White House blasts NRA ad as 'repugnant'
January 16th, 2013
12:16 PM ET
2 years 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. Erik Barnett

    As a US Marine, I feel this commercial is a pathetic attempt to protect what the NRA views as its right. I also feel that the broadcasting service who actively plays this on its distribution network is also pathetic. Somethings should not be air regardless how much money its going to pay, this is one of them.

    January 16, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Thomas A. Hawk

    Dave, that your kids are important isn't relevant to the issue.

    Compromising the family members of any U.S. President compromises the ability of that President to do his job. If you are the President, then your children should be protected by the Secret Service. You aren't the President.

    George W. Bush's daughters were targets. If Sadaam's sons could have gotten to them, they would have. Fortunately, they didn't have opportunity.

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. obamaiscarter2

    The NRA DOES have a point. I do like the part they say about leaving the President's kids out of it. I don't think this applied to a vice presidential candidate..Sarah Palin. Like her or hate her, her kids were ALWAYS being hammered unmercifully. They were fodder for pundit's pens, late night monologues, etc. So, what goes around comes around I guess. Seems fair to me....

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. ItsAMirage

    Technically speaking....his kids are more important than all our kids. Why? Because he is the freaking President of the United States you freaking morons. He holds the ultimate position in our government. He holds a position where ALL PAST PRESIDENTS FAMILIES HAVE BEEN PROTECTED!!!! I'm sick and tired of all you haters who continue to spit on the office of our PRESIDENT. And this horrible ad by the NRA is exactly that. They, just like any right-wing nut, continue to belittle the President. And it's getting tiring.

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Realist

    So... The answer (According to Obama) to children being in danger by possible assailants is armed guards (See his own children for verification of this)...

    Then of course the right course of action is to disarm the law abiding populace so the children will be in more danger. That's thinkin' right thar!!!!!

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. GuestAgain

    Obamas policies = repugnant, going too far? Yes they are. Taxation without representation...a fitting license plate for this president. And, of course, the astronimical cost of growing more government and regulation will be passed on to you to join all of the other federal laws they just dont have the time to enforce. Makes sense huh?

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. dan

    As a proud Canadian Citizen I cannot believ that the NRA would make such a statement about who's children are more special. I imagine if a number of active card carrying NRA members lost thier children to an incident that happend in Conneticut they may applaud the POTUS plan to move forward. I also believe that probably most card carrying members of the NRA are responsible people, but come on folks...this is the 22nd century.

    January 16, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Andrew

    The NRA isn't just despicable, they can't put together a reasoned argument that holds water. Take the basis of the ad as an example... the people with guns who hang around the president's kids have all undergone extensive BACKGROUND CHECKS. Background checks being one of the reasonable and prudent gun control measures the NRA opposes and the President just signed because this dysfunctional congress can't get anything reasonable and prudent done.

    Of course people who walk around with guns capable of killing 20 kids in 30 seconds should undergo background checks – duh.

    When did the Republican Party decided they were going to say "**** No!" to all that is reasonable and prudent.

    January 16, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. ironman59

    The nra has shown just how low they will go. The problem is, they will go even lower before it is all over. This is about mass sums of money and the nra wants even more. Their job is to push the agenda of the manufacturers and nothing else. If that wasn't the case then their 4 million members wouldn't be enough to get anything passed in a country of 300 million.

    January 16, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. T. Smith

    If the NRA isn't an extremist organization, why did President Bush resign his membership?

    January 16, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Seriously?

    Am I missing something? The President invited this comparison when he made gun control laws about "protecting your children". He used all of our children as pawns. It's only inconvenient that his kids are protected by guns. The comparison is a fair one. Why is it ok for some people to be protected by guns but not others (i.e. Bloomberg and his bodyguards, Obama and his secret service, rich kids schools and their security departments...etc.)?

