GOP: McCain-Palin ticket appeals to West

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008

DENVER - Western Republican lawmakers praised the McCain-Palin presidential ticket Wednesday and said its support of gun rights and concern for natural resources resonates with voters in the region.

Colorado U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard and New Mexico congresswoman Heather Wilson characterized the Democratic ticket as against Second Amendment rights and lacking a plan for energy independence.

They also said Barack Obama and Joe Biden pale in comparison to John McCain and Sarah Palin when it comes to understanding the West's land use issues.

"Whether it is grazing, or ranching, or water - all of those are Western issues in ways that are not in cities like Chicago," Wilson said. "I kind of wonder whether the guy from Delaware or the guy from Chicago even know what a grazing permit is or how to get one."

McCain and Palin have supported steps toward energy independence that Democrats opposed, including oil shale development on federal lands in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, Wilson said.

As for gun rights, Allard said of the Democrats, "That's probably as hostile a team as you can put together as far as the Second Amendment is concerned."

McCain has voted against banning assault-type weapons but favors requiring background checks at gun shows. He also supports shielding gun-makers and dealers from civil suits. Obama has voted to leave gun-makers and dealers open to suits and, as an Illinois state lawmaker, supported a ban on semiautomatic weapons.

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