(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.
...governor decried the move as "reprehensible" and argued the group lost some credibility by making the ad.
Agreed, BUT, the government has also lost credibility. I think the 'team' put together by Biden was just window dressing that went into it already planning to push gun control laws based on their own desires, and those against it are brushed aside. Where are the numbers? Where are the statistics? Where's all the data? I want cold, hard FACTS and we haven't gotten those. I bet they are being suppressed because they don't support what they are trying to do. Until I get more, comprehensive information from BOTH sides, I'm not buying into it. Prove to me that what they want to do is logical and is guaranteed to work. I doubt they can do it.
Chris Christie is not afraid to speak out even when his party disagrees with him. His independence is admirable and he is a man who continually tells it like it is. Hopefully other REpublicans and Democrats will follow his lead and make decisions and statements about what is right and not just what is popular.
Time for some new leadership at he NRA. The goons running the show now are sinking the ship! Fire them ALL!!
Kudos to Governor Christie for having the integrity to call the NRA out regarding this reprehensible ad. The President/Board of Directors should be fired for approving this ad at all. Sorry, Mr. Keene, but the ad did specifically reference President Obama's daughters. Any reasonable person cannot approve this ad.
Christie please switch to a democrat. Being a republican today makes you "less of a valid, trusted source of information on the real issues" and your better than that. Hell, switch to an independent, but just get away from that disgusting filth, pathetic excuse of a party.
I can only assume that some reporter stuck a mic in front of Christie and he said the obvious, reasonable thing that virtually every decent American says on this topic. Barack Obama is the President. Of course his school aged children are going to have Secret Service protection. It would not be in the public`s interest for them not to.
I`m not impressed by Christie`s comment. He prides himself on being blunt; on being direct, so here`s the question.
Governor Christie, what legislation will you shepard through the DEMOCRATIC state legislature in YOUR STATE to prevent an New Jersey variant of Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Oregon Mall, Aurora Colorado Movie Theatre, Minnesota Shik Temple, etc. shootings?
We`ve heard from Andrew Cuomo in New York. Whacha got Christe? Let`s see some of that characteristic boldness, Governor.
Thank You Mr Cristie. I believe you are the only Republican leader to speak out.You are OK and I hope to see you on the 2016 tkt.Give all a choice. Thats a good thing. I don't agree with all you say and do but I respect you and I can. think of any other one. Even the Bush Biy doesn't speak up and Rubio just dribbles like a baby...
You tell the Gov Christi. The NRA leadership is reprehensible and repugnant. "It makes them, the NRA less of a valid, trusted source of information on the real issues that confront this debate
A Republican with common sense and spine !
The NRA is out of touch with today's world .
Chris, move over to the Democrat party already, you are doing the GOP no good and you have lost your values for which it stands. Totally embarrassed that you still try to call yourself a Republican!
Even President George H.W. Bush turned in his NRA card in the past in protest of the NRA leadership extremist
The President and his family are a predictable target. Unprotected, his daughters would be dead or taken in less than a week. The NRA knows that.
The NRA has no shame.
All i know is that while I served in the military, later for the police department, and finally left there for another higher paying government job, that we knew that being a public official, that we (family included) would be subject to ridicule. Obama wasnt forced into running for POTUS, he did so willingly. He was well aware that he and his family would be subject to ridicule, just like every president before him. He could have just as easily stayed in Congress as a Rep and been out of the limelight. Not saying this was not wrong, and not saying this wouldnt have happened to someone else, but it was to be expected at one level or another.
President George H.W. Bushs resignation letter to NRA about Wayne LaPierre
I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as “jack-booted thugs.” To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as “wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms” wanting to “attack law abiding citizens” is a vicious slander on good people.
However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.
You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre’s unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list.
There should be more Republicans like Christie. There used to be lots. Someday there will be again.
I guess the nra is missing the point. I dont have children but I do have neices and nephews that go to school. It saddens me everytime I hear about a school shooting. Children are watching grown ups fight about an issue that makes no sense to them. No one needs an assualt weapon no one!
Please stop saying things I agree with, Chris. I'm a liberal and you're giving me a headache.:-)
I'm stunned... a Republican who is actually sane? I might even vote for him!
Can't find any flaw in this mans character. Don't care if he is a republican, he seems to know where the truth abides.
Well said Governor !!!!
I'm really starting to like this guy and I'm a life long democrat. I would like to see him change parties though.
Christie is a not a Republican. He's got too much empathy.
Christie is his OWN man. He is honest and has a great future!!
He now has my greatest respect.
Hm...is it me, or does it seem that right wing nutjobs are running with...the democratic party?
Good for Gov. Christie. Yet again calls it for what it is and I appreciate that. Even as a registered democrat in NJ I believe his actions are consistently about what's right for our state and country regardless of his political affiliation and that's the type of leadership we need.