Nebraska GOP Senate race turns toward Fast and Furious over frontrunner’s support of Holder

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Nebraska’s GOP Senate primary frontrunner Jon Bruning supported Attorney General Eric Holder’s nomination and confirmation back in 2009. Bruning, Nebraska’s current attorney general, was one of a group of Republican state attorneys general who pushed to get Holder confirmed at the beginning of the Obama administration.

Bruning and his campaign remain mum when consistently asked if he continues to support Holder as attorney general in the wake of Operation Fast and Furious, especially with Holder’s demonstrable failure to comply with a lawfully issued congressional subpoena. For more than two months, Bruning’s campaign hasn’t returned The Daily Caller’s requests for comment on the issue. On Friday, Bruning spokeswoman Natalie Krings tried to bolster Bruning’s Second Amendment credentials but still wouldn’t answer whether he thinks Holder should resign over Fast and Furious.

“No one has fought harder than Jon Bruning to protect the 2nd Amendment,” Krings said in an email to TheDC. “Jon has an A rating from the NRA and is a life endowment member. As Attorney General, he worked with the legislature to pass conceal-carry legislation, helped pass a Castle doctrine and has fought attempts to ban handgun ownership across the country.”

Bruning’s silence about Holder doesn’t sit well with Nebraska’s former Attorney General Don Stenberg, who’s one of a couple of Republicans running against him. Stenberg has been extra vocal about Fast and Furious over the course of the campaign and on Friday morning, he was endorsed by the pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America (GOA).

“When asked by an Omaha radio station why he supported Eric Holder, Bruning said that Holder had the votes anyway and he wanted to appear reasonable,” Stenberg said in statement. “In other words, Bruning supported Eric Holder because Bruning wanted to go along to get along. That is not what we need in the United States Senate today.”

“If someone like Eric Holder is nominated to the United States Supreme Court, I will vote no even if the vote is 99 to 1 and I am the one,” Stenberg added.

GOA vice chairman Tim Macy said Stenberg “is a strong proponent of the right to keep and bear arms and he has been a leading critic of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s role in Fast & Furious, where the U.S. government helped gun runners smuggle guns south of the border – a program which has led to hundreds of deaths, including two U.S. federal agents.”

It’s unclear where current state Rep. Deb Fischer, another GOP candidate who’s quickly risen in the polls, stands on Holder or Fast and Furious. Her campaign didn’t immediately respond to TheDC’s requests for comment on Friday morning after GOA endorsed Stenberg. But Fischer recently picked up the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who demanded Holder be removed from office months ago.

“I stand with the members of Congress who are calling for Holder’s resignation,” Palin wrote in a Facebook post late last year. “I stand with the family members of Brian Terry who are demanding transparency and accountability. Mr. President, where do you stand?”

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