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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican candidate for Tennessee governor Bill Lee is claiming that the “liberal media,” teachers unions and the “far-left lobby” have used students who survived the deadly Florida school shooting as “props to push their anti-gun agenda,” saying he’s sickened by it.

Lee’s written comments Tuesday followed a governor’s race forum in which candidates were asked whether the Parkland students have had a positive or negative impact on the conversation around guns and gun control. The students have advocated for more gun restrictions.

Lee answered, “negative.” Fellow Republicans Randy Boyd and Beth Harwell and Democrats Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh said “positive.” Republican Diane Black did not attend.

In the follow-up statement, Lee also said that law abiding citizens shouldn’t be punished for the actions of criminals.