Chris Christie rails against NRA, calls ad 'reprehensible'
January 17th, 2013
06:31 PM ET
1 year 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. Daverelentless

    Wow, is the big boy positioning for President or what? After this, he'll have to run as a Democrat, though.

    January 18, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. wirius

    I like Mr. Christie the more I hear about him. I usually vote Democrat, but a sane voice from the right is something this country needs terribly.

    January 18, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. WillyNilly

    I agree with Governor Christie. I admire him more and more each time he speaks. He speaks his mind and he speaks true for the benefit of the country.

    January 18, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Bob

    Christie is redefining the GOP, and I like it. I'm pretty hopeful that we'll have more center-aligned Dem/GOP parties in the next election. Around the world, governments that aren't run by blind ideology get things done.

    January 18, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Thatguy

    Good for Christie. I'm beginning to like this guy.

    I want to know if the NRA is going to pay for these trained armed guards at every school. The government is under a lot of pressure to cut spending. However the NRA is bragging about how their membership numbers and the amount of donations have increased exponentially. So why don't they use this money to for something useful other than just pay off politicians?

    January 18, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Leeford

    "Are the president's kids more important than yours?"
    No, but they are far more likely to be targeted than mine.

    January 18, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Dar

    Christie is a blow hard and gas bag. He is the epitome of hypocrite and shows it every time he speaks. First with the Sandy bill and bashing the house pushing for it's passage even though it was full of pork. Now with this outburst against the NRA. What the NRA has done is called Obama out for what he is and that is an elitist hypocrite. His children have armed guards at their school yet he thinks it's a bad idea for everyone else. Nothing makes any politician, their children or their families more special or privileged than any other American. Once the people of this nation see the hypocrisy and the contempt that these politicians hold against them they may wake up. Hopefully it won't be too late.

    January 18, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. PS

    If Christie keeps going in this direction and shows that he is indeed a conservative with a brain, I just might break my streak and go back to voting Republican for the Presidential elections in '16.

    January 18, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. learntoread

    Why do they hate the black guy from Hawaii so much? When does it stop? Whatever you think about Obama's policies ( some are very progressive and some–like drone attacks–very conservative) he is the definition of American exceptionalism-a black kid from a broken family can go to Harvard and become the President...that can only happen in our great nation! Get over it People–he may not loook like you and he may not think like you–BUT he's really bright and a serious gentleman...with a great family...and I, for one, am proud to have this guy leading the nation (although i dont agrree with everything he does)-he's serious and focused– he helped avert an economic collapse..he's ending these wars...and i personally feel safer here in NYC than i have in many years...Wake up folks–we need to talk about healthcare and weapons and poverty and war and the economy...with open minds and good ideas...let the haters move elsewhere....let's be in this thing together–it's what makes our nation wonderful....teamwork....

    January 18, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Scott Siperko

    Sorry Chris, my children are just as important to my wife and I as the Obama's are to them. Obama does not wish to address the real problem (no surprise, look at his spending addictions) here he to much agenda on his mind.
    For all you irresponsible progressive liberals; the NRA is not a party backed organization it is a citizen backed organization so your attacks against it are against the people not a party. I find it hilarious that it's OK for your leader to ATTACK a person for a year without a peep from any of you yet when "We the People" attack him in a truthful manner all hell breaks loose, hypocrisy at it's best.

    January 18, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Scott Siperko

    Sorry Chris, my children are just as important to my wife and I as the Obama's are to them. Obama does not wish to address the real problem (no surprise, look at his spending addictions) here he has to much agenda on his mind.
    For all you irresponsible progressive liberals; the NRA is not a party backed organization it is a citizen backed organization so your attacks against it are against the people not a party. I find it hilarious that it's OK for your leader to ATTACK a person for a year without a peep from any of you yet when "We the People" attack him in a truthful manner all hell breaks loose, hypocrisy at it's best.

    January 18, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. amazed

    WOW...where was he when they dragged Palin's kids through the mud.....

    January 18, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. ryan_c_f

    Yay, a whole bunch of fake outrage.

    The point of the NRA ad is NOT: The kids don't deserve Secret Service protection.
    The point of the NRA ad is NOT: The kids shouldn't be safe in schools because our children are not safe.
    The point of the NRA ad IS: Why would the President choose not to support putting armed guards in schools, when his own children attend a school that has employed armed guards of their own volition?

    When politicians choose to make decisions "for the children... but oh, oh, not THOSE CHILDREN... they're OFF LIMITS..." especially when the ad says nothing about them personally, that's called a double standard, and it's called hypocrisy. They opened the door for the debate to be about children first and then got upset when someone walked through it.

