WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association launched a new ad Tuesday in battleground states that portrays Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as an elitist who “would leave you defenseless.”
It will air in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and North Carolina and at about $3 million it’s the most expensive pro-Trump ad buy to date, according to an NRA spokeswoman.
The ad comes as Republican nominee Donald Trump set off a fierce new controversy Tuesday with remarks about the right to bear arms that were interpreted by many as a threat of violence against Clinton.
“Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” Trump said.
He added: “But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day, if Hillary gets to put her judges in, right now we’re tied.”
Shortly after Trump’s remarks, the NRA tweeted its support of the Republican nominee, writing, “.@RealDonaldTrump is right. If @HillaryClinton gets to pick her anti-#2A #SCOTUS judges, there’s nothing we can do. #NeverHillary”
The NRA followed with, “But there IS something we will do on #ElectionDay: Show up and vote for the #2A! #DefendtheSecond #NeverHillary”
Trump defended his comments Tuesday, insisting that he was telling his supporters to use the power of their vote to stop Clinton from appointing justices who could restrict their Second Amendment rights.
“This is a political movement. This is a strong political movement, the Second Amendment,” Trump said to Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “And there can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me. I mean, give me a break.”
The 30-second NRA ad, which was paid for by NRA Political Victory Fund, shows the back of a woman who looks like Clinton walking onto a private airplane while what looks to be the US Secret Service surrounds her.
In the ad, a narrator says she is “one of the wealthiest women in politics” with a “combined income of $30 million.”
“Tours the world on private jets. Protected by armed guards for 30 years. But she doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self defense,” the narrator said in the ad.
The ad then shows the back of the woman watching a clip from Clinton on the plane where she says, “I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today.”
The video ends with the narrator saying: “An out of touch hypocrite. She’d leave you defenseless.”
Clinton’s campaign responded to the ad with a statement, telling CNN: “The gun lobby is coming to Donald Trump’s defense and spending millions of dollars to spread lies about Hillary Clinton because they know Trump will always do their bidding.”
“Hillary Clinton supports common sense measures like comprehensive background checks that will help decrease the number of gun deaths our nation suffers every day,” the statement said.
In May, Politifact found no evidence that Clinton ever advocated for repealing or abolishing the Second Amendment. She has said she wants to protect the right to bear arms.
CNN’s Theodore Schleifer contributed to this report.