An Iowan who sits on the NRA’s board of directors says the gun rights group may endorse a presidential candidate before Iowa’s Caucuses. Kayne Robinson, a retired Des Moines cop, is a former president of the National Rifle Association.
"We’re constantly looking at the candidates and we talk with them and, of course, we know them all," Robinson says. "There are a lot of candidates who are very sensitive to Second Amendment issues and that’s how the decision will be made in the end and it’s a tough one."
The NRA’s board of directors will meet and review the records of the candidates this fall and Robinson says they "may perhaps" issue an endorsement just before Iowa’s Caucuses in early January — but that’s not a guarantee an NRA endorsement will be made.
"It’ll grind on and eventually we’ll figure it out," Robinson says. There are about 100-million gun owners in the United States, according to Robinson, and four million of them are members of the NRA. Robinson says it’s "fairly unusual" for the NRA to endorse a candidate before the two major parties select their nominees.
"The question is what is in your best interest at the end of it and our members are pretty well informed on who’s good and who’s bad," Robinson says. "…As a general rule we stay out of primaries…There will be decision made first of all whether to get involved, and then secondly when to get involved. It’s a very difficult, difficult deal." Robinson, who also serves as president of the Iowa Sportsmen’s Federation, was the Iowa Republican Party’s chairman for the 2000 election cycle.