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. Mike Texoma

    The comparason between the need for protection of the President's kids and the need for protection of our kids is really silly. I am not President of the United States and I do not have that presidential "target" on my back. The attempt to generalize the situational exception to the principle that gun battles should not take place in locations where there are concentrations of kids, is inappropriate. No constitutional right is without exception The right of free speech does not justify yelling "fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire. We will have reasonable lmitations on the right to keep and bear arms because the risk of harm to all our children, given the status quo, is too great.

    January 16, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Travis

    Ed, really? The possibility of harm coming to the presidents kids are so much higher than those of regular citizens. His kids are targets on a global level just due to the position. Yes his kids need protection, Regan's, Bush, Clinton and every other president had protection for their families. I appreciate the fact you have rights, you have an opinion...but use some common sense.

    January 16, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. Libertarian_First


    What is repugnant is the blatant hypocrisy of this administration. Armed guards are OK for obama's kids, just not yours.

    January 16, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Dear NRA: Thanks for removing yourself from this very adult conversation with your insanely childish antics. The more you talk, the less we listen.

    January 16, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. smdoginlife

    Except the Secret Service has SIGNIFICANT training, and those fellas the NRA wants standing at the doors to your kids school are likely to have a couple weeks of training, if their lucky.

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Mother Milky Way

    The political leaders along with many of those who have power to influence many people, such as the wealthy, require assisstance in repairing what has become a dangerous cultural norm. The psychology experts in the species are not always equipped to recognize these dangerous cultural norms and the macro-economic and macro-systemic effects of the, often unrecognized, implicit laws, of cultural norms and the causal cognitive patterns that create these laws.

    The psychology professionals are taught to recognize patterns of mental disorders such as the mental disorder that has a north pole and south pole similar to every living planet with a magnetic core in the Milky Way, you mother. However, a mental disorder that has become culturally acceptable is going untreated and the risks are grave. The Narcissistic Mental Disorder, along with it's successor, the Psychopathic Mental Disorder is found in many of the people of influence.

    Here is an example of how the Narcissistic and Psychopathic Mental Disorder regresses the person to a level below kindergartener.

    In kindergarten, when a child makes an error in their work books, the child does not attribute the pencil or paper as the cause. The child does not connect causality to the error with the child's classmates. The child does not blame the teacher.

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Mrs. gg

    I am sorry, but his children are no more special than mine!!! They are not more important than my children or anyone's child for that matter!!

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Lisa Rhodes

    Only stings because it is true.

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Dark tater

    Not everything is a conspiracy psychological warfare... What we are witnessing is a small group of horrid people who cannot change, while it makes other people uncomfortable who are not use to reality.

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Mike

    Obama is showing letters written by kids in america to the world. Do you think that their parents gave him permission to do this. We are going to have the same results as laws of the past that do/did not work or cause more trouble... i.e. drug laws, prohibition, smuggling, etc. If you want an example of what it feels like living in a Dictatorship, look what is happening in Syria.

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. E Holder

    Since it is predominantly the poor who commit, and are victims of gun violence, lets prohibit them from buying or owning a gun! That makes about as much sense as the idiot administration and his demoncratic dimwits.

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. BOb the Prairie Dog

    Dear NRA: Thanks for removing yourself from this very adult conversation with your insanely childish antics. The more you talk, the less we listen.

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. silly2

    My children are every bit as important as his kids – (even more so to me) But my children aren't the target of every lunatic that hates the president for whatever reason. There are idiots on both sides of this issue. If you ban any kind of weapons, the criminals will still have them. It's like the old saying goes: "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." I have a six shooter with a spare magazine. That SHOULD be enough for any threats I or my kids may face.

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Paul

    The NRA will do anything to get their base all jazzed up. Remember, the NRA works for big gun manufacturers. A good rant, or even a good lie will bring millions of dollars as conservatives run to buy more guns. They have been using that game plan for years and it works. Someday, those people will look around their house and say, "What the hell was I thinking when I spent "that much" on so many guns"!!!! Fear is a strong motivator

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Paulmp

    Well Bush Jr and Senior, and probably their kids are also protected by the SS, right? how about CHeney?

