Chris Christie rails against NRA, calls ad 'reprehensible'
January 17th, 2013
06:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Chris Christie rails against NRA, calls ad 'reprehensible'

(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.

Filed under: Ads • Chris Christie • NRA
soundoff (862 Responses)
  1. Jason

    I'm with you on this one Christie! I'm a gun enthusiast, and "used" to fully support the NRA, but this kind of add is absolutely pathetic. There are a ton of other issues you can rail on, Secret Service protection for his children making him an elitist is about the most ridiculous one I can think of. Pathetic!

    January 18, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. CHrisINF

    Someone in an earlier post said that the children of American public figures are targets for terrorists while average American children are not. Really?! Please try to explain that to any of the surviving parents of the Americian children who were murdered in the terrrorist attack on 911! If you are an American you are a target for terrorists...please try to stop being such incredibly naive, weak sheep! Of course children of average (us peasants) Americans deserve to have professional armed security at their schools.

    January 18, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. ToldUso

    When will any of the other Repub leadership step up? Cowards, one and all, lead by chief coward Boehner.

    January 18, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. les

    Gov. Christie i voted for dem. but i like you. Please run for president

    January 18, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. what's up

    Christi has gone from rising star, to a dumb Obama lackey. What is really funny, being an Obama lackey hasn't gotten Christi any more Federal help. How hilarious!

    January 18, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. paulripley

    Remember when the Republicans said that if they should go after Obama's kids. March 2012, Republican that is exactly what Ann Coulter said in Hannity.

    “So maybe it’s time to start imitating liberals in another way and go after the Obama children,” she added. “By the way, that has been done grotesquely and viscously over the years by the left.”

    This is exactly what the NRA did and that is what Christie is talking about.

    January 18, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Nclaw441

    The school Obama's (and David Gregory's–also featured in the ad) children attend has security in addition to Secret Service. That security was there before the President's children started attending. That is the hypocrisy the NRA is talking about. Elitist hypocrisy. If the security is not effective why does this school and other private schools have it? One percenters indeed

    January 18, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. jmt

    I am an independent but I usually vote democrat but if Mr. Christie keeps being a man and not a politician, he will get my vote if he runs in 2016.

    January 18, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. knklhead

    Very happy to see posts from reasonable Americans who see the hardcore actions and statements of the NRAnuts and the wackos that have graced the media lately. For you hunters and true patriots who realize that the NRA does NOT represent you, kudos. Thank you for being part of the solution and please continue to enjoy your sport and rights as reasonable men and women AND working to help keep our loved ones and as safe as possible..

    I got goosebumps when I read that multiple NRA members are revoking their memberships. Godspeed.

    January 18, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Rick

    I agree with Christie – but the let's call spades here: Did the president not have kids behind him as "political props" at his press conference. In fact, after signing the 23 Exec Orders (most of which I agree with), he got up and hugged them. Both sides play the same game – the NRA (and Repub's for that matter) do not play it well.

    January 18, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. jzaks

    Christie says don't drag kids into it. Sorta like Obama did with the row of kids on his stage when he wanted to make his points. Hypocrite.

    January 18, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. futureman1

    Chris Christie gives meaning to the phrase.. "Country Before Party"...

    January 18, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. froggie

    The only hope the GOP has in the 2016 presidential election is Governor Christie. He is the only one that could beat anyone the Democrats put on the ticket. Every moderate in this country would vote for him. Catholics would easily vote for him. PLEASE GOV CHRISTIE RUN IN 2016!!!!

    January 18, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. ProudDem

    @ BT: I'm a non gun owner and I'm almost certain that the NRA doesn't represent many responsible gun owners. I believe they represent gun manufacturers and the harsh rhetoric is just a cover to fool the masses. Many people are awake now so some of their messaging is falling on deaf ears...

    January 18, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Peace

    My fellow Americans, I hate to say the following: "Why are you proving yourself to be stupid?". You are rushing to stores to buy guns and emptying them". Why? The more guns are in circulation, the more killing will be, hence either the congress or the White House will put the law banning all guns. You will lose your guns (as you can not possess them – it will be illegal). You will already make the the sellers rich. What kind of thinking is that?

    January 18, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. OvernOut

    NJ is extremely protective of kids, from what I've seen as a frequent visitor over the past 30+ years. You just do not mess with their kids. Good for Gov. Christie, he's putting people in their rightful places so he can go back to rebuilding his state that needed serious rebuilding before any superstorm hit.

    January 18, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. knklhead

    I say it again. NRA: You are ANTI-American ... step up and be PART OF THE SOLUTION!

    January 18, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. Richard Ryder

    Hey Gov!! Since most moron GOPers are NRA members...please come to the "light side", join us DEMS!! You are halfway there...come on over....we would love to have you on our side. NO GOPer is as open as you are!!! They hide and lie their way to get their way. The disgraceful Dana Loesch the other day on CNN is so typical of the GOP...they just cannot stand the fact that they lost again!!!!! Her facial expressions of her big moon face told volumns...she and the GOP just cannot stand where they find themselves now....welcome Mr. Gov...welcome to the Democratic Party.

    January 18, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. joe

    only way i vote republican in 16 is if christie runs for pres! tell it like it is...finally a conservative that thinks for himself instead of letting the nra do the thinking for him. NRA is a complete joke.

    January 18, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Sean C

    I'm as pro 2nd ammendment as it gets and I will say that the NRA ad was to say the least tacky, but certainly no tackier than anything you see during election season and the negative attack ads. The thing I do find interesting is that nobody batted an eye when President Obama paraded school children out to sign 23 executive orders...essentially using them as pawns in a political battle. I find that equally distasteful.

    January 18, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. John Richard

    So where do we stop posting armed guards to "protect our children"? Every playground? Every Cross Street? Every shopping mall? Every movie theater? Every field trip? Every church? Every school bus? Every bus in general that a child might be on? Every fast food restaurant? Every public place immaginable? We may need one for each room in our house, right? A mentally ill person hell bent on killing people with a gun somewhere. Following the NRA's logic the ONLY solution is to go back to the "Wild West" and arm every man woman and child in the country. Their arguments are fallacious and counter intuitive. The truth is that a handgun in the home, for example, is 10 times more likely to be used to kill a family member or visiting friend in that home than an armed intruder. For every anecdote the NRA digs up where a gun is used to protect the home, there are ten cases where by accident, murder, suicide or mishap this same weapon takes an innocent life. We do not have to gut the 2nd amendment and take away everyone's right to own a gun to pass laws that apply some common sense to this gun violence problem we have in this country.

    January 18, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Robert Murphy

    Common sense alert! Yes, the President and his family are more important than the average citizen. Wake the hell up America!

    January 18, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. RickFromTexas

    Once again, Christie makes perfect sense, which means that the GOP wing nut brigade will never get it. Must be pretty lonely for Christie, being one of the few sane people in a party full of fire breathing lunatics.

    January 18, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. mary

    A majority of NRA members are in favor of some controls. By bet is that gun manufacturers are behind this ad. LaPierre is a shill for these companies and doesn't really represent ordinary american citizens who joined the NRA so they could access a range for target practice. NRA members should vote the man out, and vote in someone who represents the wishes of the members of the organization instead of the interests of weapons manufacturers.

    January 18, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Wake up People!

    I commend Christy but I would NEVER vote for him. I can't forget all the nasty and hateful things he said about President Obama. And if he is planning to run he better lose weight and fast. The man is a heart attack waiting to happen.

    That said I am looking forward to watch Fox Snews this weekend to see what they say about him. They are going to eat him ALIVE.

    January 18, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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