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. Jersey attitude

    God bless Christie! He is a MAN. speaks his mind and don't care who likes it. He isn't speaking the party line like some mindless sheep or ditto head. AND he makes a lot of sense.

    January 18, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. cg

    I'm like Christie a lot these days. He stands for people, and doing that goes against all conservative values. Good for him.

    January 18, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Lisa P.


    Lance Armstron lies, the NRA advertises something you dont like but what about Obama lying on a daily basis. Nobobdy says ANYTHING about that. "No new taxes" thats a lie, " Bringing our troops back" another lie, but I guess if you love Obama that's ok. Sounds like many of you Obama lovers does'nt it? What the NRA said is the COMPLETE truth so if you dont like it, too bad .I saw worse election ads from Obama in the fall!!! Its the freedom of speech and the truth hurts!!
    January 18, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm

    Come now. You wouldn't know the truth if Dick Cheney shot you in the face with it. You'd probably even apologize to him for getting in his way.

    January 18, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. CD_Eps

    I wonder if the NRA will make some huge donation to a campaign to defeat the Governor's reelection bid, or if they'll realize he's right and decide not to waste their money.

    January 18, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. robertjwade1cardog

    Lisa P. you are indeed a lap-dog of the NRA. Thats it. I wouldn't give you more space because of your blindness, you wouldn't see it anyway.

    January 18, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. keith kabza

    Fat is talks out both chins!

    January 18, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. SilverBack

    @ Lisa, but who did the American people vote for, not the lie-in-your face what's his name, can't even remember, he's falling of the face of the earth. Oh ya Mittens.

    January 18, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. TrueIndependent

    You have to admit..............weird that Obama wants his kids protected (by guns) and doesn't want mine protected (not as well). As far as gun reform, background checks, SURE. You can even ban high capacity clips (it's just a spring people!!). But we have not addressed the CAUSES of the shooting. Until we put a stop to the bullying in our below average school system which traumatizes children and many times creates the 'monster' that attacks we are just playing politics. Fix the schools! Address Mental illness as the serious issue that it is! Address the collapse of the moral values of society (tv, games, etc)!

    January 18, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. LeeAT

    We need someone in office who stands up against special interest groups. Things are far too political in Washington to be effective, and that is from both sides. I believe that Cristie is the kind of guy who will do what is right for this country and not just his party. He'll most likely be an independant by then.

    January 18, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    @Lisa P.

    Good one girl!!!!

    January 18, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Darin

    Unless Christie switches parties to show the Liberal he is, he'll be out of office next election cycle.

    January 18, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. LibertyANDJustice

    Protect us from the tyranny of the NRA! No one elected those vigilantes!

    January 18, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Jeff

    The NRA is comparing apples to oranges, comparing his kids, the governors or a mayors family that since there farther or mother are in the political lime light need to have that need that type of protection. My kid have the local law enforcement and a traveling SRO (School Resource officer) in our community which is well and good enough. My family doesn't get death threats 1200x a year like the president. Very shameful on the NRA to run such an ad with those comments. Just to set it straight, I am all for the 2nd amendment, but with control of who can have a gun and what type of weapons are needed. I live in the country I don't need a AR15 or such with a 30 round mag. I get by with a shot gun and a hand gun, which I never have had to use on anyone, but it's there if I need it. I don't think ever in my life time I would need such weapons and not likely that my home would be surrounded by that many criminals try to attack me that would warrant it.

    January 18, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Hostess

    Gov. are what is referred to as a... Brown noser. Have some patience and think things thru...thats what you're paid to do.....not rush to judgement because everyone else is. Politicians.....Cheerleaders for there own egos.

    January 18, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Brian McCrea

    Lisa P., wake up. The troops are coming home from Afghanistan, and we're OUT of Iraq. Dingbat Bush has wasted billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and wrecked the economy. There was so much trash to clear out from the Bushies that it has taken four years plus to begin to fix it. Osama Bin Laden is dead. General Motors is alive. Gabby Giffords nearly died because of you and your gun wingnuts. NOBODY needs a magazine of 300 bullets to kill a deer or shoot targets. Those are designed to kill maximum numbers of people in the shortest time. Hunters don't need to make instant hamburger. Chill!

    January 18, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Fred

    @Lisa......get a life!

    January 18, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Mia

    I admire Governor Christie. The Republicans could do well with him at the helm. He is down to earth and honest, and the blue and red doesn't mire him down, he says and enacts what he believes is best for the people, not for the politicians. Bravo! Also, shame on the NRA. Shammmme!

    January 18, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....Arming Mentally Unbalanced People to Kill Innocent Children

    In the old west you have to check your gun(s) in with the sherrif upon getting access to coming into any town. Dodge City is an example of this.. The right to bear arms was ALWAYS heavily regulated. And that is a FACT, not just a belief that the GOP and the TARDS would have you BELIEVE as FACT

    January 18, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Mark

    The NRA have become to guns what PETA has become to the welfare of animals. I've always been pro 2nd amendment and I've always believed in the humane treatment of animals. Both of these groups however are run by zealots that throw common sense out the window over and over again.

    January 18, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....Arming Mentally Unbalanced People to Kill Innocent Children

    Why not arm all students pre-k kids? If Davey Crockett could kill a bear at only 3 years of age then surely kindergartners are capable of handling guns.

    January 18, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. SkepticalOne

    It's too bad that Christie is unlikely to get by the teabaggers and religious fanatics in the GOP primaries. This is a guy that I might vote for.

    January 18, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Michael A.

    If he runs for president in 2016, I may have to vote for a Republican for the first time in 30 years.

    January 18, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. streets950

    Hey now. The NRA is merely defending the rights of legitimate gun dealers to sell their wares to criminals, conspiracy theorists, and nut cases at gun shows openly without the need for background checks. That way they don't need to use alleyways. I mean, why not just do it in the open and save the dealers the hassle, right?


    January 18, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Tony Antin

    The NRA's silly commercial appears on the Sportsman Channel, watched, I imagine by many "sportsman" who want a machine gun to shoot a deer!

    January 18, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Mark

    Fact is unless law abiding gun owners are willing to take major steps to get pro-active in getting guns out of the hands of nut jobs, criminals, and those likely to commit violent acts they will start shouldering the blame for future tragedies. There is also a paradox that the most paranoid of people will be those first to run to buy more guns. Rather than working harder to get tougher laws in place to keep criminals locked up and mandatory sentences for gun offenses, the pro-gun crowd is coming off as weak on crime and pro-criminal. The NRA went into hiding after the last tragedy. This tells me their bluster is only one more major tragedy from going back to silence and cowardess. That is NO WAY to approach the problem. If the NRA can't speak their position in the days following these tragedy and they are afraid of having images of concerned children as part of the debate then the NRA is going to look like a fringe pro-criminal organization.

    January 18, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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