 18-year low unemployment rates, and his recent poll numbers, Trump crowed, “And by the way, Kanye West must have some power, because I doubled my African American poll numbers! They went from 11 to 22 in one week. Thank you Kanye!”
“When I saw the number I said there must be a mistake. How can that happen? Even the pollsters thought there must be a mistake,” Trump joked as the crowd roared.
“We’ve come a long way, Trump said, taking yet another gathering of his base attendees on a trip down memory lane to his campaign days when he would tell African American voters, “What do you have to lose?”
“Because the Democrats have always had their vote. What do you have to lose? Horrible in crime, horrible in education, horrible on everything. What do you have to lose? They voted for me and we won. But, now, the numbers are much higher than they ever were with African-American and we’re happy.”
Playing to the crowd, Trump again touted NRA’s scheme to arm teachers at public schools, commending NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and others whose hearts, Trump said, were “filled with shock and grief by the monstrous attack on a high school in Parkland, Florida.”
“We mourn for the victims and their families,” Trump said, saying his administration is committed to improving early warning systems so authorities can take swift action when they see red flags, “which they saw in Parkland all over the place.”
“Law abiding gun owners want to keep firearms out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves and others,” Trump said, carrying NRA water.
“We strongly believe in letting highly trained teachers carry concealed weapons,” said Trump, though Parkland shooting survivors, teachers, and parents have mostly called it horseradish.
Traveling on Air Force One on his way to the event, Trump said of the NRA: “This is a great organization that loves this country…And we have a record crowd.”
After the Parkland shooting, Trump briefly went off the NRA rails, saying he would do away with bump stocks, and raise the age for purchasing a semi automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years. He even accused some conservatives in Congress who balked at his plans of being afraid of the NRA. But, after NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and the org’s lobbyist paid Trump a late night visit at the White House, they got Trump back on track and, in February he took the stage at CPAC to again promote arming teachers only. Then, as today, he gave a vague shout out to “strengthened background checks” to keep “mentally ill” people from getting weapons, veering ever so slightly from the NRA’s position, but very noticeably did not call to raise the age at which a semi-automatic rifle can be purchased.
Guns, and knives, were not allowed inside today’s NRA confab today, because Trump and Veep Mike Pence would be in the hall. The irony was not lost on one of thos Parkland, Florida school shooting survivors, Matt Deitsch:
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