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. Larry in Houston

    THE 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 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. myuntidydesk

    More Republicans need to stand up to the NRA when they are being unreasonable (which seems to be all the time). They try to rule over everyone and stomp on anyone who dare oppose them.

    January 18, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. israel

    is it just me or in one of obama's EO's it stated that the idea of placing more SRO's and guards into school's

    of course the government can't force a school to accept a plan like that, the school must accept it.....obama's kids don't get much of a choice in the matter it's pretty petty to pull them into this when the issue has nothing to do with armed guards in schools

    January 18, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Rosslaw

    Christie, you are becoming something a lot more than just another pretty face. If you and someone like Colin Powell run in 2016 (unlikely but fun to think about), I would have to seriously consider actually voting for a Republican.

    January 18, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Juan

    Christie is a RINO, plain and simple. What's shocking to me is how he blasts the NRA for bringing President Obama's children, which they really did to prove a point, but has said nothing about President Obama bringing in children for his SAFE act speech. I guess a politician's child deserved more protection than everyone else's.

    January 18, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Kenman

    Stupid RINO!

    Stupid because every family does deserve the same protection for THEIR children that the President's children have! I know it's common practice for Presidents' children, but he has no business criticizing and blocking that same protection for every citizen's children.

    January 18, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. nitrous

    The man speaks his mind no matter what political "consequences" may arise – good for him and us.

    January 18, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. snowdogg

    "If you and someone like Colin Powell run in 2016 (unlikely but fun to think about), I would have to seriously consider actually voting for a Republican."

    What? Reasonable and progressive GOP candidates? Might just work!

    January 18, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. pj

    President Obama said he did not want to see guns in school. He spoke about school safety, and that is good, but was against guns there. Yet, his children are protected by guns in their schools – that is a fact.
    Mayor Bloomberg attempts to stop people from having guns, yet has a security detail with guns – that is a fact.

    January 18, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Biyer Jonno

    I you admire you Chris for telling what has to be told. Though I am not a republican, I am becoming a great fan of yours..Please go ahead kick those stupid NRA attitudes.

    January 18, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. fernace

    Since there are around 50-60 Thousand shootings each year, about half of them fatal, I think the NRA's focus is narrow on purpose! Obviously, putting armed guards at every school/mall/public place, wont address half the problem we're having w/gun violence in this country! We've become so desensitized that only events like Aurora or Newtown catch our attention & then it's boiled down to the most tender point–the children! I don't think it's acceptable that 20 little kids are victims of gun violence & I don't think it's acceptable for 25-30,000 invisible other humans, to be either! That is where the conversation should start–USA gun violence statistics, because behind each number is a person!!

    January 18, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. ART

    This my friend is Gov Christie the only Republican I would consider voting for, a man with common sense who's willing to stand up to the lunatic right fringe.

    January 18, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Gary

    I don't understand why I should care what Chris Christie thinks. Why is this on CNN?

    January 18, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. kiskakodiak

    I never thought I could appreciate a Republican but I'm lovin' this guy more and more each day.

    January 18, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Fred Bebar

    Why doesn't Christie just switch sides – become a De3mocrat? Any sensible person can see that the NRA ads are NOT begrudging Obama or anyone else the protection they need. Instead, they are questioning why every other American does not deserve the capability of defending their family. You can't do it with a musket, and sometimes 10 rounds is NOT enough to save your life. Get it, sheep?

    January 18, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Bonnieblue

    Gov Christie is speaking reasonably. I cannot agree more. The NRA is so focused to promoting guns, they fail to see the real picture that security cannot be everywhere a one time even if in the schools and to put them in every school. It also brings up a real conundrum for the Republican House. How does a government pay for all of that security with a Congress so bent upon cutting our SS and Medicare to the bare bones? Sorry Grandma must die from lack of medical care, but we can secure your kids in school and treat their schools as a prison. If they cut those programs and then turn around and spend millions if not billons on school security, what it next? Armed guards at ever mall and theatre? How about every street corner? Do we really want to live in a society with guards posted everywhere? Does not sound like some kind of SCIFI thriller being under the gun all the time?? Guns in schools is not the answer to the problem.

    January 18, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. tekestep1

    For all of you that think Obama is against having armed guards at school, its obvious that you didn't read his proposal at all, but are just spitting out the same talking points that Beck tells you to. He indeed calls for more school security, including armed guards. Do some research before spouting off.

    January 18, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Anthony in California

    2106 Tickets I wouldnt mind seeing..

    Christie/Powell/Huntsman
    Hillary/Warren

    January 18, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. What1

    Christie is not getting my vote if he runs for national office. He trashed the protectors of the 2nd amendment and he complemented Obama right before the election. Change parties Christie; you should be a democrat.

    January 18, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Live Free or Die

    I don't see the big deal with the add. The President does have kids or is it wrong to say that too? I guess the idea if enough people say how terrible it is then it must be terrible. There are other reasons to dislike the NRA and the establishment doesn't need to contrive one.

    January 18, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. noneyobeeswax

    If I had the choice between:

    A) Having no guards and being ordinary.
    B) Having guards AND getting as many threats on my family as the President does.

    I'd have to go with option A. Christie is right, this is a low blow that does not even have merit in any sense of the word. The NRA is is just pulling out their old playbood of knee-jerk reaction without arguments that stand up to any kind of critique. I want them to go down in flames this time around.

    January 18, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. fiftyfive55

    Christie dont live in a high crime community,well,blue collar crime anyway.

    January 18, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Skeeve

    NRA and credibility in the same sentence? Now, this is very funny.

    January 18, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. nik green

    Placing arms guards in schools is not going to prevent school shootings, especially in cases where the shooter is doped with scopoloamine (or a similar powerful zombie drug) and patsied by elements who have the ability to bypass the security measures employed by a school (or movie theater, mall, stadium, etc etc etc). We are headed down a road that has been traveled many times before, and it always ends up in the same societal cul de sac of authoritarianism and loss of liberties.

    January 18, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Joanne

    When you put my children and your children and The Presidents children in a room with no windows or doors and SHUT OFF the lights THEY are All Equal and should be treated so.

    January 18, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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