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. Calidip

    Here's the problem. Christie lambasted the NRA for bringing "children" into this all the while Obama had children on a national stage while talking and signing about execuative orders about gun policy. What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

    January 18, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Straightalk1

    Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws only affect the law-abiding citizens. Preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms for self-defense does not end violent crime – it just makes elder or weaker victims more vulnerable, as is the case in Australia.Society benefits from ordinary people who accept the responsibilities of firearm ownership – not from gun-control laws.

    January 18, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Grampa

    Christy is slowly but surely positioning himself for a run for president in 2016. He recognizes that the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party has peaked and that by the time of the next election ranting Tea Party morons will no longer be a force in a GOP clearly ready for a more moderate tone. If he wins the nomination and ends up running against Biden, he could win it all. If he ends up running against Hillary, he would likely lose. Something to watch for – Christy starts losing weight and looking fitter.

    January 18, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Dan

    I did not find the NRA ad offensive any more than I found than spewing his 23 EO's with children all around him. Also cited in the Patriot Post and I quote "he had it all on the shelf just waiting for the first post-election crisis to exploit. Using four children as human shields, he bravely strode to the lectern to outline 23 executive actions, adding a call for congressional action. Nothing like basing policy on the opinions of eight-year-olds who've been brainwashed in government schools. So to recap, if you don't support gun control, you hate kids, and if you're buying or selling guns, you're a greedy loon. Now who's ready for a rational discussion?" It's not about the children people. It's all smoke and mirrors. This President seeks to ruin the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and any who would oppose him.

    Everyone seems to be repeating the 2A etc and putting their spin on it. Quite frankly this is sickening. READ the second amendment word for word. Nothing says what it means and means what it says. AND in keeping with the 9th Amendment the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparge others retained by the people. In laymen's terms: The ninth amendment is not a source of rights as such; it is simply a rule about how to read the Constitution

    January 18, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. yogi

    The 2nd Amendment was written in the 1700's and is outdated, yet the cowards at the NRA helm are hiding behind it as if it still relevant. The NRA does not care about children getting murdered, the NRA is in the market of manufacturing tools that kill, and the more guns they sell the more profit, it is that simple, it is that disgusting. The NRA has a lot of blood on their hands, it is their business. It is beyond me that so many people are members of such an organization.

    January 18, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Not a NRA Nut

    Nice to See Christie stand up to this extremist organization. They are a group who will say or do anything to defend their own ridiculously extreme positions.

    Maybe we should train and arm our 4 – 10 year old children with semi-automatics weapons so that they can take down the bad guys in school.
    Or maybe we should lift the ban on automatic weapons so that people can arm themselves with machine guns and take down those with just automatic weapons.
    (Obviously I jest but I can guarantee that there is an NRA leader out there who would love to see this happen!)

    I would like to see the demographics of the NRA membership. Probably:
    – White Male
    – Age 18 – 40
    – No College Education

    January 18, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. CivilityPls

    Wow, was Christie really quoted as stating "don't bring people's children into this, it's wrong?" Did'nt the president have an entire line up of children standing by as he signed his "landmark legistlation?" Hasn't the media had a laser like focus on the victims of this crime, including recitation of their names, hobbies, and photos, for the past four weeks? C'mon, please get real for a moment. At least the NRA message did not show photos and wistfully expound on the hopes and dreams of Obama's children stating 'now they will never come to pass.' What a joke...since when has the child of ANY celebrity, singer, man/woman of power EVER been off limits to either the media or the debased curiousity of someone that wants to know. I don't see him screaming in a public forum about those instances. No, he'll only open his giant mouth when he feels that it will further his personal agenda and garner him the attention that his is so obviously seeking to be labelled as a "bold defector of his party." Yeah, have fun with that, not transparent at all.

    January 18, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Thunderbolt

    I guess my post made to much sense to be posted with all the sheep who are lead around by lies and media bias. Or maybe it showed how the media didn't do its job yet once again because of political implications? Am I getting warm?

    January 18, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Ed1

    You are wrong on this one.

    What's the difference in Obama having kids at his signing vs the truth about armed men for Obama kids nothing.

    An assault weapon was not used according to NBC and gun violence is down according to the FBI.

    January 18, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Frank

    Governor, I think you miss the point. All of us have choices and you, the president, and the rest of us make them everyday. It is exactly the point. Mr President Poo poos have armed guards in schools yet his own children get and others at their school get that kind of protection. Hell yes my daughter is just as important as his or yours. I think switching parties must be in your future. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. We do not want to hear do what I say not what I do from the president , you or anyone else.

    January 18, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. CryBabies

    I like you Gov. Christie but.......You are wrong on this one.

    January 18, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC


    Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws only affect the law-abiding citizens. Preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms for self-defense does not end violent crime – it just makes elder or weaker victims more vulnerable, as is the case in Australia.Society benefits from ordinary people who accept the responsibilities of firearm ownership – not from gun-control laws.
    Please take that nonsense back to The Planet of the Klingons.

    The right wing vision for America is everyone walking around tully armed, primed and ready to stand their ground. Once the bullets start flying, it's every Klingon man, woman, and child for themselves. No one is held responsible for victimes of friendly fire because it is perfectly lawful for a scared person with a gun to shoot first and ask questions later.

