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. Christie is a Democrat

    Christie is running in 2016 alright, for the Democratic Ticket.. He is DONE as a Republican. We will never see him attend another convention.. Its reprehensible to position yourself as something you really are not.. He just wants to be re-elected at GOV of NJ and he can have that pit as far as I am concerned.. Glad we know what he really is now after Sandy and this NRA comment, a liberal who will use any situation to his benefit. He stands for NOTHING conservative.

    January 18, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. orbitalllc

    I am liking this guy more and more. Says what he thinks, not what his party wants him to think. He is his own man.....good for you Christie.

    January 18, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Nurse in Pa wrote:

    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.
    There are certain rules of ettiquette and manners that have traditionally been observed in DC politics. Rules like leaving domestic politics at home and not taking them publicly abroad, which Republicans like Palin and Romney have both broken. The rule about leaving the minor children of politicians OUT of the political discourse seems to be one that the entire right wing has chosen to toss to the wayside.

    Those children in the background as the POTUS signed his orders were there because they had written letters asking how they could contribute to the problem of gun violence in schools. They were there with the full consent and endorsement of their parents. The NRA's ad is reprehensible because it thrusts innocents into the discourse that didn't ask to be there.

    January 18, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. dynadigger

    What about the other places children gather in large groups, are you going to place armed guards there too? How many guards would be put at a school? What kind of weapon would they use? What about colleges? Do charter schools get a guard too? Many children are at day care centers all around the country, what about those. What distance around the building would be under the guards watch? Who will pay for this? Lets face it, our children need a dam force field around them in this god loving murderous country.How about some fear for the dam phyco who might be thinking about committing this type of horror. Any crime where children are murdered comes with this penalty. Then we come up with the most horrific, slow death anyone can think of and thats what they get. Even though many are dead at the scene.This kind of fear would surely well maybe alter their plan. Maybe the old tar and feathers displayed in public I am done now, your turn!

    January 18, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Nodack

    Republicans must hate Christy now. How dare him speak the truth and not just tow the party line and appose Obama no matter what. His state was devastated by a storm. Romney was trying to become President, but one of Romney's campaign promises was to shut down FEMA because it wasn't needed according to him and many other Republicans. Christy's state was devastated by the storm and Obama promised and delivered help through FEMA. If Romney was President there would have been zero help from FEMA. That is when Christy realized his party was hurting America. Now Christy again has sided with the President and that is totally against Republican rules.

    January 18, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Patriot Awesome

    Pay attention Republicans, your only hope to stay relevant is to follow Chris Christie's lead and call out your own party's BS whenever possible. His approval ratings go through the roof every time he does it.

    January 18, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Doctor Fine

    God bless the NRA for the fight to keep us a free nation. The Constitution was never designed to tolerate a culture which mainstreams the mentally ill among us. A culture which tells our children they do not need to care for each other but merely "win" and "become famous." Our political leaders would be all too happy to take away our free nation and replace it with a Mexico-style country where self defense is not allowed.

    You really think its the guns? Then move your kids and family to Mexico where they took away guns and ammo in 1990 and people are now murded in entire villages at a time. Think you would feel safer in Mexico where everybody has barbed wire, bars on windows and only the gangs have assault rifles? Think long and hard people, before you take away the rights expressed in the Constitution. If you get what you wish for I hope you like living in Mexico-North...

    January 18, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. vwpatton

    Governor Chrstie gets two thumbs up from me! What a breath of fresh air for a politician to say what he feels without concern of being on the party line. This is real leadership – or as Martin Luther King Jr said: "The time is always right to do what is right!"

    January 18, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Lydia

    Yes, the NRA does take things to the extreme. Guns is a no-brainer on anyone that wants to own one but semi-automatics/automatics/magazines that can carry more than 8 rounds, NO.

    While the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" group like to spout this statement in actuality, guns have made it easier to erase someone without having any skin in it, so to speak.

    Guns have de-sensitized us and are continuing to de-sensitize us to the extreme that some not gounded and some just plain evil use them with impunity.

    They can't feel the pain inflicted so it is easier to pull the trigger.

    While I respect any person to own a gun for personal protection, I don't in any way fathomable see the point in allowing to own an AK type weapon.

    Only those in law enforcement should be permitted to own them. Other than this, weapons of this caliber are too dangerous in other hands.

    January 18, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Abdus Sattar

    I started liking you Gov. Chris. You are an example to follow and listen. NRA was wrong and should be shamefu the ways they are trying to defend the assault weapons in our society.

    January 18, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Fareha

    As a democrat I applaud Christie for speaking his mind regardless of what may come of it. This is an example of a true leader who actually does care about this job and the people who elected him. What a refreshing change especially for a current Republican! The whole issue on guns ISN"T about the violation of the 2nd amendment, it's about sensibility and protecting the sanctity of life!!!!!! Have your hunting rifles/pistols but why does ANYONE need an assault weapon that is meant to annihilate life in a matter of seconds as it did at Sandy Hook and other mass shootings??? 20 beautiful children savagely murdered right here in this so called super power country and we're going to stand around and do nothing?????? The NRA is disgusting and has no respect for life. Your need for recreation has more merit than the life a person???? Please stop the madness!!!!!!!