    It's the same tactic they pulled with the race card during the campaign.

    January 18, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. screenthis

    Perhaps, Chrisitie is the kind of Republican I can finally vote for on the National level. There are many over the years I've voted for on the Local and State level. But, when they go National, they then have to simply parrot the Party Line. They get more extreme and feel the need to 'sign on' to all the wacko talking points. If Christie breaks with this mold, he'd have my vote.

    January 18, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. FactCheck

    Looking forward to 2016. Wouldn't it be nice to have a Presidential election where BOTH candidates are sane? Last time we had one was back in 1996 but Dole was too out of his league to provide any spark.

    January 18, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Scott

    As an independant voter, this type of stance – at odds with some of the radical fringe, is exactly whats been missing in national politics and is the kind of thing that could lead me to strongly support Christie, or someone like him, in the next election. Christie strikes me as a real leader, not someone who gets all of his talking points and positions from special interests. Bravo
    Special interests will attack him because he speaks for himself and they fear they lack the the influence that they can purchase with others.

    January 18, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. Bob

    I believe the point is relevant, which the NRA raises. People who label it as an attack, including Christie, are deterring you from considering the merits. Why should one segment of the population be protected from their fears, while other segments of the population should not. The fears are different, I'll grant you, and the President's children certainly have a laundry list of what could be plotted against them . . . but now we have fears for our children's safety, that are relevant to us. I see no "attack" here. Bravo NRA.

    January 18, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. FactCheck

    Sorry Chris, my children are just as important to my wife and I as the Obama's are to them.
    -----

    Do you children's dad have nuclear launch codes? How about the power to declare war or negotiate peace?

    Until that time, I suggest you clam up.

    January 18, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Sean

    I've read in other post where some people have espoused that there is a possibility that the American government has allowed the erosion, and in some cases taken away a lot individual rights over the years; whether the patriot act which I think is dispicable or detaining people without a right to a speedy trial when charged with terrorism. These things run counter to what the ideal democracy is. I do believe the root cause of all this is government getting into bed with business and the media. It's undeniable that the common denominatior is trending downward where these rights are concerned. Where gun rights is concerned though, your not going to win a war against the government even if everyone had an AR15 etc etc, The only way such a war could be won is with mass public uprising like what Dr. Martin Luther had done or something akin to the Arab Spring. What was really disappointing was when there was not enough support for the brave souls that participated in the Wall street demonstrations. They were vilified, but i think they were on the right track. It's too bad the majority did not jump on board for whole scale changes at that time. Your power won't come from the barrel of a gun, but from the sacrifice of your standing up and saying enough is enough, and then one at a time other like minded citizens join the movement. That's how you change the system.

    January 18, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. irunner

    Every time Christie says something, I like him a bit more. I'm a moderate Democrat, but would vote for this man.

    January 18, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. ryan_c_f

    Mind you, these are the same people who said nothing when people were making horrible accusations about who Trip Palin's mother "really was" and critiquing her family for seeming disfunctions.

    I guess your family is fair game until AFTER you get elected President...

    January 18, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Josh

    It's time to have a Moderate Party in American politics. I am sick of extremists from both the left and the right. A Moderate Party should unite those in the middle.

    January 18, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. truthbetold1226

    BT W rote:
    I am a gun owner, a hunter, a moderate republican and an EX-NRA member. The emails i get from the NRA and the beligerent rhetoric I see them spew make it really tough to sit on the same side of the isle with them. They lean so hard on fear and hate that it is embarrassing to be a gun owner some times. It is troublesome that non gun owners think that the NRA represents the mindset of all gun owners.
    End Quote

    BT, Just want to give you Kudos on your post. A lot of shooters/gun owners/NRA members are not off on the deep end. I had to cut the NRA loose when I found out they will deal with the DEVIL, just as long as the DEVIL is against all GUN LAWS.

    Just want to say, it is good to see shooters and gun owners that are not on the NRA's deep end.

    January 18, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Charles

    They do have a point though!!!!! Why can our children not have as close to the same security at our childrens schools that the Presidents children have? No child is more important than the other!! If someone making $15k a yr has a child going to school, they need the same type of seciruty at their school that a child whoes parents make $200k a yr....this is double standards! Our children deserve the same!!!

    January 18, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Woman In California

    I can agree with you governor but I won't vote for you because deep down inside, I will never trust you.

    January 18, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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