On Tuesday afternoon, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush tweeted a photo of a gun inscribed with his name. His accompanying caption was simple: “America.”
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) February 16, 2016
Shortly thereafter, the National Rifle Association favorited the tweet, then followed Bush on Twitter. Despite the former governor’s A+ rating from the NRA and his many attempts to prove his gun-rights credentials, it appears that the country’s preeminent gun-rights organization did not follow him until four days before the South Carolina primary.
The NRA already followed most of the other Republican candidates on the social network, including two separate Twitter accounts for Ted Cruz (one for his presidential campaign and one for his Senate office), as well as those of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, businessman Donald Trump, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
Before following Bush, the official NRA Twitter account was also following many former candidates who have dropped out, among them Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Senator Lindsey Graham, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Bush’s tweet is just his latest attempt to woo gun voters. He routinely touted receiving the NRA’s Statesman of the Year award — until Buzzfeed reported last month that no such award exists. But unlike his rivals, he could not claim personal experience at the range. When the Washington Post surveyed the candidates’ personal arsenals last march, Bush was the rare Republican hopeful listed as not owning at least one firearm, a status he maintained when the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph conducted a similar survey in September. The inscription on the gun Bush tweeted makes it clear that he has decided to join the club.
[Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore]