The Times West Virginian

April 21, 2013

NRA sparring tests Manchin’s support base anew

Associated Press

CHARLESTON — He famously fired a gun in a TV ad while boasting of an endorsement from the National Rifle Association. But U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin can no longer rely on the backing of that powerful lobby.

The West Virginia Democrat faced off against the NRA during last week’s debate over his background check proposal. The confrontation marked his second break with a major support group since his rise from the governor’s office to Capitol Hill.

West Virginians for Life renounced its longtime favorite in 2011, over his Senate votes on health care issues. The anti-abortion group campaigned actively against Manchin in 2012, but he still won a full term convincingly.

Manchin says he remains an NRA member and opposed to abortion. He’s urging voters to read his gun proposal.