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. Jeanne Ratzloff

    The NRA should be ashamed but aren't. Name-calling, attempting to create public fear, and self-interest define them. Murdered adults and children define them. Civilians do not need assault weapons; no one should be buying ammunition on the web. Obama attack ads, bring his daughters into the NRA’s agenda? NRA – shame on you.

    January 16, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. T

    For those that talk about the Second Amendment being "antiquated" or was created 200 years ago and our forefathers wouldn't have intended it to apply to "assault style weapons", ponder this:

    The internet, telephone, television, telegraph, and prety much any form of speech except for spoken or written word didn't exist back then either. Should that mean that your first amendment rights don't apply to any medium other than spoken word or written paper?

    T

    January 16, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. scarf

    The Tree of Gun Rights must periodically be refreshed with the blood of innocents.

    January 16, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Philly

    Having highly-skilled secret service agents guarding two kids is effective. It cannot be compared to having some guy with a gun protecting a whole school. There were armed guards at Columbine.

    January 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. bill

    Like the GOP, the NRA is going down and the majority of Americans have spoken and we will no longer be held hostage by nut job special interest groups

    January 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. JV12

    All true about this pres.

    January 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    And right you are, Sir!

    January 16, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. james

    Actually, yes. The President's children ARE more important than your children. Why? Because they are targets. If those kids are kidnapped by terrorists, the president wold become putty in the hands of terrorists.

    January 16, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Okay so it's not okay to use the president's children as political pawns but all those children that were around the president when he gave his speech can be used as political pawns by the president? Doesn't anybody see anything wrong with this thinking?

    January 16, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Jean Do

    What in the world are people thinking? Why would an ordinary person in a family home NEED an assault gun????? Common sense is missing with the NRA. No one is trying to take away your precious guns, just the assault ones.

    January 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. NeverMissingFrtBenning

    As a retired Army Ranger, hunter, and the son of a lifelong NRA member (I declined to join, partly because I'm so darned cheap), I've been pretty interested in the gun debate. Lots of misinformation on both sides, which is typical.
    What's go me so PO'd, though, is this ad. I mean, I can get that the NRA isn't a fan of the President's, but these are the guys kids. They get protection, period – okay? Ask anybody from the service, and they'd laugh in your face if you said they didn't need it. Good Lord. No way I'm joining those fools now. They crossed a very clear and solid line with this one.

    January 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Raymond

    The NRA has shown its desperation by involving the President's children. Of course the President's children get more security because they are potential target of any lunatic or enemy of our country. But do you want to further bankrupt the country by providing armed security in every school when schools are unable to pay teachers. And if you are using "assault weapons" to hunt, can you really call it hunting? And if US citizens need to own assault weapons to defend against a possible tyrannical US govt. then the citizen of every country in the world needs to own a weapon. Can we imagine the kind of chaotic world we will have if everyone owned guns. Bu then this is what NRA and the gun manufacturers want isn't it. They want everyone to buy ad own a gun.

    January 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Greg Spivey

    Am I wrong but didn't Obama just use our children for a political fight? Stand up on your own and don't use a human shield of grieving children.

    January 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. sj

    As usual job well done by Obama.
    Thanks for at least trying.

    January 16, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. NeverMissingFrtBenning

    As a retired Army Ranger, hunter, and the son of a lifelong NRA member (I declined to join, partly because I'm so darned cheap), I've been pretty interested in the gun debate. Lots of misinformation on both sides, which is typical.
    What's go me so PO'd, though, is this ad. I mean, I can get that the NRA isn't a fan of the President's, but these are the guys kids. They get protection, period – okay? Ask anybody from the service, and they'd laugh in your face if you said they didn't need it. Good Lord. No way I'm joining those now. They crossed a very clear and solid line with this one.

    January 16, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. kevin

    NRA is now a terror organization and should be treated as such!

    January 16, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight? what about murdered children?

    January 16, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Emotionally tainted country...

    So the president and his administration can use the twenty children who were murdered in connecticut as pawns in his political agenda to "drastically" change gun laws that those who are crazy enough to commit such heinous crimes will fin a way around anyway. But, when the NRA mentions what the president sees as "proper" protection for his daughters (total 180 from his dismissal of armed guards at schools) its "repugnant"! Seems to me like the NRA has it right. He is a hypocrite.

    January 16, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Bogdan C

    The White House can call this and any other ad by whatever names they want. They frequently however seem to fail in addressing the accusations of the ad and instead try to accuse the other guy of fault. Myself and I believe many other Americans would like to hear his response to this ad that carries facts: Obama opposes guns as a means of protection while surrounding himself with them for protection. If he and his children are able to be protected by these vile weapons then perhaps others can be protected.

    January 16, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. tobygdry

    How is it that the president can surround himself with kids to push his agenda for more gun control and to restrict the rights of law abiding citizens but if the NRA asks the question if protecting his kids are more important than anyone elses they get demonized for it? exactly who decided to use childrens' safety an issue in the first place – the current administration. You can't have it both ways. On an interesting side note, Hitler used the same tactics in the early 30's when he pushed his gun control agenda in germany and i think we all know how that worked out for the people he disarmed "for the sake of the children".

    January 16, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Jay D

    Once again the NRA has opened its mouth and spewed nothing but crap. Even the ad looks like a fifth grade project. They talk about declining family values and then they put out something completely disrespecttful to the office of the President and his family. We all know why they get protection. The American people do not want to be in a military zone everywhere they go. GET IT! Thank god I cancelled my membership years ago and saved a lot of my money for more useful endeavors. Notice how they have proposed zero when it comes to the good guys taking away the bad guys guns. Why would they? There best sales pitch is you need to protect yourself from the bad guys. If the bad guys couldn't get many weapons they wouldn't sell as many guns.

    January 16, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Elizabeth

    "Are the president's kids more important than yours?" Of course not. But they are certainly higher profile and at more risk. Just as the children of every president have been. And, I would add, the men and women in the Secret Service are some of most highly trained safety experts in the world, not Rambo wanna-be's.

    January 16, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Oliver Cowderey

    I hardly think little Joe down the road is a target because Daddy works for Microsoft. The NRA ad is repugnant and fails to explain why the Obama children need the Secret Service for protection.

    This is the very garbage that will clean house on the republican party in 2-years time.

    January 16, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Joe

    If we don't need "semi-automatic assault rifles", the military doesn't need "fully automatic assault rifles" and our children should be afforded the same protection our socialist president has. The 2nd amendment does not limit our ownership to arms inferior to the federal government and it's minions, but even with our guns that "look scary", they still are.

    January 16, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Malory Archer

    jorge washinsen

    Never heard any of them ever use a word that big,repugnant.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Any of whom?

    January 16, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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