    January 18, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. old soldier

    Well...let's put the NRA to the test. Are ANY of the paid NRA members' childer in private school with armed security? If there is a single "yes" then the NRA's argument is essentially done.

    January 18, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Truthseeker666

    I agree with Christie but on the FLIP SIDE using chidren as prop's during Obamas gun control press conference is JUST AS REPREHSIBLE

    January 18, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Clint

    Well done Gov. Christie, I've become a supporter.

    January 18, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Truthseeker666


    January 18, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Canuck

    "I guess my post made to much sense to be posted with all the sheep who are lead around by lies and media bias"

    I'm guessing that some of those sheep know the difference between 'to' and 'too' and 'lead' and 'led'. It's quite noticeable that most of the posts that are full of typos and poorly constructed sentences are from the right-leaning folk??? Coincidence? I think not....

    January 18, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Karen

    Just another politician that makes sure he sucks up to the people that agree with what he wants.. Easy for him to say that people in the publice eye need protestion....why? If they really think the criminals are going to put down their guns, and turn them in, becuase they are "illegal", what is he afraid of?...the NRA has lost crediibity? He should look in the mirror...he goes with whatever way the wind blows, and with what agrees with his own agenda.

    January 18, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Randy

    NRA argument: 2nd amendment
    Rebuttal: You can have all the muskets you want. If you read into it any and all weaponry, then let nukes be available to purchase
    NRA loses

    NRA argument: We can have guns to fight against a dictatorial government
    rebuttal: Sure – ask David Koresh how that went. The government owns bigger and better weapons than the NRA
    NRA loses

    NRA argument: Cars kill more people
    rebuttal: Cars are made to transport things, guns are made to kill things
    NRA loses

    NRA argument: Put armed guards in the schools
    rebuttal: No one knows what another's breaking point is. You don't know mine and I don't know yours. Why would you arm teachers and/or guards when you don't know their breaking point either?
    NRA loses

    NRA argument: You can defend your home from armed burglars
    rebuttal: You are 3 times more likely to get shot in a home that has a gun in it than a home that doesn't. AND if you are a responsible gun owner, your gun is locked away. When you are trying to open your cabinet – bang, you're dead.
    NRA loses

    If the conservative right are all gun pecans, and conservatives tend to be the bible thumpers, what did they miss about "Thou shall not kill" I think that commandment supercedes the 2nd amendment.
    NRA loses

    January 18, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Mike

    I wish Mr. Christie were the Governor of Arizona. He puts down political cronieism for the good of the people of his state. If more of our politicians had the same courage to do what is good and right for their citizens, as Mr. Christie appears to do, we would not be in the situation we are in, in this great nation. And to the NRA, shame on you all for bringing the President's children into your adolescent tirade of an add. I would think CEO's and high-ranking officials of a national organization such as the NAR would have the professionalism, common decency, and good judgement to recognize the inappropriateness of such a message. Perhaps the add shows us the true colors of the NRA....self-riteousness and arrogance above all else.

    January 18, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. kica

    I a dem, but dammit......I LIKE THIS GUY!

    January 18, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. sbuler

    You are probably right. He is done as a republican. He thinks for himself.

    January 18, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Argyle

    The NRA is sinking lower than whale feces in its race to the bottom. Degenerate, out of touch, binary, unrealistic and shrill in their views, they no longer represent responsible gun owners.

    January 18, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. gonygonygo

    All you republicans who are asking Christie to leave the party are shooting yourselves in the foot. As an independent, middle of the road voter, I've always tried to decide between candidates from either party. Until recently, my vote was split half-and-half between democrats and republicans. In 2012 I voted democratic because NO republican spoke rationally. Your own presidential candidate seems to have abandoned the GOP. Christie is your ONLY hope. Give America a chance. Embrace him and distance yourselves from the sharia-law, christian-jihadists that have stolen your party away.

    January 18, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. rickd

    hey isn t hypocritical nra gets slammed for asking the question but obama can parade kids ib front of the camera for his political gain

    January 18, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. NRA Supporting Morons

    For all you dopes who don't see the differance between Obama with children around him and the NRA bringing Obama's kids into an ad well here's the deal. Obama's kids are REQUIRED BY LAW to have secret service protection he or them have no choice in the matter. Plus he is the president and there are a lot of people around the world who don't like the US including survivalist , tea partiers etc in our own country who would like him or them killed. the kids surrounding him wrote him letters against guns and are there with their parents APPROVAL. Ok idiots, do you get it ? Dopes.

    January 18, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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