With National Rifle Association grades starting to leak out over the weekend, Missouri Republican governor candidates took the opportunity to fight for differentiation again.
According to reports, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder received an A+, former Speaker Catherine Hanaway received an A, and John Brunner and Eric Greitens both received AQ ratings. Brunner has also been endorsed by the debatably more stringent Gun Owners of America.
— Pat Thomas (@pnthomas) July 17, 2016
Naturally, some of the candidates took to social media to celebrate their grades.
I’ll always stand up for your second amendment rights to defend yourself, your family, and your property! pic.twitter.com/1zeCdOY7f8
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) July 16, 2016
As tends to happen whenever anything happens with the Greitens campaign, the claim that he got “the highest grade a candidate can receive from the NRA” led to to a lot of pushback on Twitter.
*Jeff City is corrupt but misleading voters is 👍🏼
— Alex T. Eaton (@alexteaton) July 17, 2016
In response, the Greitens campaign tried to clarify the message.
And that went over well.
— Michael Hafner (@MichaelFHafner) July 17, 2016
So what’s really going on? As is typical in politics, it’s all about semantics.
Out of all the candidates, Kinder received the highest grade. That’s because the NRA likes to see that candidates have a record of supporting gun rights. Both Kinder and Hanaway received grades that reflect not just how they’ve filled out an NRA survey, but how they’ve voted while in public office.
Brunner and Greitens are “outsider” candidates, so they have no public record. The NRA can only rely on how the candidates filled out their questionnaire. Instead of a regular A, it’s qualified as AQ.
So did Greitens receive the “highest rating a candidate can receive from the NRA?” No. But he did receive the highest rating he could receive from the NRA.