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Ed Watson

    The truth hurts doesn't it!!!! The NRA is right I don't care who anyone is President Obama and his children are no more important than any other person or their children. He should abide by the constitution and leave it alone, he has no business trying to change what our founding fathers knew was important to the continued freedom this country enjoys. No tyrant with an agenda should be allowed to change that. The NRA is right and I am proud of any person or group of people that will stand up for the rights that all of us take for granted every day. If the President wants to try something of weapons bans he might try a trial ban in let's say Chicago; oh I'm sorry they already tried that and we see how well that has worked out...

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. AP

    Another completely irrelevant comparison by the NRA. It's amazing the crap they will put out, which just demonstrates how illogical and blinded by emotion they are in the face of "adversity." Instead of siezing an opportunity to help push badly needed reforms that will still preserve most of the rights of responsible gun owners, they further alienate themselves, and by association, those same responsible gun owners who are not the problem. To drag any specific children into the argument is low, and for them to be the children if a sitting President even lower. Are any President's children more important than mine? Well, technically, no. But they sure as hell are an infinitely bigger target than mine, thanks in part to such ridiculous rhetoric as the NRA distributed with this ad.

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Tracy

    lol....put Obama's kids in public school!

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Oscarfish

    The NRA says that people are 'missing the point' of this ad. Their 'point' is about as subtle a a whack over the head with a 2×4 but I guess some people would miss that too – depends on how thick your skull is. This is the lowest, below the belt way to argue. When you find youself behind the eight ball in a debate just call the other side some nasty names and hopefully you will divert everyone's attention away from the real issue. (And drag some innocent kids into it to boot). Anyone who would buy into an idea like this must be as ignorant as the NRA and just as mean. I am not a rabid anti-gun fanatic but I want these people to either engage in some intelligent dialog or get the heck out of the way so the rest of us can get something accomplished here.

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Michael in Houston

    Personally, I am glad the NRA ran this ad and I hope they do in fact run it in more markets. This is about as twisted and cowardly an act by a bunch of angry white paunch bellies I have ever seen. This ad proves this NRA is nothing but a collection of the worst among us.

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Lisa P.


    "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

    You certainly have a short memory. What happened to that movie audience, and the Sikhs in their temple preparing for worship? The students at that Christian college and the women at the beauty parlor? Virginia Tech? The LIRR? This problem has been brewing for a long time and all the "patriots" of the NRA have done is continue to hide under their rock. Welcome to the sunshine, buddy: doing nothing doesn't work.

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. j

    what an awesome argument! so by this logic, since Obama is guarded around the clock by armed security, the NRA's argument would dictate that everyone should be jealous of that and want personnel armed security personnel. "is Obama more important than you?" for example. Mind you, not personal arms, but personal armed guards – because it's doubtful the president is packing an AR15 in his jacket, or even a semi-auto glock for that matter. Are his kids more important? no, but how many NRA constituents' children could be taken hostage and used as leverage on a global political leader? answer – almost none. his kids are guarded due to their national security liability, end of story. This entire argument is nonsense.

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    I'm skeptical too-but I'm skeptical that the 'armed guards' proposed by the NRA would be vetted & trained as thoroughly as the Secret Service guards are. I doubt there are enough people who would meet the Secret Service's standard for Presidential family guards that we could put them in all of our schools. If I'm wrong about that then I'll go along with the NRA's plan-otherwise I think I'll wait & see what the President's plan is...but so far I'm as skeptical as Obama is about the NRA's plan. That doesn't mean it isn't a good plan, just that I don't think it'll work. And if it doesn't work then we need to look at something else-so what else is on the table? Nothing from the NRA, that's for sure.

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Jeff O'Dette

    There are millions if assult weapons and the like in this country. MILLIONS. A ban is senseless. But one thing for sure, A Lanza should have stopped before he fired one shot. A trained person, one whose only job is to protect children, was needed in that school. At every school.

    January 16, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. CommonSense 12

    @JeffersonLives, if you had commonsense you meant be smart enough to understand, that no is touching the @nd Ammendment you idiot! Checking credit is the American way, why not check backgrounds for gun owners? And if you need semi-rifle, etc then go fight in war!!! Be useful rather than sounding stupid! No one has said we're taking your guns up and that's not even the debate....

    January 16, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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