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. WIMPY38

    Believe me, if President Obama had a choice, I'm sure he wouldn't want his children protected by "armed guards" but as all president's families since Lincoln was killed, ALL POTUS families have to be under proctetion. NRA are morons.

    January 16, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Republican Class Warfare

    If the government wanted to kill you, they would. You might be snatching up Bushmasters at Wal Mart, but the government has drones. Good luck defending your crummy trailer against tyrrany when the banks take over with a tea party congress at their backs.

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

    I agree with the NRA ad. Yes, I agree that the President's children should have Secret Service protection, but that isn't what the ad is talking about. The school that the children go to has it's own armed security force. If Obama is skeptical about having a police officer in the schools, as the NRA suggested, then why does he send his daughters to a school that has armed security, above and beyond the SS protection they already receive?

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

    What about our kids, why can't they be protected from mad men with guns! The NRA is right on the money on this one!

    January 16, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    Are the president's kids more important than yours?

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

    No, but they're certainly more high-profile, and judging by the hateful comments vomited daily by right wing radio/tv commentators and their mouthbreathing audiences, there are probably a lot of people who would like to get near the President's children for nefarious reasons just because they don't like the children's father, so while the NRA may not like it, their comments and those of their useful idiots validate the secuirty afforded the First Children.

    January 16, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. I will wait

    The NRA has 4.5 million members.. that is just about the number of votes Obama won the last election.. which means it is 2% of the voting public.... Why and how do they have so much power? They don't, it is the gun manufactures who give them the money.. Don't be fooled. The people in charge of the NRA have proven with ads like this that they don't have the brains to blow their own nose.
    "Wow, I wonder why the Secret Service watches over the kids of the president.. do they think they are important?" What a stupid stupid comment.

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

    The NRA is one of the last bastions of old white guys who need to prove they are "manly men". Protection has nothing to do with it. Displaying their phallus for all to see. That's what they want!

    January 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Racemunki

    I found it on youtube. The most disgusting piece of garbage. AND THAT, is an understatement. Over 20 families just lost their children and are still grieving. The NRA is tactless, shameful and downright cowardly to put that out. Don't politicize something of this level. Your RESERVED SEATS in HADES are ready!

    January 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Ty

    Speaking purely about the ad itself and not my opinion on the group who released it, the ad fails to take a very important factor into consideration. The president's children are being protected because of the potential issues that could arise should they be kidnapped. Should the children of citizens across the country be attacked or kidnapped (although tragic and abominable), they are not going to be held hostage in exchange for prisoner/terrorists being released, intelligence information, policy changes being implemented, etc. This possibility exists should the first children be kidnapped. It would compromise the ability of the president to effectively do his job. They are not being protected as a matter of privilege or hypocrisy, but out of a matter of national security.

    To your comment Dave (minus the comparison to Hitler which is completely unneccesary and does nothing to productively further the conversation), of course your children are every bit as important as the president's as human beings, but there is no denying that the potential national security risks associated with them being kidnapped is much different. That is the sole reason why it is necessary, not hypocritical, for them to receive the protection that they do. It's just the hard truth of having children when you hold an office like the presidency.

    January 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. paul.

    The 2nd amendment should not be interpreted to mean "No Gun restrictions. We need very strict "Gun Laws". Hand guns should be banned completely. Ban all military type weapons completely. Bolt action rifles ONLY.
    To pay for a government buyback of all illegal guns an annual gun owners registration for current gun owners.We have Registration on cars. Guns are far more dangerous than cars.

    January 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Pan3

    I support the President 100% All these others are un-patriotic. Remeber no one could say anything bad about our country/President Bush withou being labeled un-patriotic?

    January 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. SHARON

    CatSh tell that to the parents at Sandy Hook School

    January 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Francisco Islas

    What about my kids, why can't they be protected from mad men with guns? The NRA is right on this one, I'm going to have to join!

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

    Donna, so you not only advocate limiting the 2A rights, but now you also want to limit the freedoms of speech that the NRA has through legislation? How very un-American of you. You may not agree with what they say, but they have the right to say it.

