White House blasts NRA ad as 'repugnant'
January 16th, 2013
12:16 PM ET
5 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. robin

    20 children are killed in an elementary school and ignorant Americans go out and purchase more guns. Then, you make excuses about the President kids being protected as though you are receiving death threats against your family everyday. You are not the POTUS. Armed guards did not save Columbine or Virginia Tech who has a police department.

    January 16, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Kaydee

    If it is so repugnant why are you posting it.

    January 16, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. JeffersonLives

    "Using the President's children as pawns in a political fight"...the what the heck is Obama doing using Sandy Hook children as pawns in his political gun grabbing fight....this is not a new fight...dems have always hated guns and the second amendment....many times calling for its outright repeal.....so dont pretend this is all about the children....hypocrits indeed...of the most cowardly and disgusting kind. Come and take em

    January 16, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. WarmGun

    Not suprised by this Terrorist organization, who's members make threat not only to the President but the public at large.

    January 16, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Psychological Warfare

    These are smokescreens. What is the real story that is being hidden from the public eye?

    January 16, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Tommy Boy

    Yes people....the president's family IS more important than yours....regardless of who the president is. Furthermore, I support a ban on military assault rifles and high capacity magazines who's only purpose on the planet is mass execution of fellow human beings. The only member's of the human race who should have access to such weapons are military and police. Aside from that, keep your deer rifles, shotguns and hand guns. As far as the NRA and their mindless sheep, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.

    January 16, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. atheist

    "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."

    Duh! this is about kids. so why is his special???? their kids should also be gun free!

    January 16, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. dw

    NO they are not more important than my children. Nothing is more important than my children. They are more important only to their own parents, duh. Libs can't take it but can dish it out- used children in commercial singing about the evil Republicans.

    January 16, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Skeptacular

    "Dave" and "Bruce" represent the NRA viewpoint here. No matter facts do not support their conclusions. The president does not make the rules that the Secret Service follows in protecting his kids. Of course they know this, but they will sink to any level – including using innocent children – since they are now backed into a corner and are desperate. Same treacherous reasoning occurred at the Emancipation Proclamation, the end of slavery, the right of women to vote. When the entrenched are in retreat, they will deny it, they will say and do anything to stop it, and they will be blind to the obviousness of their own hypocrisy so desperate are they to reclaim the hill. They'll lie, they'll trample the most basic of American liberties (including those in the Constitution) and they'll spit in the eye of democracy itself – whatever their panic leads them to do they'll do in a penultimate geyser of selfishness. This is history repeating itself right now in front of our eyes. If we believed our country had evolved and become more civilized since the 18th and 19th centuries, these disgusting ideologues are leading by example that the animal in the human is just below the skin.

    January 16, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. ItsAMirage


    So in other words, Dem President families shouldn't be protected, but ALL REP PRESIDENT FAMILIES SHOULD BE PROTECTED right??????

    January 16, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. calamity jane

    I'm not so sure that the NRA has a low point. I think they can get far more egregious. I'm pretty sure that if someone opened up Wayne, there would be a stinky, rotten, black ooze keeping him alive.

    January 16, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. eLew

    I support the NRA; however, I feel as though they crossed the line of decency on this one.

    January 16, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. JB

    Ed, I hate to tell you, but you are wrong. There is one armed guard watching my child's school right now, as there are in many schools. Frankly, I believe that is one too many. It would be very easy for one or more kids to overwhelm that one armed guard, take their gun, and use it on the guard and others in that school. I do not want a gun in my childs school at all. Are Obama's kids more important, yes. The children of the leader of the free world should be protected, because if terrorists were to kidnap them they would have leverage over the President of the United States which is certainly more of a problem than someone holding leverage over little old me or you. His children are certainly bigger targets than yours or mine from both foreign and domestic individuals. Obviously someone like you who calls the President 'Dear Leader' would even be a threat since you have such disdain for the man elected by this country as to be so disrespectful.

    January 16, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. DoctorD

    POTUS calling NRA cowardly for using children as he stands in front of children at his news conference to drum up more emotion. Priceless...

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Steve

    I would be perfectly happy to have improved security at schools 100% paid for with a tax on guns and ammunition as the NRA is proposing. Can someone post the URL for that website so we can all sign that petition?

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Betty

    There seems to be some confusion here. The government does not want to take away your right to bear arms. You can still own your guns and protect yourself or hunt animals. They want to stop the sale of semi automatic weapons and assault style weapons.

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Carrie

    I am so blessed not to live in the U.S. The whole world watches this country burn like Rome. Second amendment rights....blahblahblah....U.S. – You are the laughing stock of the world and it is shameful. Your country is not evolving on a cultural, social, economic or intellectual level.

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. al

    The NRA will stoop as low as it has to in order to make sure they get those corporate funds. They are disgusting. They used to teach gun safety but now they are nothing more than the paid lobbyists for the gun industry, who finances them.

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. dee.bee.ess

    Jeeze Louise, why do you think there are amendments to the constitution? Because they needed to be updated. That original document was written by, and for, a bunch of white men 250 years ago.

    January 16, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. TheTruth

    Obama runs an end-around again (bypassing congress AGAIN), defies the constitution again, then tells us that it's repugnant to tell the truth about him?

    January 16, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. hcx

    The NRA has no soul. If they did, they would be actively working for ways to correct this issue, not throwing bricks in the path of progress by airing ads to insight hatred. They will go to hell. I do not want to live in a police state so someone can go out and buy guns without a thorough background check.

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


    You're missing the point. Read the 2nd amendment, it wasnt put in to protect us from each other, but an out of control government. Citizens should be armed accordingly. You can say all you want about assault weapons but most (90%+) are committed with handguns, not AR type weapons.

    The laws are a joke, criminals dont care, just look at the drug and DWI laws in this country, have they worked? No, and these wont either. If you think they are going to have any effect you sir are delusional.

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

    I like guns. I own guns. I was taught to respect guns. The military style rifle is ugly. I want a nice gun with a solid action, a nice wooden stock, and maybe some engraving. I was taught that if it took more than one shot something was wrong. Now it is a piece of stamped metal and plastic that can fire 30 rounds a minute or more, and if it was fully automatic it would be even better. We choose to ignore the deaths caused by someone with a guns that was either careless, or tigger happy, and only discuss gun control when something like Newtown happens. What is the NRA's answer...put arm guards in the schools, arm teachers, arm office workers, arm airline pilots, arm those that don't have guns so that they can protect themselves. Put more guns in the hands of more people so that they may feel safer. Let us go back to 1873 and the Wild West.

    January 16, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. Mason Burdette

    Just made my donation to "Americans for Responsible Solutions", the SuperPAC created by the Giffords. We need to meet the NRA head-on and let congress know that they (the NRA) has lost influence, and they (the congress) may find themselves in more of a problematic situation if they vote against gun reform. We will not forget the names when the votes are tallied as we tally more deaths day-by-day at the hand of people with guns. Some of which they could have prevented.

    January 16, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Harald

    I agree that the NRA ad is repugnant, but beside that it's also nonsensical.
    The president and his family are always surrounded by secret service. That simply comes with the job. Does that mean that every citizen should now get SS protection ??

    January 16, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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