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. DB77

    Come on people. Be reasonable and rational here. You cannot compare the president`s children to the children of the average American, just like you can`t compare the children of the French President to the average french citizen, the children of the British Prime Minister to the children of the average british citizen, etc. They are very public figures who have very public jobs and who make very important, and often unpopular decisions in the world. That comes with the territory. Their children is like 100 times more publicly known, identified, vulnerable, and targeted than the average citizen`s children. You simply and absolutely cannot deny that. Every country in the world has extra protection for the children of presidents, prime ministers, and even popular public figures such as Hollywood stars, etc. Failing to see the difference between a president and an average citizen is completely ignorant and illogical. And that`s what the NRA has shown: that it is ignorant and illogical. I`m absolutely stumped that so many people in the U.S. are that ignorant and unreasonable. Or maybe I shouldn`t be.

    January 18, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. dugee

    The right would not look like such a joke if it had more Christies and less Limbaughs.His response was correct, measured and most importantly-sane.

    January 18, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. just me

    I am so not a Republican. However, I really, really likes man. Refreshing to have someone in politics speak his/her mind, without walking on eggs all the time. He seems to have a mind of his own and is not afraid of backlash. For the it should be! Congratulations Governor Christie!

    January 18, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Sara Lancaster

    Govenor Christie,
    No one really takes you seriously, you know that right?

    January 18, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Paul

    The right to bear arms is not being taken away. Sheesh people stop listening to the Fox News propaganda already and get a brain of your own. There needs to be limits to what weapons people have access to. Should people be able to have nuclear weapons? Tanks and ballistic missiles? Of course not. So get a grip, people do NOT need automatic weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 bullets to protect themselves. Those weapons are used for offense not defense. Wow you would think people with an IQ above 90 would know this by now.

    January 18, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Sivick

    OH MY GOD, a republican who makes sense and appeals to the masses instead of the most extreme fringe of his party. If he runs the dems better put up someone amazing or i'm going to vote for him.

    FYI, your children are not as important as the president's. He's the president. If I wanted to manipulate the most powerful person in the entire world i'd go after his children first. OH WAIT, THE NRA DID THAT, hmmmm....

    January 18, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. asdrel

    If Governor Christie keeps making these kind of statements, and appearing like a reasonable person able to look at more sides of an issue than the ones decreed by his party leaders, they are going to throw him right out of the GOP. But don't worry Governor, I suspect there are plenty of people in the Democratic Party that would welcome you.

    January 18, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Sidb1980

    I'd vote for Hillary before I'd vote for Christie.

    January 18, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Woman In California

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


    When does the paranoia stop? Why don't you run for president Scott and you, your wife and your children can get the same type of security. Problem solved.

    January 18, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Don

    Want to see the NRA shrivel on the vine? Easy, don't join this radical organization, or if your already a member turn in your membership.

    January 18, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. PJ

    Good for him. He is not afraid of the NRA, nor anybody else, it seems. The NRA has zero credibility, no
    conscience, are only concerned with the money that rolls in from the gun manufacturers. If it is true,
    that 72% of gun owners disagree with the NRA leadership, now is the time to step up and bring
    reason to that organization.
    Public outcry caused them to raise their "recommended age" for their new target practice game from
    age 4 to 12. So, they can be challenged and forced to back down, and they should be.

    January 18, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. SB Atl

    You want to be real, then lets get real. The NRA is a Guns Arms industry backed association who really care about power and profits. They (including the NRA leadership) could care less about your children. If you really want to get to the nitty gritty here, the President cares more about your children as well as his than the NRA and these gun nuts ever will!

    January 18, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. vp

    Let's all just face it:
    The President's Children ARE more important than ours.
    So were Mr. Bush's and Mr. Clinton's and so on...

    January 18, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Ken is wrong for the NRA to use Obama's kids in a commercial, but OK for Obama to use kids to push his gun control agenda? Please Christie you are turning into the biggest RINO on the East Coast......

    January 18, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    You do understand how foolish you sound, don't you? Politicians children, certainly a President of the United States child, is considered a prime target by each and every hater in the world. Not so with my grandchildren who will no doubt pass through their childhood invisible to terrorists, hate groups, and every other group intent on harming America. It's a bit of a stretch to think ALL children in ALL schools need armed guards or the expense attributed to maintaining a guard force at hundreds of thousands of schools throughout America simply to appease the NRA and it's gun manufacturers.

    January 18, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. slw

    I love this guy! He is probably the only politician who really CARES about the people and isn't afraid to tell it like it is.

    January 18, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Timothy Moultrie - Lexington, S.C.

    I am a parent, a public school teacher, a CWP holder, and I routinely hunt squirrels on my farm with a pistol. I am willing to protect my students (read – your children for free), but the government only secures our liberty to absorb the bullets of madmen. That is precisely what happened in Newtown.

    January 18, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. AmericansForSensibleGovornment

    Even a popular GOP Governor now sides with us.

    January 18, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Canuck

    @Scott Siperko
    " Obama does not wish to address the real problem (no surprise, look at his spending addictions) here he to much agenda on his mind."

    Well Scott, I may be an 'irresponsible progressive liberal' but at least I can construct a coherent sentence.

    January 18, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. Steve

    He is a political opportunist no more /no less. His only concern is becoming President. He would say anything or do anything to achieve that goal. Not to mention he is a health risk for President due to his obesity. Also he probably would be a security risk around donut shops and burger joints,with Russian and Chinese tempting him with food.

    January 18, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. mbcoh

    "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.."

    Careful, sounds like the same argument that could be used for universal healthcare, which most of these people (NRA/GOP) vehemently oppose.

    January 18, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Just because

    Nukes are strategic arms.

    I have a constitutional right to own one to protect my back yard and house.
    And I always wanted to go hunting with some.

    And if I cannot afford one, a cheap WMD should be substituted.

    January 18, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. ohio

    Christie-i vote democrat the majority of the time but i have to tell you i have found it refreshing
    to hear what you have to say lately. For the first time in a LONG time you make the GOP
    look like they might actually have some common sense. The right has gone too far and it
    has alienated me, as a voter. I generally don't want a lot to do with them. Having said this and
    wanting to thank you for it! I certainly hope that your GOP friends don't villify you. They ought to
    be listening to you more!

    January 18, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. BOb the Prairie Dog

    Well we've found a reasonable, rational Republican. So where is BigFoot?

    January 18, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. FParana

    If Christie would just switch parties and become a Democrat, he could be the new Huey Long – and I mean that in a good way.

    January 18, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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