Former GOP senator endorses Hillary Clinton following Orlando terror attack, cites her anti-NRA record

South Dakota's Larry Pressler slams Donald Trump for having "pledged publicly total cooperation with the NRA"

Published June 13, 2016 3:16PM (EDT)


At least one Republican is so disgusted by Donald Trump's response to the deadliest mass shooting attack in recent U.S. history that he's endorsed Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, specifically slamming Trump's allegiance to the National Rifle Association.

"Secretary Clinton would be able to handle such explosive situations which are terrorist inspired much better than Donald Trump," former South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler said in a statement Sunday. Pressler, the first Vietnam veteran elected to the U.S. Senate, said that Clinton "has experience and is anti-(National Rifle Association)."

"Remember that these domestic terrorists also buy automatic weapons," Pressler explained, calling for "a much more extensive background check system for buying or transporting assault weapons."

"Unfortunately the Republican candidate Trump has pledged publicly total cooperation with the NRA," he said. "We cannot use as an excuse that, since this is ISIS-inspired, that [sic] we should not have more gun control — at last, we must recognize that we need a president who will take on the NRA."

Although Pressler left left office in 1997 after three terms, he ran a competitive Independent race for U.S. Senate in 2014 and has turned sharply against his former party in recent years -- even endorsing Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2012.

[H/T: CNN]

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Election 2016 Elections 2016 Endorsements Guns Hillary Clinton Larry Pressler Nra Terrorism