Joe Manchin hits back at NRA with new ad

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is hitting back against the National Rifle Association in a new 30-second spot in which he says he's a lifelong member of the gun rights group but isn't tethered to them on every issue.

"I'm a lifetime NRA member, but I don't walk in lockstep with the NRA's Washington leadership, this administration or any interest group," Manchin says in the commercial, which debuted Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Throughout the ad, Manchin is handling a gun.

Along with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), the conservative Democrat introduced a measure to expand background checks on gun purchases that failed in the Senate earlier this year. The NRA opposed the Manchin-Toomey amendment and  has been hitting at Manchin with its own TV ad campaign.

In his ad, Manchin closes by encouraging viewers to tell the NRA to support expanded background checks.

Gun control advocates are hopeful Senate leaders will revisit the congressional debate over gun control. But Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has not set a specific timetable on the matter.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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Sean Sullivan · June 20, 2013