White House blasts NRA ad as 'repugnant'
January 16th, 2013
12:16 PM ET
1 year ago

White House blasts NRA ad as 'repugnant'

Washington (CNN) – A television ad from the National Rifle Association which features President Barack Obama's children elicited a sharp, angry response from the White House Wednesday.

"Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight," Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "But to go so far as to make the safety of the president's children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly."

The ad, which the NRA said is airing on the Sportsman Channel, was announced Tuesday. It calls Obama a hypocrite for being "skeptical" about placing armed guards at schools, while his own two daughters are protected by the U.S. Secret Service.

"Are the president's kids more important than yours?" a narrator says in the 30 second ad. "Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school."

In the ad, the narrator only mentions Obama by name, but it also features images of Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NBC anchor David Gregory.

Bloomberg is an influential voice in favor of stricter gun laws and has dipped into his personal fortune to help fund a lobby campaign, and Feinstein, a California Democrat, is helping spearhead a congressional effort to enforce tougher gun laws.

The introduction of Obama's children into the gun debate further demonstrates the high stakes in this very complicated and emotional issue about how to weigh Second Amendment rights with the safety of citizens following several high profile killings, including the recent massacre of 20 children and six educators at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.

As advocates for new gun restrictions pledge to pressure Congress to pass new laws, the NRA and other like-minded gun rights groups and conservative organizations have said they will fight any changes to the current gun laws.

"Stand and fight sums up what Americans need to do to preserve our Second Amendment freedom," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN.

The NRA is not ruling out expanding the buy to air the commercial elsewhere.


Filed under: NRA • President Obama
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Tara H

    It's not only repugnant, it's stupid.

    Does the NRA really think that having armed guards on children is something desirable? Gee, if Obama's children can't take a step out of their home without a trained squad of armed agents surrounding them at every moment, then why can't OUR kids have that?

    It's unfortunate that two innocent children have to be watched 24/7 because evil persons might seek to harm them because of who their father is. It's sickening to think that the NRA would rather subject the whole country's children to this life of fear and paranoia, rather than take one step toward more RATIONAL steps toward lowering the risks that our kids might be killed by disturbed individuals with easy access to significant firepower.

    January 16, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Jason

    School is already stressful enough for kids. I donot wish my kids to be exposed to idiots running around with automatic guns in th name of protecting them.

    January 16, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. James

    It is the NRA who hides behind guns. The NRA has ginned-up hysteria solely to benefit their many constituency – gun and ammo manufacturers. They forget the clause in the 2nd Amendment which states "for a well regulated militia ..." Thus, private gun ownership does not contemplate the right to walk into a school, a theatre, a political event, a mall, or a public park for the sport of hunting humans. No problem in the home, at shooting ranges, and in hunting areas. Let's just make it sensible and sane.

    January 16, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. mb

    The NRA is a joke. I used to be a member, and they were always calling or sending a letter asking for more and more money. They even called me to try to get me to join when I already was a member. And they argued with me and said I never was a member. After being a member for 5 years, I told them where they could stick their membership. What a bunch of clowns. They don't support gun rights, they just want your money to give to their executives.

    January 16, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Deez_Nts

    Lets see.. Northern Illinois shooter, Virginia Tech, now Sandy Hook. Has school security changed since then? Nope.

    Sadly it's probably going to take a few more tragedys before schools wise up, get the message, and start arming guards.

    January 16, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Common Sense isn't Common

    B

    What an ignorant ad. Of course Obamas children are protected by armed guards. They are the most high value kidnapping targets in the country. Who is going to pay for armed guards at every school? My childs elementary school can't even offer art and music because of funding issues let alone additional employees to be trained, issued a weapon, classes and continuing training. I don't recall Obama saying he was going to take away shotguns, handguns, or rifles... Just assault weapons and high capacity clips. Who can give me one good reason as to why an assault rifle and high capacity clips are needed by anyone other than our military?

