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)

    What? A Repub speaking common sense?

    January 18, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Ed1

    Rudy NY

    Again wrong about guns as NBC pointed out gun related deaths are down.

    How many children were killed last year by assault weapons -0- how many were killed by autos backing over them 50 a week or 2,600. Remember NBC was the first to report that no assault weapon was used to kill the 20 innocent children last year so get your facts straight.

    This is part of the problem people think they know everything about everything and they don't. I don't claim to know everything but Rudy NY this time you are so wrong.

    January 18, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. glorydays

    This is a very big man.

    January 18, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Derp

    Ok, NOW I am starting to wonder if Christie is hoping for an Obama cabinet position.

    Gallop polls conducted recently show 53% of Americans (a majority) have a favorable opinion of the NRA. Fox is covering the story on tyheir home page right now.

    January 18, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Pot calling the kettle

    Get a grip Lisa P ! The Prez brought troops back from Iraq and is about to end the Afgan war, he said he would raise taxes back to where they were before the Bush tax cuts wrecked the country, he ran for prez on that message. So what are you talking about?

    January 18, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Laughing 2008 it was OK to bring Palin's kids into the mix. A little hypocrisy here?

    January 18, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Mick

    I'm a Democrat, but I like this guy. He's the only Republican I've seen who understands why his party is in such disfavor. And he's not afraid to go up against the lunatic fringe of the GOP to do what he thinks is right.

    January 18, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Mark

    If the NRA is suggesting that everyone who owns a gun for protection has at least the same level of training and situational awareness skills as Obama's secret service then i support their position 100%. If however they are suggesting any average Joe who may have only shot at a few deer now and then or have spent a few hours at the shooting range should become armed guards to protect children i believe they are WAY WAY off and talking apples and oranges. Is the NRA really suggesting that anyone who has guns should have the same training as Obama's secret service? Or are they just trying to get more guns sold?

    January 18, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Mark

    When all of the gun owners have the same level of training and duration of training as Obama's secret service... then the NRA's position would have some validity.

    January 18, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Turtle

    More and more, I am liking the things Christie stands for (and stands up for). He seems to use a common sense approach irrelevant to which side of the party aisle folks are on. Nothing wrong with that:) We need leaders that make good decisions in the interest of the citizenry, not in their own re-election or party interests. This guy is one to watch.

    January 18, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Chutzpah

    "No new taxes"... Where the heck did you hear Obama say that? You're delusional.

    I DID hear our Republican governor say that, but now he wants to add two billion dollars a year in new taxes to the state's gas station operators. He thinks that probably won't get passed along to drivers, since "there are so many other factors that go into determining the price of gas".

    January 18, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. filthburger

    I like this guy more and more. He's not the greatest, but could very well be a viable future for the Republicans. He talks good common sense.

    January 18, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. 91W10

    I am not a member of the NRA. However I also do not want to see any type of "assault" or what is correctly referred to as modern sporting rifle ban or magazine limit. I own firearms like this. I store them correctly so that they do not end up in the wrong hands. I do not use them in an unsafe manor. I have no intention of going to war with the government. Lastly I have no intention of using any of my firearms on innocent defenseless people. All of you who say that gun owners are murderers or NRA members are all nuts grow the heck up. Saying things like that adds absolutely nothing to your side of the argument.

    January 18, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Future

    Christie has no chance of being GOP 2016 candidate...this doomed his chances in southern and Midwest primaries. He might as well switch parties and join his new found best buddy , Obama.

    January 18, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. The Bible is a book of badly written fairy tales

    The NRA is morally and intellectually bankrupt. The 2nd amendment allows us to bear arms, but it doesn't prevent the government from enforcing responsible gun ownership or laws to enforce this responsibility.

    There is obviously a need for a debate in the USA, but the NRA doesn't want this debate because the KNOW it will hurt the pocket-books of their sole reason for being: the gun manufacturing industry.

    January 18, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. rapierpoint

    Sorry, but when the narrative on the gun control issues started using children in general to further the control issue after the Sandy Hook tragedy, that opened the door. I can recall conservatives/Republicans speak out against gays only to have the liberals/Democrats bring up family members (including children) of those people that are. Don't use tactics and then claim foul when someone else uses them.

    January 18, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. John the Historian

    Christie only wants to position himself to be president. The Republicans are so beholden to the NRA as part of their base. The look-alike mob boss needs to really do something about gun violence in New Jersey. I see no solutions from him. Isn't he busy supposedly helping people from the recent hurricane. Do something instead of supporting cuts.

    January 18, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Chris

    Nobody should be bringing specific children into the political arena. Not Palin's, Obama's, not Christie's. Children should be left out of political fights altogether, and the NRA just lost me... But, as a Democrat, I respect this guy. More politicians should speak out against this type of behavior by lobbying groups and PACs. It's disgusting.

    January 18, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Youknow

    @mark The NRA does not manufacture or sell firearms.

    January 18, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. TommyNYC

    I am starting to have respect for Chris Christye, even though he did badmouth Obama during the RNC speech. However, after that he showed a side of him that I respect such as after Hurricane Sandy and right now standing up to NRA. I wish more republicans would be like this...

    As for the NRA ad, I think it is just a shame how dumb can people be at such high places.

    The reason Obama's daughters get such protection is because they are a lot more vulnerable than any other kid in the country (or even the entire world). The kids of the President of the United States are most likely a main target for all the Obama (or USA) haters...

    There is a very slight chance that any regular kid would be directly targeted by a nutcase/hater, but the chances of the President's kids being directly targeted are even higher than some Mob members' kids.

    January 18, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Hostess

    street950...... / sarcasm . I think not / unable to control ones irrational thoughts .... yes..that sounds about right.

    January 18, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Ho ho ho

    The GOP's only hope of legitimacy is to abandon the repulsive elements.. idiot pawns riled up by the NRA to defend the NRA's (i.e. gun manufacturer's) right to flood our nation with assault weapons. I'm sure this same demographic buys into the Tea Party agenda (and predjudices). If they distance themselves from that defective gene pool they might actually start helping this country instead of dragging it down.

    January 18, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Wake up People!

    @Chutzpah. King Snyder is full of it isn't he???

    January 18, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. FRED

    So then I guess it is okay that the man in the White House standing behind all those young children is just fine with every body right. Yep thought so. You people are unreal

    January 18, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. TommyNYC

    I have a solution for this stupid time wasting argument... Yes, I agree that schools should have a much better security than they do now. And if you do want to allow guns in schools, then place a few police officers inside every school and guess what... Police do have guns. However, giving guns to schools wihtout police is a big NO NO!!!

    January 18, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35