The Buzz

Blunt returns fire on Kander’s blindfold gun commercial

Jason Kander assembled a rifle blindfolded in an TV spot advocating for firearm background checks, prompting Roy Blunt to counter with an ad on Tuesday. Kander, a Democrat and the Missouri secretary of state, is challenging the incumbent Republican for the U.S. Senate.
Jason Kander assembled a rifle blindfolded in an TV spot advocating for firearm background checks, prompting Roy Blunt to counter with an ad on Tuesday. Kander, a Democrat and the Missouri secretary of state, is challenging the incumbent Republican for the U.S. Senate. AP

Missouri’s gun-obsessive political ad wars appear nowhere near a ceasefire.

On Tuesday, incumbent Republican Sen. Roy Blunt put out a commercial responding to the viral spot Democratic challenger Jason Kander launched last week where he argued for gun background tests while assembling an AR-15 rifle, blindfolded.

That Blunt spot returned fire in such a specific way reflects the buzz Kander generated by using his firearm bona fides to swing back at an earlier attack on the issue. Kander’s commercial has drawn praise from the political consulting class and attracted notice far and wide.

So now Blunt’s people — in a move that risks bringing more attention to the original Kander piece — responded.

“Some people can put together a gun blindfolded. Some do it really fast. Some really, really fast. Some do it upside down and blindfolded,” a narrator says while the image on the screen transforms from Kander’s earlier spot to various YouTube videos demonstrating the art of gun assembly.

“But only one of these is a Hillary Clinton national campaign chairman. Only one received an ‘F’ for his failure to defend the Second Amendment,” the narrator continues as graphics transform Kander’s rifle into a scarlet letter grade Kander got from the National Rifle Association.

“Only one supports amnesty for illegal immigrants. When it comes to the U.S. Senate, Missouri voters know what’s important.”

The ad ends with the Republican candidate on screen, “I’m Roy Blunt, and I approved this message.”

In a press release touting the spot, which the campaign titled “Only One,” the Blunt camp said it’s intended to tell voters Kander “lockstep with Hillary Clinton and out of step with Missouri.”

It’s an anti-sequel to Kander’s “Background Checks.”

That spot opens with the Democratic Missouri secretary of state in an empty warehouse donning a blindfold while clicking together a borrowed AR-15.

“I’m Jason Kander. Sen. Blunt has been attacking me on guns,” the blindfolded candidate says to the camera while piecing the weapon together. “Well, in the Army, I learned how to use and respect my rifle.

“In Afghanistan, I’d volunteer to be an extra gun in a convoy of unarmored SUVs.

“And in the state legislature, I supported Second Amendment rights. I also believe in background checks, so the terrorists can’t get their hands on one of these. I approve this message” — final, dramatic click of the rifle — “’cause I’d like to see Sen. Blunt do this.”

Scott Canon: 816-234-4754, @ScottCanon

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