Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brought some firepower to CPAC this year – literally.
McConnell, who will have to beat back a primary challenge before a high-profile general election against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, entered the conservative gathering by holding a rifle aloft over his head.
The soundtrack for the entrance: “Livin' on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.
The rifle was a "Courage Under Fire" Lifetime Achievement award from the National Rifle Association, which McConnell presented to Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
Grimes responded to the entrance on Twitter.
In his remarks, McConnell suggested that Republicans could regain control of the Senate after the 2014 midterms and that he’d be ready to step into the head role.
“If I am given the opportunity to lead the U.S. Senate next year, I won’t let you down,” he said.
NBC's Katie Wall contributed to this report.
First published March 6 2014, 7:49 AM