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

    Sometimes Christie sounds so reasonable I don't know why he is a Republican, but then I remember how he has vetoed a tax increase on people making more than $1 million per year, attacked the public school teachers who have New Jersey's students scoring in the top ten States in the Country on standardized tests, and shown he has no solutions for New Jersey's budget shortfalls, high property taxes, and steadily increasing unemployment.

    January 18, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. James Ruston

    Christie better watch out or he is going to have to become an independent or a Democrat to continue in politics.

    January 18, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. tom

    What was truly offensive was the shameless way the President lined up little kids and used them as stage props for the event. That was way more cynical and manipulative than anything the NRA has ever done.

    January 18, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. jopa

    Cristie is the man – the guy hasnt sold out to special interests and hes not afraid to speak his mind.

    January 18, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. harry Baxter

    Gov. Christie is, along with Gen. Powell, one of the two sane mind left in the Republican Party.

    January 18, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Man DeLorean

    Gov. Christie is proving himself to be a real human and a real Republican. He might just win me back to the party in four years, if he doesn't get disgusted first and leave it himself.

    January 18, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. jorge washinsen

    Credibility?It seems a lot of potential politicians lately have lost credibility.

    January 18, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. WillisR

    At the very least, the NRA ad draws a false equivalency. This President's children have a protection detail just as the children of former president'sdid. They are protected from those who might think to harm or compromise the President by harming his children. Sadly the NRA chooses to ignore this fact. Ironically, the President agrees with the NRA, that there should be more security in the schools to avoid shootings such as Newtown, Columbine and other. It looks the NRA should have looked before the leaped.

    January 18, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. jorge washinsen

    Yeh Yeh I know.

    January 18, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Pan3

    I can't believe it! I totally agree with a Republican! Finally the NRA's grip on our government is weakening.

    January 18, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Oh boy

    Mr. Christie, a man with integrity, unheard of in that extreme right wing hillbilly party, good for him!

    January 18, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. lowkeyenterprises

    Hey, I'm beginning to like Christie. I didn't act first becuase I thought he was just a loud mouth, and I still think so BUT... At least he is loud voicing his own opinions, not some drone of the GOP.

    January 18, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. kurk cole

    the nra is merely pointing out the facts,the presidents children are protected by men with guns,but the president does not think our children should have the same rights .that is BS i realize his children are more high profile but they are no more important than any other child in this country to there respective parent . they all deserve the same rights and that is to be protected at all cost and if that means trained legal carrying gun teachers then so be it ,taking guns away will only affect the law abiding folks because the criminals dont care about gun laws or any laws so they will still have guns ,

    January 18, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Forthe313414

    Finally, a politician that is making some sense! There needs to be be serious discussion about fixing the gun violence problem in the United States. As a society we should not allow the violence to continue while others around the world laugh at us while we kill eachother off.

    January 18, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Clear and Present Thinker

    Not often that I find myself agreeing with a GOP governor. Of course, anyone who steps on the NRA's toes can't be all bad. When Christie steps on toes, people (even corporate people) yell.

    January 18, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -----------------
    The NRA's point is to bamboozle you. Their argument, aside from being coldly disrespectful, is false equivalence on multiple fronts..

    You cannot compare the children of the leader of the free world to your average middle class kids. The president's kids are targets, while the average middle class kids are not targets facing similar dangers.

    You cannot compare a private school to a public school. The whole point of private schools is that they are supposed to offer things that are not found in typical public schools. One of those fringe benefits at some private schools could be armed guards.

    Finally, the NRA has the gall to take the presumptious stance that what NRA wants is what everyone should want. I only need to point out that nearly every one of their board members is either an owner or a top executive of companies that specialize in manufacturing weapons and ammunition. The united interest is to sell more guns and ammo. Your civil rights, safety, and fears are all tools to them. Tools to be used to sell more guns and ammo.

    January 18, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. mimi nyandak

    No matter how you look at it, all NRA is concerned about is "selling, selling & selling" more guns. They are seizing this opportunity to simply get more guns out there, and what better way than suggest to have armed security at every school in America (a huge business boost). Dare I say that NRA is probably glad that something like the Newtown shooting happened – didn't take them long to come up with the idea of arming every school in America. Sorry, NRA ad is not about concerns for children, they just want to grab at the chance to sell more guns & arms – plain & simple. Sick.

    January 18, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    I advise him to be a Democrat than that stupid GOP. Arlene Spector turned int democrat. Nothing wrong. We love you Govrnor Cristie.

    January 18, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. What?

    NRA – Not Representing America

    January 18, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. HenryMiller

    "...and argued the group lost some credibility by making the ad."

    No, actually, Christie lost credibility in attacking the ad

    "Don't be dragging peoples' children into this. It's wrong." So says Christie But it was the anti-gun crowd who started doing just that when they dragged the Sandy Hook victims into their hysterical attacks on guns and gun owners, 99.9999 percent of whom had nothing to do with that tragedy.

    I had nothing to do with those murders, and don't intend to be blamed or punished for them. And what's "wrong," what's absolutely contemptible, is politicising the deaths of twenty kids in order to score political points.

    January 18, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. What?

    Hey NRA – Every other president's children have had the same protection, why didn't you attack them???? Let's talk about who's a hypocrate.

    January 18, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Joe

    I wish that people like Christie, Mayor Bloomburg, Jon Huntsman, and others of the same ilk would get together and form a third political part. A party of the common sense center. And let the GOP crazies stew in their own juices of irrelevance.

    January 18, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. UDidntBuildThat

    Pan3-I can't believe it! I totally agree with a Republican! Finally the NRA's grip on our government is weakening.
    ________________________
    Wanna bet? Harry Reid and other Democrats WILL NOT support the assault weapons ban. Obama's problem is not with Republicans this time. IT'S DEMOCRATS!

    January 18, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    tom wrote:

    What was truly offensive was the shameless way the President lined up little kids and used them as stage props for the event. That was way more cynical and manipulative than anything the NRA has ever done.
    -----------–
    It was shameful for those kids to write letters to the POTUS asking him to keep guns out of their schools?

    What exactly was so "shameless" about having kids on hand: kids who had written the POTUS letters?

    January 18, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Larry in Houston

    Thing only people in the republican party right now who has any kind of credibility is Christy / Colin Powell / Huntsman / AND Charlie Crist . I believe they are decent people, but the trouble is the fact that they really need to coerce the rest of their party to start going back towards the middle ground, instead of the way they've been going, since they've been hi-jacked and went with the extreme right wing.

    January 18, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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