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McCain Gets NRA Backing

The NRA is endorsing John McCain for president even though the organization has had differences with the Arizona senator in the past ('s Brian Montopoli detailed the NRA's campaign efforts in an story). NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre will travel to key states like Pennsylvania, Missouri, Colorado and Nevada to discuss the endorsement, the AP reports.

Although the group has been critical of McCain for his support of closing the gun show loophole and for his push on campaign finance reform, LaPierre said he has "cast more than 60 votes in the Senate in support of the Second Amendment." But the group may be more enthusiastic about McCain running mate Sarah Palin. "She's a hunter, she's a Second Amendment supporter and she's a tremendous asset to the ticket," LaPierre said.

It's no surprise that the NRA would back the Republican ticket as its political arm has already been running TV and print ads raising questions about Barack Obama and plans to spend up to $40 million on campaign efforts this year. But the NRA hasn't always endorsed in the presidential race. In 1996, the group declined to endorse Bob Dole.