Published April 06, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is taking a second shot at describing his hunting experience.
The former Massachusetts governor has called himself a lifelong hunter, yet his campaign acknowledged that he has been on just two hunting trips — one when he was 15 and the other just last year.
Campaigning in Indianapolis on Thursday, Romney said he has hunted small game since his youth.
"I'm not a big-game hunter. I've made that very clear," he said. "I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times."
In Keene, N.H., on Tuesday, Romney had said: "I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life." The next day, the campaign said Romney hunted rabbits in Idaho with cousins as a teenager and shot quail with GOP donors at a game preserve in Georgia in 2006.
Campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said Wednesday that Romney wasn't trying to mislead anyone, and he promoted Romney's support of gun-ownership rights.
Romney has also supported gun control. When he ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1994 he backed the Brady law and a ban on assault-style rifles. As governor, he supported the state's strict gun-control laws and signed into law one of the nation's tougher assault weapons laws.
He joined the National Rifle Association last August as a "Lifetime" member.