    January 16, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Xellious

    I could care less about the NRA and 'omg how far they went...' what was stated in the ad was true, their kids have secret service protection till the age of 16 and are protected with guns even at school. For Obama to say he does not want armed guards at schools because he is 'not okay' with the public's kids to have such protection while his own children have such protection means he is not going to the 'next step' that can help protect our children hypocrite is correct, saying the NRA was cowardly doesn't excuse that.

    January 16, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Bellezur

    The NRA is beoming hysterical. We need a common sense approach and the NRA is preaching more guns. Wonder what will be said when we get the great circle shoot when inncocent by standers are killed when everyone pulls out their shooting iron and defends themselve in a crowded venue. The issue is that firearms are to easy to obtain in this country and that is the first issue that needs to be addressed.

    January 16, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Jim

    All animals are equal. Some animals are more equal than others.

    January 16, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Lori

    This ad is shocking and infuriating beyond words. The ad itself speaks to why the POTUS's children need protection. The NRA just made them a target. Repugnant and cowardly doesn't begin to discribe how dispicable this ad is! To compare the threats that face the POTUS's children with our children is like comparing apples and oranges.

    January 16, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. kopwithit

    They are the presidents kids,thats why they need armed guards.I would be sickened to see guards at my childrens school.
    The promblem w/ the NRA and the gop would have guards payed by the under funded schools for the guards.Here in MIchigan the coward we have for governor has already raped school funding to give back to his specail interest,and could see him pass a new law to make it the resposeabilty of school districts to fund.

    January 16, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Dan

    So during the election it was OK to attack Mitt's Kids, their families and his wife but Obama's kids are off limits when someone makes a point? I don't own an AR, but know a lot of people that do and they are as law biding as just about anyone. A disturbed individual will use anything to carry out his/her acts.

    There were already bans put in place in CT yet that's where the guns came from for the Sandy Hook tragedy... Ban guns, magazines, etc. and then they go off the books, you can't track them and you cannot find them. Since Barack is swearing that this legislation would not involve taking guns away from citizens than how else would the ARs in this country go away other than through the black market? A lot of people are making knee-jerk reactions, which are the worst, please get perspective.

    Side note: If planes have air marshals than why not have a similar set up with a teacher in a school? In case something goes wrong they have access to a weapon, training on how to use it and a chain of command to follow. That would at least play a role in the decisions that shooters make.

    January 16, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Tony

    The NRA is out-of-line with this ad, hopefully the American public will see that and stop sending them money!

    January 16, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Joe The Plumber

    Despite their bluster as saviors of the 2nd Amendment, the NRA is all about protecting the profits of gun manufacturers.

    January 16, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. BeatlesBiggerJesus

    You know the NRA used to support some forms of gun control.

    January 16, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Jim

    The most repugnant thing about this ad is that it is true.

    Although I don't like the ad hominum nature of the NRA ad, it is accurate.

    January 16, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. John Spencer

    Then disarm Obama's security if he's so opposed to anyone having a gun.

    January 16, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. GayAtheist

    I stand with the President.

    January 16, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Captain

    Today they take away your guns.
    Tomorrow the banks claim your money is their money and take it to pay their criminal fines.
    You loose.
    btw: BO gave himself and criminal Bush lifetieme secret service protectioy (you paid for that). Where is your protection?

    January 16, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. fernace

    The NRA's suggestions are over the top, just like their ad! It's clear they just want to bully through their opinion, not have a meaningful discussion! Earth to NRA, it's the President's Daughters! We expect to pay for our elected official's security! The inadvertent message is that the rich often send their kids to private/boarding schools w/gates & guards, but middleclass & poor folk can't assure our kids safety because we can't afford it & therefore the government should pony up! I thought we were discussing deficit, national debt, & debt ceiling, recently! Are these people really repubs? Instead of having an honest discussion about soultions to our national gun violence epidemic, they push More Guns by disingeniously using the 1st daughters to make that point!? Incredible!!

    January 16, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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