RNC hopefuls try to outgun each other

Hotline notes a bizarre exchange on personal firepower at an Americans for Tax Reform debate featuring the six candidates who hope to lead the Republican National Committee out of the political wilderness over the next four years.

ATR President and debate moderator Grover Norquist asked the eager-to-please hopefuls, “How many firearms do you own?”

The half-dozen would-be GOP operatives-in-chief were only too proud to scrap for the Rambo Award:

• Current RNC Chair Mike Duncan claimed four handguns and two rifles.
• South Carolina GOP Chair Katon Dalton boasted he has too many to count.
• Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell offered both that he has seven guns and that “he’s good” — presumably referring to his marksmanship, not his vote-counting skills.
• Michigan GOP Chair Saul Anuzis owned up to two guns.
• Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign manager and” Barack-the-Magic-Negro” CD gift-giver, Chip Saltzman, offered up a lengthy list of pistols.
• Ex-Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele stated that he owned no guns.

Hotline makes an excellent point in how pandering to gun-toting conservatives may not be the most salient skill for re-energizing the minority party that suffered bruising losses against a combo Democratic National Committee-Obama grass-roots/net-roots juggernaut:

What’s wrong with all this gun talk? It is the Grand Old Party these guys are seeking to lead, and the Second Amendment is, no surprise, a cherished Republican value. But it wasn’t just the testosterone-charged arms race that smacked of stale GOP politics during the debate held at the National Press Club in front of a packed house. At a time when change seems to be the order of the day for voters, the men seeking the party’s top job were trading in the rhetoric of old.

The entire Americans for Tax Reform-RNC debate can be viewed at C-SPAN.

The 168 RNC executive committee members will elect the chair on Jan. 28.

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