(CNN) – Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey skewered the National Rifle Association Thursday for referencing the president's children in a political attack commercial.
Speaking in a press conference, the outspoken governor decried the move as "reprehensible" and argued the group lost some credibility by making the ad.
"And I think for any of us who are public figures, you see that kind of ad and you cringe. You cringe because it's just not appropriate in my view to do that," he said. "They've got real issues to debate on this topic. Get to the real issues. Don't be dragging peoples' children into this. It's wrong."
Video of his comments were posted on the governor's official YouTube page.
The NRA ad, which blasts President Obama as an "elitist hypocrite," asks why he opposes the idea of placing armed guards in every school–a proposal pushed by the NRA–despite the fact that his own children attend a school with similar security.
"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."
Released Tuesday night, the ad only airs on the Sportsman Channel, but has gained strong media attention, both on the airwaves and online.
Christie, a father of four, said the commercial went too far.
"My children had no choice realistically in what I've decided to do with my career and what effect that's had on their lives," he said. "The president doesn't have a choice and his children don't have a choice of whether they're going to be protected or not. The reality is our lives in American society don't lead to that, and I think it's awful to bring public figures' children into the political debate. They don't deserve to be there."
Defending the ad, NRA President David Keene said Wednesday on CNN that the ad wasn't specifically about Obama's two daughters, but about all children who attend schools with private security.
"What we're talking about is folks who have protection for their own children…and then pooh-pooh the idea that the average American's children shouldn't have the same sort of protection," he said on "The Situation Room."
Christie's comments will no doubt spark some criticism from certain conservative circles that chided him for appearing too close to Obama in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which destroyed large chunks of the New Jersey shoreline. The two appeared together to survey the damage, and Obama was the subject of high praise from Christie.
While Christie has spoken out in the gun control debate, he has yet to take a firm stance on either side, saying rather the country should have a discussion about a comprehensive set of solutions rather than focusing solely on guns.
But the governor, considered to be a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, pulled no punches in expressing his thoughts about the NRA's actions, adding that such a move "demeans them."
"It makes them less of a valid, trusted source of information on the real issues that confront this debate," he said.
the NRA is just wrong and I don't care how they spin it. I agree with Christie!
Governor Chris Christie, it is my duty to inform you
You have been drafted to run as the Republican nominee for the 2016 Presidential Election
Oh Governor Christy.....this may be your last straw dude. I applaud you for what you said but me thinks you will be officially kicked out of the"Good ole boys" club...... You thought they were mad at you for showing the POTUS respect, they might be ready to you. I had to omit the word I was thinking about because it surely would be moderated out. I'm really curious as to what the tinfoil terrorists are going to say.
First Colin Powell and now Christie. Those two are rebels without party.
It's as reprehensible as putting children on stage to promote an agenda they have no comprehension of the complexity issue. I agree the Presidents children need armed protection, but so do mine.
I like this guy more everyday. It's a crying shame more republicans can't see reality for what it is. Although it's probably easier for Christie to take this stance being from a 'a blue state'
oh no what will the left wing nuts say...good job?...doubt it...christie got balls thats for sure...
I am afraid that I seeing this man with new eyes, which seems more and more positive. I just may end up voting for him.
They better start listening to this guy instead of Rush and Fox.
My kind of President next time around!
"It makes them (NRA) less of a valid, trusted source of information on the real issues that confront this debate," Christie said.
Sound like Christie is putting the NRA on the same level as CNN.
Good for you Gov........but you can expect the primary season in 2016 to be a rocky ride if you choose to run. They don't much like reasonable stances in the world of GOP primaries.
I have certainly heard of Christie, but have never had a stong opinion about him, one way or the other. Now, I can say that I am a bona fide member of his fan club. Why did this article bring tears to my eyes? Because Christie simply spoke his truth. His point is so fundamentally true ... And he simply said it, out loud ... How refreshing and important is his willingness to speak truth to power?
Gotta give him credit, he's completely seizing the middle/moderate ground for a run at the White House in 2016.
I like somthing about this guy – He is real and blunt on issues. I respect him for that!
Dear Chris Christie
Give Jon Stewart a call, or watch Jon's show from January 16th 2013...And see how the GOP took all the power away from the US ATF...Your GOP party is not what you think it is....Stand up for the people of New Jersey..and the people of New Jersey will stand up and support you....
As a Canadian I cannot understand how a relatively small, unelected special interest group is allowed to wield so much power in the USA. Anyone care to explain?
NRA=whack-jobs! I own two guns for sport and I don't see anything wrong with Obama's recommendations.
finally a republican with real bolas
God bless you, Criss!!! You are just great.
Time to change your party. Arlene Spector did.
He doesn't represent republicans any longer, he represents himself. Christie, we have eyes, we are very aware of the bs obummer is trying to pull. You're becoming a well enouh liar that you should just consider yourself a democrat
Generally not a fan of Christie's because overall he's still a paid servant to the banks like most other politicians, but Republicans should start to listen to him when it comes to certain things. This is one of them. I honestly don't think that Chris Christie would be in favor of gun control, which I am in favor of, but, he wants the discussion to actually focus on what works and what doesn't work. He doesn't want emotion to play a role in the discussion. I am in favor of that. In general, if politicians were more like Christie and actually talked about the issues, instead of pandering to interest groups and stoking fear, than I think the Country would be in a better place. He's right that this lowers the credibility of the NRA. Just like Alex Jones lowered the credibility of people who had concerns about 2nd amendment rights. Get someone who can speak credibly and honestly. Even if people disagree, you won't look foolish and bolster your credibility in future discussions. It's good for the long term health of the party and the Country. I do believe there should be a conservative option for people to choose, but not an extremist one, like the current Republican party is.
Gov. you got this Democrta's vote come 2016
No doubt governor Christie's family has security guards, too. Why is it the Democrats say they are for average people, but don't want to take the real, practical steps necessary to protect all children, not just those of the rich? Chris Christie should be able to answer this, since he has apparently has become a democrat. When will you make it official, Chris?