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. Hogan's Goat

    Kevin, 'security guards' with a six weeks training course and a popgun are more of a threat to your kids than a million-to-one armed intruder. Paul Blart, Kindergarten Cop, is going to be teased by the kids until he hates the sight of them.
    PJ, nobody gets arrested for talking big. Trump would be doing life. Sober up.

    January 18, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Jabez Ngoje

    I use not to like Chris Christie before. I thought he was very arrogant and autocratic; but the more I follow him and read what he says, the more I realized that he is a sensible man who does not care about the polls of the day, so long as he knows what is right. Christie is independent minded; does not follow the "heard" mentality. I hope the New Jerseyans will see that kind of strength and vote him back. We need practical politicians like Christie who call it as it is.

    Christie doesn't know how to be hypocritical, what you see, is what you get. What an authentic politician! I wish the Congress would have only 20 members like Christie. Many people are worried that the Republicans might ruin his career, the way they did with the former Governor of Florida Charlie Christ, because of appearing with Obama during hurricane. The only consolation is, New Jerseyans are independent minded too. These are the kind of leaders who can change the world. Christie is like a Giraffe, not an Ostrich.

    January 18, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. RNC

    The NRA and gun-rights advocates have no credibility whatsoever. When your biggest mouth piece is a draft-dodging, war-monger(yes that makes sense) pedophile like ted nugent, or conspiracy theorist moron like alex jones, you are not going to get too many supporters. What would the US look like if it had to resort to arming every single school? The gun crime rate is already on par with war-torn third world countries, arming all schools would just look like they fit right in !!!!!!!!

    January 18, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Sylar75

    Why don't we just allow the kids to carry guns in school? I wouldn't want to be in a classroom with 25 6 year olds packing heat. Plus, the 2nd amendment says nothing about an age restriction so we are already infringing on their 2nd amendment rights to bear arms. As long as the kids aren't felons, we should be fine.

    January 18, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |

    Christie using common sense after he saw John Huntsman run out of the unhinged GOBP tea potty on a rail. Priceless.

    January 18, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Lilli

    Whew...another Republican with some sense!

    January 18, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. brad

    Just more proof the GOP is puppets to the super wealthy::::
    More restrictions on data came in 2003 when Congress passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., that barred the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from using an electronic database to record gun sales.

    Laws that prohibit the agency from keeping an electronic database of gun sales also slow agents' ability to trace guns used in crime, said retired ATF supervisory special agent Mark Jones, now a senior law enforcement adviser for the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

    January 18, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Bizzy

    Watch it Christy. I'm a Democrat and if you're not careful, I may vote for you.

    January 18, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. AZ Girl

    Sweet! A republican I can vote for! For all of you out there saying "Obama is a hypocrit, his kids aren't more important than ours", think again. Is an assassination or kidnapping attempt on the list of "things little johnnie should be scared of" on a day to day basis? Guess what? I'm sure those thoughts go thru the minds of the President and First Lady everyday. I guess not necessarily MORE I should say, differently important.

    For those out there saying "didn't he use kids as a backdrop? Well,duh, yeah he did, because it was ALL about them, tbeir schools, their safety.

    January 18, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Ed

    Good for Governor Christie for calling out the crazies in the gun lobby and calling for calm and reasoned discussion dealing not with gun ownership, but gun violence. President Obama has consistently expressed his support for the modern interpretation of second amendment of the right of citizen to bear arms, while the policies he supports on gun control are no different than those of Republican President's Ronald Reagan, HW Bush and GW Bush. In addition, these policies are consistent with the views expressed by the most conservative Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Scalia. The president's 23 directives and proposed legislation deal with a broad spectrum of factors to deal with gun violence, including mental health, security and limits on sales of assault rifles and large capacity magazines.

    In reality the most effective of president Obama's proposals in the long run is increased funding to study the underlying causes of gun violence in our society. Interestingly, the NRA has successfully lobbied to block funding for this type of research in the past. As a result the NRA can accurately state that there is no evidence that supports that making all types of guns available contributes to gun violence. Not being a gun owner, I would be happy with more research, improved mental health care and universal background checks, and then let future policy be driven by the research findings. I believe such an approach would be consistent with the reasoned approach to government that our founding fathers espoused.

    January 18, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Political Agnostic

    Sad to see how the current members of the Republican party turn on any one of their members who disagree with their hardline stances on any subjects.
    The Republican party needs more individuals like Governor Christy to help
    bring it back from the brink of extinction. Those running the party now have lost all perspective on what is best for the country. Hopefully yypeople like Christy will be able to band together and oust the radical elements of the party before those same radicals force people like Christy out.

