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. Haney're saying it's not fair because he privileged, right. Then it would also be true that his children along with the children of Senators and Congressmen are also privileged to have access to the best health care that money can buy.
    Since it is all about the children, I am sure the Republican party would have no problem making sure that all children have access to the same level of care and education that the leaders of our nation do.

    January 18, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. joe

    Even more reprehensible (something the NRA is very good at) is the NRA's scheduling of their "Gun Appreciation Day" on Martin Luther King's Birthday weekend. How proud are you NOW, NRA members-unless of course you agree with the NRA's blatantly racist, and socially poisonous, message? I think the NRA is digging its own grave. I've often posted that NRA members need to seize control of their own organization and have it reflect THEIR values, not the extremist views of the tinpot dictator Wayne LaPierre.

    January 18, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. Ian Brown

    Finally a politician that's pragmatic and brave enough to stand for what's right. I'm sick of both sides towing the party lines instead of doing what is right. Just because one idea came from a Democrat doesn't mean all Republicans have to hate it or vice versa. Watching Congress battle over each and every issue is getting old fast. The hatred is sickening. I hope Christie does run in 2016 and I hope he continues to think for himself. I certainly couldn't bring myself to vote Bush, McCain or Mitt but I could see myself supporting Christie...

    January 18, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. RF

    Sane comments from a sane man. Instead of dealing with the problem rationally the NRA attached the president.

    January 18, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Rush Lanbaugh

    Gov. Chris Christie is not a real republican.

    January 18, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Dana

    If NRA wanted to read President's plan, they would know that Obama wants to put POLICE officers in schools. That I have no objections to, however, I will fight against any PRIVATE "volunteers" being "security guards" in my child's school. But wait, they don;t want people to read it, riiight. Attacking President;s children was the lowest of all.

    January 18, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Paul

    The reason why the children of world leaders have armed protection is nothing to do with them being more important, but completely due to them being more vulnerable, If the NRA had asked the correct question, Are the presidents children more VULNERABLE than yours, they would be asking the right question, but the answer would not favour their cause...

    January 18, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Casey Collins

    I like Governor Christie too. However, if he were to switch parties, or get run off by the GOP, then he really should consider going independent. I think we as a country need more people like him serving US.

    January 18, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Chuk

    The NRA is irrelevant to main stream American society. They exist and serve the right-wing faction of the Republican party. That is the fervent, paranoid few who think the world is collapsing on them and they have to confront "tyranny".
    Of course the NRA wants guns in every school because they want to sell more guns. And if America were to follow their suggestion and things blow up (because it will), they will find ways of fanning the flames even more so that people can buy more guns – like if you had a gun with 10 clip magazine, you should upgrade to one with a 30 clip, etc.

    January 18, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Governor Christie seems to be the only responsible republican politician alive today! Shame on the rest of the self-serving republicans for refusing to condemn the NRA ad using the President's children.

    January 18, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Greg

    Christie is the only republican that I have any time for. It seems like he is the ONLY politician that speaks his mind regardless of sacred cows. Politicians have lost sight on how much of a thirst the general public has for that and how much more powerful that is politically than cowtowing to the special interests groups.

    January 18, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "Mr. Christie, sir, we really have to do something to neutralize what Cuomo just enacted....he's likely to be one of your strongest potential opponents in 2016...."

    January 18, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Southern Moderate

    The first GOPer ( in the last 20yrs )that I find myself agreeing with more and more!

    January 18, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Fred

    I wish this media seeking blowhard would just shut up. The end result of his comment is that common folk do not need to have their children protected. The NRA's point is a valid one. Count Christie as just another politician that wants to take our civil liberties away. He'd be better off declaring himself a Democrat...given how two-faced he is he would fit right in.

    January 18, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Sprint10h

    The GOP party better start warming up to this man – he is their only hope of getting someone decent to run in the next presidential elections. Also, as a gun owner I find the NRA disgusting and would never give them a damn dime. I have always thought they border on radical extremest organization and now they have proved to me I was right.

    January 18, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. Laverne

    For the NRA to name MLK Holiday weekend "National Gun Appreciation Day" after this man got assinated trying to do what was right when it came to civil rights is the most hateful, thoughtless act one can comment. The NRA is full of nut jobs who I think is trying to send out subtle messages towards harming the president!

    January 18, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. fraser

    I vote Democrat normally, but I like Chris Christie, you have my vote from now on, you tell the truth, not like these other gutless politicians, I wish more would stand up and be counted.

    January 18, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. justtheoracle

    I can't transfer ownership of a car without filing paperwork....why should there even be such as thing as the undocumented "private" sale of a gun??? Why do all these Second Amendment idiots think that the right to bear arms translates into unfettered access to them??? Chris Christie epitomizes Jersey common sense....that's why we voted him as governor and that's why he'll be our next president.

    January 18, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. TSRVT

    The NRA todya is nothing but a domestic terror organization. They should be treated as such.

    January 18, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Willie K.

    Switch parties, please! Maybe if Hillary doesn't run in 2016, the Democrats could have a Crist-Christie ticket, or a Christie-Crist ticket, composed entirely of former R's who finally saw the light and come over to the sensible side!

    January 18, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. LIP

    Let's be honest, both parties and all Presidents have used kids as props at some time or another, so why not everyone else?

    January 18, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Jack in Florida

    The NRA is a bully, operating out of creating fear in it's sheep! Chris Christie, tells it like it is, and I respect his directness. If he wasn't so socially conservative, he could possibly get my vote if he runs in 2016.

    January 18, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. sharon

    The right to bears arms amendment was written many years ago. During that time era they didn't have any assault and military style weapons. Their children did not go rampant and shooting in the school yard with these weapons. It is time to change the law. I'm not saying you can't have guns, if you have them abide the law. Teach the children guns are real not video games and they kill. Also keep the guns out of children reach.

    January 18, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Lisa

    I hope Gov. Christie does run in 2016. I would vote for him in a heartbeat. Finally, a guy we can trust to do and say what's right with no regard to party lines. He is honest....and is not afraid to say what's on his mind...yes people, FINALLY an honest politician. Almost seems like an oxymoron. America needs him to lead this country. It's a shame that he is a political exception and not the rule. I wish all of congress would learn from him!

    January 18, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Joe Plumber

    Yeah Gov. Krispy Creme is the best.

    January 18, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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