    Well said B, which is another way of me telling you that nobody will listen to your well thought out and well stated reasonable points.

    January 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Jim

    Obama, Biden, and liberals in general chose to use the kids from Sandy Hook (and by extension kids in general) as political props to back gun control things that have always been on their agenda. If they're going to do that, consciously avoid taking a thoughtful, scientific approach because they want to use the emotion of the moment for their political aims, then it's rank hypocrisy to cry foul when that same argument is extended to Obama's kids. Obama has, at times, also eluded to his kids himself in the need to "do what's right for the kids," so having it both ways doesn't work.

    January 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. jane

    You want to get rid of the NRA, but we gun owners/ supporters ARE the NRA. They are there to give us a voice. I have always reaped the benefits without paying the dues. I have never been a member. But, with all of you jumping on the gun ban bandwagon, I decided that it was time to financially support my 2nd Amendment right and send them money. The more vocal you are, the more gun owners will push back. Make all the nasty comments you want. This is my right. I don't need to argue it or explain it. BUT, I WILL DEFEND IT!

    January 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Voter

    Yes Mr. Obama – the truth sometimes hurts.

    January 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. imzzzz

    Oh please, all presidents have protection. This is not about taking your guns away. It is about ASSAULT RIFLES.

    January 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. @Mike

    Mike that is a huge historical fallacy.. you should do some more research- in fact the Weimar republic post WW1 had stricter gun laws that were relaxed by the Third Reich. Check out Bernard E. Harcourt's "On Gun Registration, the NRA, Adolf Hitler, and Nazi Gun Laws: Exploding the Gun Culture Wars (A Call to Historians)" in the Fordam Law Review. The myth that Hitler took away guns, often used by those who are distorting history for political purposes.

    January 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. ScottN1960

    The presidents children are a national security concern, thus a concern of the Secret Service. There are a lot of rhetoric, threats and down right hatred going on here. The bottom line is that the president and congress are freely elected. If you don't like their decisions, then go out and vote (or be like the NRA and spend millions of dollars to buy them). You can challenge laws in court. People who threaten to not uphold the laws or threaten to act on those that do, are either criminals, terrorist or militants depending on what they do. All of them then are officially unAmericans and have forgotten exactly what people have lived and died for. Certainly not for you to act in your own selfish world against the people that provide you the freedoms that so many wish they had.

    January 16, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Dennis

    Jay Carney has always been a smarmy little worm . . . Why address an argument when you can demonize the people making it, right?

    January 16, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Leslie

    The NRA and those who worshipped it are literally too stupid too insult or to explained things to for that matter. People in power (and those cllose to them) always need extraordinary protections. It is us the ordinary (we like that way by the way) who should not need to be afraid and paranoid as we go about our ordinary business. Let's go back to criminals killing criminals and not innocent children, please.

    January 16, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "I certainly think the ad is silly, but to call this ad repugnant but to not speak up just as loud when Mitt Romney was accused of basically committing murder is kind of sad. I am in no way condoning the ad, but the White House shouldn't throw too many rocks while they live in such a large glass house themselves."

    Newsflash: Obama did condemn that ad and it was only run a very very few times as a result. Do your homework.

    January 16, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. imzzzz

    YOU are the Sheeple. Believing everything the NRA tells you. I have not heard anywhere that they are taking your guns away. They want to reduce or ban freaking assault weapons.

    January 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Oneslydragon

    What does the right to bear arms really include? Knives? Guns and Knives? grenades? What sophistication of gun? What capability. Cruise missiles? Nukes? How far does it go, the right to bear arms? Did it really include John Q Public? Or the Militia? Back then you hunted for your meals and farmed for the most part requiring a gun, today you hunt for pleasure for the most part and pretend you do it to survive, some wackos believe they do it cause modern civilization is coming to an end and they want to kill all that might not be prepared (this is the hard core NRA mentality, not the realistic NRA mentality).