    January 18, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Nurse in Pa

    Really? And the president having children stand in back of him as he signed his executive orders is not hypocritical? I know this is obviously the wrong forum for this Democrat to coice a conservative opnion, but I just want to point out that in the media, it has to swing both ways.

    January 18, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. mbmama

    I'm Canadian, I don't vote in American elections but if I could I would vote for Governor Christie. He says what is on his mind, doesn't care which party he blasts if it's needed. He shows more sense than many in his party. Enjoy (most of the time) listening to what he has to say.

    January 18, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Gloria

    I do not support much of what Christie has done in New Jersey. However I do admire and respect him for some stands he has taken (seems like a contrradiction hum? ) especially against the crazies that have infiltrated the republican party. I just can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    January 18, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. sundara0000

    Christie needs to just switch sides already. He isn't fooling anyone anymore.

    January 18, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. quent97

    I just don't want my kids, or anyone else's kids for that matter, getting shot becuase they were caught in the cross fire of some shoot out in their school. Time and time again it has been seen that when one person shoots everybody starts shooting and what do you tell the families of the children, "your kid was in the wrong place at the wrong time"? What wrong place, at school? What wrong time, during school hours?

    Furthermore, people have been fond of saying guns don't kill people, people kill people, and they couldn't be more right when people, including armed guards, police, and neighborhood patrol persons have more than often enough been known to shoot first and ask questions later. Police in NY recently shot 9 innocent pedestrian outside of the Empire State building trying to stop one gunman. Let's take this story and place in a school, it would read as "armed guard shoots 9 innocent children as they were transitioning classes while trying to stop a gunman who entered the school illegally". Now what? This gun discussion is getting more and more scary because I'm noticing that people just don't think.

    As for the NRA, the ad was nonsence and did not address the concerns of the people nor themselves for that matter. They could have and should have done a better job of trying to get people on their side by addressing the concerns people have, not bringing the president's kids into the picture. The ad was an EPIC FAIL!

    January 18, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Mary1972

    Good for him. I admire and respect Christie for the bold stance he is taking, probably against his own party. NRA has gone NUTS and whoever support them in this ad are either nuts or morons.

    January 18, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Candyw1

    This man will end up switching his party affiliation, he is seeing the GOP and their puppeteers for what they really are.....and saying so out loud and without guilt or concern for the Republicans. I say as a Democrat ...good for him.

    January 18, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Doctor Fine

    God bless the NRA for attempting to keep this a free country as laid out in our Constitution. If our society has become so sick and the mentally ill are mainstreamed among us then I want the right to carry my weaopons at all times. I am sure the parents of this latest crop of killers take no responsibility whatsoever for their children's behavior. We are the ugliest crop of Americans to ever come down the pike. And now our leaders want to enslave us "to make us safe."

    The Constitution never made allowances that we would be so sick as to kill our own children. Who taught us that it is OK to do this? The fault is not gun rights. The fault is our culture... Keep the guns. Keep us free, Do something about the culture which celebrates killing, violence amd selfish "me first" behavior.

    January 18, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Ron

    I love Christie's standing on this. He's not compromising his values, but he's willing to speak up when one of his own is being inappropriate. It's about time us republican's stick to our principles of smaller government, lower taxes, and protection of individual liberties and freedom. Far too long have we been plagued by special interests and cut-throat politics that distract from the true foundation of what we believe. Our principles speak for themselves. There's no need for cheap shots or propaganda. The only way our party is going to regain the respect it once had is if we're willing to call the bullshit within our own party and be consistent in our principles while having respect for opposing views. Proud to be a TRUE republican.

    January 18, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. Honestly13

    Well said Calidip! I watched Obama's Address , and was disgusted that he would involve children in his latest charade. He has an agenda, and it doesn't seem to be in the best interest of the country. This Administration is " Corruption at it's finest" !

    January 18, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. justobvious

    As a strict constitutionalist I believe exactly what the founders wrote. Everybody is entitled to a flint-lock musket. Nothing more.

    January 18, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Jeff

    Well Christie just lost my respect. Christie is brown nosing Obama because he needs federal money to help out with hurricane Sandy recovery. Now first of the Obama paraded his kids out on stage when he signed the executive orders for tighter gun control, so if Obama puts his kids out there for political gain then I think it's fair what the NRA did. And at first when I heard what the NRA said, I was a bit put off by it. But when you think about it, if the politicians can use guns to protect their family why can't we? Of course I can't afford armed trained secret service to escort my kids, but at least I can afford to have a gun if I want one. Yes the NRA is correct, if Obama wants to protect his kids without the use of armed security then I will take him more seriously. Secondly the 2nd Amendment never mentions hunting, sport or self defense. The 2nd Amendment was put it place so the people could protect themselves from an oppressive government be it foreign or domestic, that is it, plain and simple.

    January 18, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Nigel T

    The NRA no longer represents gun owners, they are more interested in protecting gun manufacturers and sellers, that's how their bread is buttered. Our right to bear arms is almost incidental to the marketplace, it's just business to them. They will refuse any compromise whatsoever, and THAT is ultimately the greatest threat to the 2nd amendment – by continuing to make gun rights a case of all or nothing, it's just possible that someday a majority of voters will leave us 'nothing'.

    January 18, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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