Republican U.S. Senate candidate Don Stenberg tried to paint his chief rival, Jon Bruning, as soft on gun rights Friday, accusing Bruning of backing Democrat Eric Holder's nomination as the nation's top prosecutor.
Stenberg said Bruning "cannot be trusted" to defend gun rights because he signed a letter that supported Holder's nomination in 2009.
Bruning was one of 18 state attorneys general who signed a letter sent by the National Association of Attorneys General, urging the Senate to confirm Holder's nomination.
Bruning declined to talk about the letter or Holder on Friday, but Bruning argues that his support for gun rights is "unimpeachable." He says he is an avid hunter who, as an elected official, has earned an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association.
"Don Stenberg is a guy who throws mud in every campaign and that's why he's lost three times for the Senate," said Bruning.
Holder has come under fire from national Republicans for his role in a controversial gun-running scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious.
In that operation, U.S. agents authorized the sale of nearly 2,000 firearms to known and suspected straw buyers purchasing the guns on behalf of Mexican drug cartels. Authorities have said the idea was to trace the guns back to drug kingpins, and Holder has said it was executed poorly.
Stenberg says Holder has long supported gun-control laws, and Bruning should have known that before he signed the letter.
"Jon Bruning's support of Eric Holder shows that he cannot be trusted to vigorously support our gun rights in the United States Senate," said Stenberg.
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