    January 18, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. John

    I'll grant that it was a pretty terrible ad and didn't do gun ownership proponents any good.

    On the other hand, I don't find it any less reprehensible to leverage this tragedy to try to punish responsible, law-abiding gun owners. That's precisely what an AWB and arbitrary magazine capacity limits are.

    January 18, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. Dan Jones

    Christie is just playing politics because his state needs funds. Selling out for money isn't a sign of good character.

    January 18, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. CBP

    Pres. and Mrs. Obama did not request armed guards for their daughters. The secret service is at the school as dictated by law. Every president's children have been guarded. This protection was there for all children of a president so let's just push that aside. The President did not say that schools could not have guards and he set aside money for this purpose.

    The first responders in Newtown saw first hand the damage that can be done by an assault rifle with a large ammo clip. Is it necessary to show pictures in order for people to understand why these guns are a problem. The NRA has used this type of attack ad before. The leaders are totally oblivious to the issue and can only focus on a very narrow issue. New leadership and new thinking are needed now because the NRA continues to react to any new ideas that do not fit with their ideas. Obviously the American public does not agree with their thinking because their track record on determining the outcome of many Congressional races and the Presidential race. They just do not have the clout they once had because they continue to have their heads buried in the sand.

    January 18, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Catca

    The NRA said an attack ad showing pictures of the President's two daughters and specifically references the President's daughters is not, according to the NRA, about the President's daughters specifically? Huh? David Keene, you made a mistake, apologize and move on. Your attempt at spin just makes you look worse.

    January 18, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Aaron

    Like he is the first president who's children have secret service protection. Maybe we do need a meteor to crash into this planet of idiots.

    January 18, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Puleez


    January 18, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Peter

    If the GOP had the guts to get Gov. Christie to run in 2016, they would have a chance, but he is not far enough to the right for them. I am an independent who would gladly vote for him. I don't agree with all of his beliefs, but he would be a thousand times better tat the morons the GOP has come up with to date.

    January 18, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Jim in Texas

    So, who is going to pay for all these armed security guards in every school in America? The taxpayers (mostly middle and lower class), who already pay enough in taxes. If the mighty NRA is willing to put their wealth where their mouth is, and pay for all these security guards in schools all over America, fine. Otherwise, they need to just get real. BTW, all children of all important public figures (like Presidents and Governors) DO need to be protected, because they all carry big targets on their backs, when all the other kids really do not, at least in a predictable manner.

    January 18, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. sungunner

    Obama is signing off on more than $500 million of taxpayer money that will largely be allocated to promoting gun control propaganda, so using cost as a reason for ridiculing the armed school presence plan doesn't make sense. There are a lot of locales that are now putting this plan into place, because it will have a direct effect on stopping attacks like Newtown, rather than vilifying 90 million law-abiding gun owners through the media, doctor's offices, unions, advertising, etc.

    January 18, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Phil Esteen

    Mr. Christie may be the only conservative white man in America that I would trust with my children and my family's welfare, much less the future of these United States.

    I can testify that in my 57 years of existence I have never met, read about or experienced firsthand a trustworthy white Republican male. They simply don't seem to exist. The majority I've met are unprincipled charlatans and closeted racists. And being a poor old white guy, I would have expected better 'representation' amongst my complection-challenged peers.

    The very notion that Christie has the courage to stand up to his racist, gun-obsessed party, the NRA charlatans and assorted gunhuggers makes him the most reasonable conservative in America.

    January 18, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. v_mag

    The NRA is promoting Big Government and Big Brother. They want us all to be "protected". That's the way people in prison live. Guards everywhere. Isn't it peculiar that this so-called freedom-loving, Constitution-promoting group wants us all to be surrounded by "gummit" thugs with guns?

    Register my weapon? NOOOOO! That could lead to confiscation of weapons. But have federal officers in every school, mall, church, stadium? That's okay, I guess, because it makes us "safer". And who cares if we spend untold billions on such a preposterous scheme?

    Just like Big Brother to come up with an idea like "more murder weapons means more safety". Throw some gasoline on that fire to put it out. Up is down in NRA-world.

    January 18, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Dave

    Christie has got to be careful with his words if he wants to stay a respected Republican in the party. Sure he can voice his opinions but some of his antics are a bit harmful to the party. Unless he's an Independent, he has to play by some party guidelines. If not, he's done as a Republican.

    January 18, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. nick

    I am just curious was it reprehensible for obama to surround himself with peoples children when he made false claims about protection as he signed gun control laws..

    January 18, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Canuck

    @History Queen
    "Didn't he notice somewhere in the last 15 years that he was getting as big as a house?"

    I did notice that you contributed absolutely nothing to this discussion.

    January 18, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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