(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.
Way to go Christie! The Republican party needs more people like you who can put politics aside for common sense. We need more people to stand up to the lunatic fringe who have the loudest voices, but are destroying the party.
It boggles my mind that the NRA and people who agree with the commercial can draw parallels between their kids and the President's kids. Everyone's kids are precious but not everyone's kids are part of a family that recieve threats to their lives on a daily basis. The NRA just wants to get the lunatic fringe in a tizzy to advance it's own agenda, using them as pawns to prevent any impedence to gun manufacturers' profits.
This is not a third world country and I don't want my child growing up going to school with armed guards like it is Somalia. I don't beleive that having more guns is the answer to gun violence.
The NRA is crazy. If I was a politician from any party, I'd be running from them as fast as possible. At least publicly.
"You can't do it with a musket, and sometimes 10 rounds is NOT enough to save your life. Get it, sheep?"
I simply can't remember the last time I had to "save my life", Fred. With a musket or otherwise. Should I ever find myself in a position of having to use 10 rounds or more, you betcha I'll be thankful for your ... er ... advice.
This issue is not a political thing. Christie is just speaking with common sense. Get over it people.
Why is what they said "vile"? I have read it over and over. How is it offensive? Take the president out of it: how many congressmen and senators have their kids in private schools with tight security and guards? I would guess a good many. These are the people that are dismissive of an discussion of it (meanwhile, Obama quietly fits in "Resource Officers" in schools in his plan).
How self-aware is this guy. Didn't he notice somewhere in the last 15 years that he was getting as big as a house?
He needs to reevaluate his political affiliations. If he wants to suck up to Democrats, especially the Dem in Chief, he should become a Democrat.
How strangely ironic that the policies of both the NRA and al-Qaeda, though different, will still have the same result of more Americans being shot...
Given the response to the idea of having armed guards in schools, even the idea of those guards being on-duty cops, you'd swear that they think those armed guards will carry out an assault themselves! Seriously people, all you can say is "armed guards won't necessaryily stop an assault"... well, guess what DEFINITELY won't stop an assault, and UNARMED GUARD
"the [NRA] lost some credibility by making the ad". This implies they had any credibility before that ad.
Just curious, how are we going to pay for all these armed guards at schools. I thought we are looking to cut spending
To Timber: What planet are you living on? Obama never said "no new taxes" – he said "no new taxes on the middle class" and there ARE no new taxes on the Middle Class. Obama said bring our troops back. McCain & some Repubs said we shouldn't take them out so fast. Obama has taken them OUT of Iran and is in the process of taking them out of Afghanistan. Do you READ? Are you EDUCATED? Or do you watch Fox News all day?
How many of you in opposition to armed guards have a problem with Brinks using armed guards? Probably very few, which means you have no problem with haveing your money protected, but baulk at giving your kiuds the same protection.... that speaks loudy of your priorities doesn't it?
sungunner, how would we know the actual causes of the Newtown shooting, when the NRA and their paid-off political hoars have been blocking any studies of the epidemiology of guns and vilence for twenty years?
@ History Queen- it's what's called cooperation, or bi-partisanship.
I will not obey the SAFE Act laws passed by the NYS legislature. You wanted me to be a criminal so you made me a criminal now come and arrest me.
Christie's days in the GOP limelight are numbered. He is way too grounded for the GOP faithfull, who eat their own, after a proper prayer of course. I applaud Christie's courage though. The NRA is America;s Taliban, and eventually, people will see them for what they are.
"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."
First, your comparison is irrelevant, second most of the leaders' children in the world are under protection. Too bad you are not the first lady, or I suggest you may hire your own security to take your children to school. Also, your fingers are pointing to the wrong direction, why don't you blame people who own the assault rifles to kill the innocence or the gun seller sold those weapons w/o background checking?
If only other GOP leaders abandoned the totally backward thinking of the party like Christie, we'd be a lot better off. The NRA is nuts...and I'm a gun owner and hunter saying that.
I'm not an NRA supporter and I don't own a gun, but gotta wonder why the question ( why is the President skeptical about armed guards in school when his children's school has them?) remains unanswered? Lot of rebuke from Christie and the Left, but no answer to the question.
If I was president, and you threatened my children that way, you would die in Gitmo or vanish into a black jail. And I don't believe in black jails, Gitmo, or unconstitutional arrests. Don't go there or there will be blood on the moon; even a saint has limits and Obama's from Chicago.
Major departure from the intent of the founding fathers in the Constitution. You want term limits? Don't vote for that person again after they've been in office X times. It's that simple.
Term limits that the founding fathers specifically rejected actually constitute a limitation of voting rights because it limits the options and choices available. If you've got a problem with the quality of the people representing you, such that you don't feel they should be in office for "too long," then stop voting for low-quality pandering jackholes. If you've got a problem with lobbyists and special interests and campaign donor influence, then support and demand, oudly and aggressively, the kind of massive lobbying and campaign finance reforms we really need and stop electing people who will block it. If your representative is god's gift to your district though, you as a voter shouldn't be limited in how many times you send him or her to DC to do your business. The choice should remain yours as a voter as it does now, not written in stone...and this is particularly true in less populous and rural areas that have a smaller talent pool to pick from. That is why there are no term limits for them in the Constitution...it empowers you as a voter. This demand for congessional term limits is myopic, forest for the trees type reactionary stuff.
Have to give credit where credit is due. I agree with you. Hmmm, lightening did not strike me dead.
If I was president and you went after my kids that, you would vanish into an untraceable jail. And I don't believe in untraceable jails or unconstitutional arrests. I'd still do it, so let's don't go there.
I'm not an NRA supporter and I don't own a gun, but gotta wonder why the question ( why is POTUS skeptical about armed guards in school when his children's school has them) remains unanswered? Lot of rebuke from Christie and the left, but no answer to the question.
I'm starting to love this man more and more. It has been so long since we have seen grown up behavior from politicians I have forgotten what it looks like. Let's elevate our discussions and bring on long term solutions. Christie 2016!
Nobody listens to the nra anymore. They have gone to the extreme and now make no sense. We have the right to bear arms to protect ourselves, no one is denying that. The amendment doesn't say what an 'arm' is and I'm sure they didn't have tanks and fighter jets in mind. Which is where the nra wants to take us.
nra you have lost your capital letters and the $millions you give in GOP donations is turning on you.