Sarah Palin pulled out a tin can of chewing tobacco to tweak New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his proposed ban at the NRA annual meeting.
“Now I see that the mayor of New York now wants to ban public displays of legal tobacco products,” the former Republican vice presidential nominee said.
Referencing her sip of a Big Gulp at the CPAC convention in March, Palin tapped the chewing tobacco tin and said, “I tell ya, don’t make me do it.”
Palin also said that recent mass shootings have prompted leaders in Washington, D.C., to exploit tragedy in order to limit the freedoms of law-abiding people.
She said while she and others were saddened and angered by December’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, the emotions that have resulted from it won’t make anybody safer and won’t “protect the good guys’ rights.”
The former governor of Alaska asked those at the convention to “keep the faith” and “stand up and fight for our freedoms.”
NRA First Vice President James Porter, a Birmingham, Ala., attorney who will assume the organization’s presidency Monday, issued a full-throated challenge to President Barack Obama in the wake of a major victory regarding gun control and called on members to dig in for a long fight that will stretch into the 2014 elections.
More than 70,000 NRA members are expected to attend the three-day convention amid the backdrop of the national debate over gun control and the defeat of a U.S. Senate bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales. It was introduced after December’s mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. A small gathering of gun control supporters were outside of the convention in Houston.
Porter’s remarks came in a short speech to about 300 people at a grass-roots organizing meeting and set the tone for a “Stand and Fight”-themed convention that is part gun trade show, political rally and strategy meeting.
“This is not a battle about gun rights,” Porter said, calling it “a culture war.”
That theme carried throughout the day and reached a crescendo in a 3 1/2-hour political rally punctuated by fiery speeches from state and national conservative leaders.
However, no one quite toppled Palin with her chewing tobacco rights.