Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush may have to learn that retelling a story multiple times does not eventually make it true.
After publicly touting receiving the National Rifle Association’s Statesman of the Year Award and a rifle from Charlton Heston in 2003, it turns out Bush had “mistaken and conflated” his story, his campaign announced Monday.
Though his record on gun rights is undisputed, with a lifetime A-plus NRA rating, the former Florida governor has repeatedly told the story over the last few months, and as recently as Sunday on Fox News, of receiving the award and having then-NRA president Charlton Heston give him a rifle at the group’s 2003 annual meeting in Florida.
However, as Buzzfeed News reported, though Bush was the keynote speaker at the event, Heston was not the one who gave him the rifle and the NRA does not even have a “statesman of the year” award.
“In recounting the story, Jeb was mistaken and conflated multiple events unintentionally,” Tim Miller, communications director for Bush’s campaign, said in a statement to Buzzfeed.
“Heston met with Jeb at that NRA convention and was the head of the NRA at the time, but it was Kayne Robinson who presented Jeb with the rifle for being keynote speaker,” as Heston had to leave the event early.
“Heston had previously said he supported Jeb’s reelection at a 2002 campaign event,” the statement said. “Jeb was lauded by the NRA on multiple occasions for his second amendment record, including signing legislation that the NRA dubbed the ‘Six Pack Of Freedom.’ Jeb has a lifetime A+ rating from the NRA.”
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