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. Alex

    Good grief what a bunch of liberal love for a republican that speaks like dem. this live fest for Christie is sickening

    January 18, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. nik green

    Placing armed 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 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. tt

    Finally, a sensible, stands alone, speaks with rationality Republican!

    January 18, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. joe

    Since when did the NRA have 'credibility"? From their preposterous lies about the 2nd Amendment, to their shameless sucking up to gunmakers for money, to their suggestions that violent overthrow of a legally elected government is somehow a valid position, to their absurd notion that the clientele of Harry's Sports Bar represents an effective "militia"-–the NRA lives a lie every day, and we all know what living a lie does to you–it makes you sick.

    January 18, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Whats wrong with EO

    What is it about that EO that we don't really like? Are we sad that we are not allowed to carry assault weapons, or are we sad that we might get background checked when we get a gun or are we afriad that our kids are going to get more access to mental health treatments or all of the above?

    January 18, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Foz-man

    I'm an independant and would gladly have Christie as the first Replublican that I've voted for in 29 years.

    January 18, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Teacher

    Note to Larry: Charlie Crist is a Democrat. Therefore, is he not a credible Republican ... or Democrat.

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

    Gov. Christie is one of a few Repubs that have a pair of you know what. He is not afraid to speak the truth. I have not voted for a Republican since Peter Blute Maybe he saw how all his colleagues from the South treated His State, and saw the light.

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

    America needs to wake up here! If any unelected entity like the NRA or corporations begins to get unchallengable power over your government whether you agree with them or not, you need to act. Especially when they are covert enough to hide behind "grass roots" idententities or claim to represent a balanced population. The NRA has been hijacked and the republican party is at a tipping point of also being hijacked. If any organization tells an elected official to do something or else they will pay the price at election time, alarms need to be going off. Regardless of whether you agree period. Once you give up the power, it will be very hard to get it back.

    January 18, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Wilson

    When he's not busy dismantling the Constitution, the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers is working on new and inventive ways of undermining the rest of America's basic Rule of Law. In his latest assault, Barack Obama plans to preemptively grant millions of illegal aliens U.S. citizenship, moving them to the front of the line ahead of countless other immigrant citizen-candidates who have honored U.S. laws rather than flouted them

    January 18, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Timber

    Lance Armstron lies, the NRA advertises something you dont like but what about Obama lying on a daily basis. Nobobdy says ANYTHING about that. "No new taxes" thats a lie, " Bringing our troops back" another lie, but I guess if you love Obama that's ok. Sounds like many of you Obama lovers does'nt it? What the NRA said is the COMPLETE truth so if you dont like it, too bad .I saw worse election ads from Obama in the fall!!! Its the freedom of speech and the truth hurts!!

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

    I'm a Democrat, but I'm starting to think "Chris Christie in 2016!". Jeezus, what a shock.

    January 18, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    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?
    You're delusional. You've been watching too many Hollywood movies. You most likely will not be attacked by a single attacker. You would not be attacked by several attackers coming from the same direction one after the other as you mow each one of them down in turn.

    You would most likely be attacked by several assailants, coming from multiple directions, who made sure to spy on you and bring enough firepower to overwhelm you. Even so, a single attacker would have the element of surprise and you would most likely be shot ndead before you could use your own weapons to defend yourself.

    When was the last time that you've even heard of a home invasion in your area? How often are the targets of home invasions involved in crimes themselves?

    January 18, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Charlie Crist finally came to his senses and is now a registered Dem a few weeks ago.


    LOL! Poor syntax much?! .... finally came to his senses and registered as a Dem a few weeks ago. Guess I should go rustle up some lunch!

    January 18, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. bob

    OH I see its ok for obama to exploit children but not ok for anyone to call him on it. Christie you have lost all credibility with a lot of people.

    January 18, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. Shuffler

    Not one person in government is working for America. They all have their own agenda...... trust no one in government.

    January 18, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Nurse143

    there were armed guards at Columbine, yet many dead; you can't get many places where there would be more weapons for defense or better trained marksmen than at a military base like Ft. Hood, yet many dead. Wake up, the NRA has become the mouthpiece for gun sellers not enthusiasts.

    January 18, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. PM

    Why hasn't anyone made a simple common sense and practical argument about it yet ? i..e. the guns used to protect Obama's children are in the hands of security guards, not in the hands of felons who managed to get it from a fair without a background check. There is simply no comparison. Also are they suggesting its ok if the country's commander in chief children get taken as hostage (no security) ?

    But then again hey I always rejoice when nra does stupid things like these...because they are on a suicide path and sooner they cover it the better for the rest of the 296 Million sons daughters moms and dads...

    January 18, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Millerbarber

    So when the truth is presented we are able to just say we don't accept it. I think this is the same thing that happened when Barack produced his Birth Certificate and Donald Trump and the Conversatives had to shut up. So Mr. Christie shut up the ad although to be consider offensive is absolutely true. So shut up!

    Can't have it both ways people.

    January 18, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Margo

    I think the NRA should pay for the guards they want so badly in schools and not taxpayers? They have brainwashed the poor smucks who give them money, convincing them that it is all about their constitutional rights, when the reality is it's just about making money on assault weapons that should have no place in society to begin with!

    January 18, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. mike

    Chris Christie for PRESIDENT! Of course, he is running as a liberal!

    January 18, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Wilson

    Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the most tragic Supreme Court decision in American history, Roe v. Wade. The primary issue remains the right to life affirmed in our Declaration of Independence - a right tragically denied to the more than 55 million unborn babies sacrificed on the altar of "choice" since 1973. One political party advocates this at all costs, while calling for Liberty-infringing gun control in the name of saving "even one child's life." How disgustingly hypocritical.

    January 18, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. sungunner

    I don't find the NRA ad any more reprehensible than the current actions of Obama & Biden, who ignore the actual causes of the Newtown shooting, use children as stage-props for the President's speech, and kick-off the biggest gun control attempt we've ever seen in the U.S. Instead of railing against the ad, why not consider answering the question? – If our government and media elite can send their kids to a well-armed school (a dozen armed guards, BESIDES the Secret Service detail added for the Obama children) – then why can't we have the consideration of at least some armed presence at OUR children's school?

    January 18, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Larry in Houston

    ""and the republican party is at a tipping point of also being hijacked""

    Hate to be a bearer of bad tidings there Brian – but it's already past the tipping point . They have already been hijacked – you must not be up to date with current events . . . CNN has already interviewed that gal named Amy – a couple of times, as a matter of fact – by different people – she's supposed to be the head honcho of the Tea Party – which has been losing members – almost on a weekly basis.

    January 18, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. jim

    It is very that I would vote for Christie in the 2016 presidential election. However, I would see it as an improvement in the mental health of our country if he were the Republican candidate.

    January 18, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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