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

    The NRA sent out a mass mailing soliciting new members in which the covering letter (signed by Wayne LaPierre) launched into a direct attack on both the person and the office of the President in the first sentence. This organization is starting from the position of questioning the legitimacy of our government; the implication is that either the government bends to its will or there will be 'consequences' (which I take to be armed resistance). This is unacceptable.

    The NRA could have taken a leadership role in figuring out how to balance the rights of gun enthusiasts against the rights of non-enthusiasts to life, liberty &tc. Instead they've adopted a take no prisoners stance, preferring to confront the government (i.e. we, the people) in some hideous parody of "Red Dawn". They will lose.

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

    "Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,"...but apparently anyone else's kids are fair game, as Obama's photo op clearly demonstrates.

    January 16, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. well wisher

    Second amendment and was relevent when US was under oppressive regime. Now, it is a democratic state and guns among civilians do not serve any usuful purpose. If you must hunt, use a bow and arrow like your forefathers did. If you are not strong enough to use it, don't hunt.

    It's high time the second amendment verbiage changes from right to own guns to right to own books and right for a college education. Fight for education cost to come down. Then, your jobs won't fly away to other countries.

    January 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Hypocrite? I think not. In fact, that's far from any sort of truth. This isn't Obama's personal agenda. He is doing what he thinks is best for this country. If the school his children go to is protected by armed gaurds, this ban will affect them too. The difference is that Obama's children will then be protected by the Secret Service. How does that make him a hypocrite? They are the first family, their lives have been threatened everyday since Obama first ran for office. I'm sure you can't say that our lives are all threatened every single day. Whether you like it or not, they get to be the exeption.

    By the way, our right to bare arms? It's not in jeporady, but even if it was, yeah, that amendment was created 200 years ago. Are you so ignorant that you believe that times haven't changed? Obama isn't trying to takeour rights, he's making it more difficult to obtain fire arms. And I will be the first to commend him. People kill people, not guns, so we need to keep them out of those people's hands.

    January 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Jerry

    Mr. Presidente/Dictador, please desist (refrain?) from using our children as props. If you continue to do so, don't be offended (surprised?) if your own children are also used as props.

    Isn't "what's good for goose, also good for the gander"?!

    Learn to practice what you preach!!!

    I guess hypocrisy knows no bounds!

    January 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. KBNJ

    "Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,"...but apparently anyone else's kids make perfect pawns, as Obama's photo op clearly demonstrates.

    January 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Racemunki

    Funny thing. The president of the NRA has his kids going to the same school as Obama's. Who is a hypocrite?

    January 16, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. CBP

    It is amazing to think that people in this country do not know that the President and his family are given Secret Service protection. Guess it was fine when it was George Bush's daughters but not fine for the Obama girls.

    The NRA has hit an all-time low. I think it is time for new leadership and for the members who truly represent gun owners to step forward and lead this group.

    No one is denying anyone their second amendment rights but that amendment did not and does not cover all weapons. I would and do support the right to bear arms. I cannot in good conscience defend the rights of anyone to own military arms or guns which can be used to inflict harm on many people at one time. It is time for a sane and reasonable approach to gun ownership.

    January 16, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Marty, FL

    The NRA "leaders" are disgusting(!) for invoking the President's innocent children after the tragedy at Sandy Hook. This gross ad sadly shows the extremes at the top of the NRA, not responsible gun owners.

    A clear majority of Americans, including many NRA members, support Pres. Obama's reasonable proposals.

    January 16, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. GaryB

    The commerical is just bogus. First, if you want to send your kids to a private school with armed guards, no one is stopping you. So no hypocrisy there. Second, if terrorists planned to kidnap your kids with the intention of leveraging them for the release of jailed terrorists, the federal government probably would help give your kids some protection.

    January 16, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Brad

    An organized gun lobby with as much clout as the NRA, and all its members making love to their guns, is perhaps scarier than gun violence itself............................

    January 16, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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