    Tech at the time was a front load musket capable of one shot every minute or so, not 750 shots every minute or so.

    I would like a few grenades, a bunch of claymores, laser guide 50 Cals, but the practicality of these in everyday life outside the war zone is nil.

    Would not surprise me to see the NRA run those GOP commercials that had the democrat in cross hairs soon, that would be a true intellectual statement by the guys off route 66 in Fairfax.

    January 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. ScottN1960

    The presidents children are a national security concern, thus a concern of the Secret Service. There are a lot of rhetoric, threats and down right hatred going on here. The bottom line is that the president and congress are freely elected. If you don't like their decisions, then go out and vote (or be like the NRA and spend millions of dollars to buy them). You can challenge laws in court. People who threaten to not uphold the laws or threaten to act on those that do, are either cr1minals, terror1st or m1litants depending on what they do. All of them then are officially unAmericans and have forgotten exactly what people have lived and died for. Certainly not for you to act in your own selfish world against the people that provide you the freedoms that so many wish they had.

    January 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. My 2 Cents

    @ Veronica – This ad does not drag the President's children through the mud, nothing is said about them, it simply points out that they are protected by armed guards throughout the day and yet, the President makes the argument that putting armed guards in the schools is not an appropriate option. Can't have it both ways. No matter what new laws are enacted, they won't stop anyone with a gun walking into a school and doing this again. The police won't arrive until after the event has already begun or is over. So how do we protect the children during the real crisis? Somebody must be there, armed and ready to defend the school BEFORE/DURING an event, take any position you'd like on gun control, doesn't change the fact that this is the only solution that provides any real security for our children. The laws currently on the books might have prevented the latest crisis, but lack of funding and poor enforcement made the laws ineffective. So in answer to the public outcry, the politicians create more laws to appear attentive to the issue, when in reality, their inattention and lack of enforcement/oversight of existing regulations are at least partially to blame. Nice political spin, but not buying it and neither should you if you're really concerned about your children's safety.

    January 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Adam Dorfman

    I thought NRA said he was a non-American Muslim traitor....but now he is an American Elitist ... holy smokes .. I think they have an Obama crush now

    January 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Miguel Cervantes

    The President's kids are off-limits.... period!

    January 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. macbil

    The NRA really jumped the shark on this one. They pick one aspect of the debate and twist to favor themselves. It's totally inaccurate. If you listen to what the President says, he says that guards at schools is not the entire answer..and he's right.

    Oh, by the way, the reason that Obama's kids have guards is because of the high level of gun violence in our country directed at US Presidents:
    -Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln
    -Assassination of President James Garfield
    -Assassination of President William McKinley
    -Attempted assassination of President Theodore Roosevelt
    -Attempted assassination of President Franklin Roosevelt
    -Attempted assassination of President Harry Truman
    -Assassination of President John Kennedy
    -Attempted assassination of Presidential candidate George Wallace
    -Attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan

    January 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. tb

    For all you parranoid gun folk, comparing Obama to Hitler is obsurd...what evedence do you have that our guns will be taken away? Ya, tha is what I thought. And NRA, you might have a point if Obama was not Pres...BUT HE IS and has nom chioce regarding the protection of his family...IT IS NATIONAL SECURITY...

    January 16, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Jason Lin

    His children have a higher chance of being targeted by terrorists than your kids do.

    January 16, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ug

    And this coming from an eletists liberal that thinks he speaks for all of the nation and his kids are better than yours...they are under armed gunmen all the time and your not suppose to protect your kids because they aren't as good as ovomits are...try and take my guns!
    -------------------------------------------------
    You are an embarrassment to your country. And to yourself.
    Post someplace where at least people outside of this country won't bear witness to your ignorance.
    Sell those guns you're so attached to and go back and finish grade school.
    Very effective ad NRA. You've already managed to convince one idiot that the President thinks his children are better than ours.
    Jeezus.

    January 16, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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