Politics & Government

Alaska's Miller tells Murkowski 'you lie' about NRA endorsement

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller accused Sen. Lisa Murkowski Wednesday night of lying in a recent campaign flier about a National Rifle Association endorsement. Murkowski’s camp defended the flier this morning, saying it's accurate and that Miller is the one who can't tell the truth.

Here's official word from the NRA today: Murkowski was indeed endorsed during the primary, but the group did not formally endorse anyone in the general election.

That’s because Murkowski wasn’t a known write-in candidate as the endorsement issue of NRA’s magazine, “American Rifleman,” went to print, said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.

The NRA generally favors incumbents, who have a voting record the association can review during the endorsement process, said Alaska election volunteer coordinator Roy Burkhart, of Willow.

Arulanandam, the group spokesman in Virginia, wouldn’t say if the NRA would have endorsed Murkowski for the Nov. 2 election had it known she was going to run as a write-in candidate. “We don’t deal in hypotheticals,” he said.

Miller raised the endorsement issue at last night’s Alaska Public Broadcasting debate. “On that flier you note that you are ‘the NRA endorsed candidate' and in strong support of our 2nd Amendment,” Miller told Murkowski. “And yet on the American Rifleman, this is the November 2010 cover, it reflects that you’re not endorsed.”

Miller, noting that the Murkowski campaign recently apologized for a mailer that said Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ethan Berkowitz was voting for the write-in candidate, asked Murkowski if she would apologize for “lying about the endorsement.”

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