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. Geezer

    This ad is a disservice to all Americans.All Presidents' children and family have have been protected by the Secret Service for decades. Nasty ad.

    January 16, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. BM

    So is the NRA going to pay the costs for hundreds of thousands new police/security personnel to protect every school? Seems like the Repubs/NRA have a desire to reduce costs but can't quite make the math nor there story hold water.

    January 16, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. Expat American

    Instead of choosing a diplomatic and intelligent strategy; the NRA merely loses the battle of winning the support of its opposition by merely appealing to the lowest common denominator and least educated of its base. The only thing missing was Ted Nugent playing the guitar wearing a tight red Kate Perry dress.

    January 16, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Lindsey

    ANY president's children have protection by the Secret Service, not just Obama's. Bush II's children were protected as well. No squawk about that, though.

    We've been held hostage by the NRA long enough.

    January 16, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. Z

    The NRA has stooped to a new low. What would have happened if the NRA did this to the Bush kids? All of our Presidents have had protection for their children and to make a commercial bringing up that protection or that our Presidents children are more deserving of protection than anyone else's is just disgusting! The NRA has become nothing but a shrill mouth for the Gun industry. Regulations are a must with this insaneact group who only cares about stuffing their pockets and not a whit for the welfare of the American People.

    January 16, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Doug

    This ad is just childish. The president and his family have always been afforded additional security, not because they are more important than the rest of us, but because they are obvious national security targets. Imagine if the president's kids were taken hostage. There is a huge difference between saying that guards should be provided to a kid who is at clear security risk (be it the president's kids or any other) and saying that we should have armed guards at every school.

    By analogy, Obama and every other president have had a large Secret Service security team. Does that mean that the NRA believes that every American should get their own secret service team to protect them?

    January 16, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Joi Gibson

    Repugnant, totally outrageous, beyond the pale, beyond the bounds of decency. SHAME ON THE NRA!!!!

    January 16, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Tim McBride

    I for one feel so much better knowing all the criminals will have to have a backround check to buy guns. I know in Chicago, gun violence will end as of today.

    January 16, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. i2hellfire

    @swbratcher people clutching their guns tightly seem to always use the hackneyed "undermining the constitution" when honestly, i don't think you understand very well the amendment you keep citing. the country was very different when the 2nd amendment was voted in (oh yes...amendment. you understand what it is to "amend" something, yes?) and even then it was discussed pointedly. by the way, what part of the constitution do you think is being undermined? gun control isn't gun banning. unless english comprehension is another shortcoming you possess.

    January 16, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. otlset

    And by "repugnant" they mean "we actually can't counter that argument". Ooops!

    January 16, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. bppack

    more nonsense from the NRA. which is all we hear from them. nothing being proposed involves taking anything from anybody, although these semi-automatic weapons SHOULD be taken from everybody. the only way the NRA can logically fight these proposals is by obfuscation. which, unfortunately, works for their blind followers.

    January 16, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. merlinfire

    "Don't use children for political gain!"

    *surrounds self by children at press conference*

    He nailed "hypocrite" even better than the NRA made him out to be.

    January 16, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. Rosslaw

    If as the right-wingers insist the U.S. Constitution should be taken literally and as fixed when written, then wouldn't the only weapons that would be covered by the 2d amendment be blakc powder muzzle loaders? And if the 2d amendment has no limits as the right insists, then shouldn't everyone have access to hand grenades and RPG's, including convicted felons and adjudicated mentally ill persons? This scummy NRA add is no surprise when you consider the NRA supports complete freedom of action for gun dealers to sell weapons to the Mexican cartels, west african warlords with a penchant for amputating children's limbs and the like.

    January 16, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    How their kids are different than other kids is beyond me. The problem with the ad is that they don't provide the full understanding of what is going on. The president and family get Secret Service protection for the time being. As for the other people pictured in the ad, they can afford other nice things that not everyone can.

    The NRA doesn't show or talk about how to properly secure weapons in the home and what to do when not everyone in the house is really mature (stable) enough to handle weapons.

    January 16, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Danny

    He's the president!!!! His children are good targets for right wing extremists. The children are not more precious than other children, but they're definitely more susceptible to being murdered. DUH

    January 16, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Jaeger

    Actually, the ad is more likely about the 12 armed guards that Sidwell has. Those guards are part of the reason Obama picked Sidwell. Biden grandkids also attend Sidwell. CNN just leaves that part off the story

    January 16, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Disgusting

    Typical NRA....out to protect itself even at the cost of little children and innocent bystanders.

    January 16, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. ORChuck

    What is the NRA thinking? The flawed reasoning in this campaign is so patently-obvious that the campaign and the NRA end up looking like fools for even suggesting this argument.

    January 16, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. corpsman

    I'm a gun owner and supporter of the constitution (all of it, not just the Second Amendment) and the NRA makes me sick. The majority of the 100 million gun owners who are NOT NRA members will not support these seditious tactics.

    January 16, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. WarmGun

    So, all the bs from the fascist NRA about your guns and what comes out of this? Ban on NEW sales of Semi Automatic Assault Weapons. You guys must be really disappointed. I know there are far left liberals that are disappointed too. Don't worry the F-NRA will block any ban in their paid for Congress.

    January 16, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. allenwoll

    .
    The NRA, as it stands, has GOT TO GO ! ! !
    .
    It is the responsibiulity of the DECENT members of the NRA (of which there are many) to take down the present NRA regime and replace it with an ethical one, one NOT captured in the hands of the weapons and ammunition manufacturers, but rather one serving the true interests of the public members !.. They ALSO need to expel those members who are simply "rabid Seconders" - People whose ONLY real goal is to "WIN at any cost" ! . ANY other cause would serve them as well, as long as they could hope to win, WIN, W-I-N ! ! !
    .
    Failure to do so only provides welcome ammo for the anti-gun people - of which I admittedly AM one ! !

    January 16, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Really?

    Everything surrounding this ad lacks common sense. The President's children have more security because they are national figures who are now well-known and in the eye of the public world. Of course they have more security. They are also more exposed than my children and would be a higher profile target than any other child as well, whether for good or bad. This is no different than a celebrity requiring body guards in public. Do any of you need to avoid going out into public because of the potential security threats/risks that would be posed towards you or your children? I'm betting not. Unfortunately, the Obama family would not be able to simply walk down the street, or into a grocery store, without their security and feel safe and secure like the average American can and does. Use your heads and common sense.

    January 16, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Darthlawsuit

    If guns bring violence then it seems congress and the president wants violence since the white house and all their families are protected by hired guns.... Oh wait they are using it for security? Then why do they say guns won't protect ordinary citizens but guns will protect them? Are they special in that their presence magically makes guns safe or are they just hypocrites.

    January 16, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. ClydeTheSlyde

    The real irony for me is virtually the same group of people that were calling for smaller government during the election, now want the government to provide armed guards in schools. Ironical, isn't it. :-)

    January 16, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. kevin

    This is riduculous. NRA simply does not care about childrens and safety of civilians. They only care about money that they will get from gun manufacturers.

    January 16, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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