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. rs

    We get it you KNOW ALL ABOUT guns. Frankly I don't care if people get killed by a shotgun, a 30-30, a .45 or an ar-15. They're DEAD get it? Guns that can fir 30-40-50 rounds a minutes may not meet your specs as an "assault weapon", but they are too damned deadly- and NO ONE needs one.

    January 18, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Abbey

    Poor Mr. Christie seems to have no problem with the President using kids and fear for the same issue. Get a clue sir before you speak.

    January 18, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Grumpy

    Gov. Christie is right. As far as FOX SPEWS getting any poll right, they do so long as they get to make up the statistics.

    January 18, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Challenged Boston Conservative

    I don't agree with most of Obama's gun proposals, but there are a few that actually make sense. I'm an NRA member and agree with Christy, dragging children into this debate doesn't help. NRA needs to get back to basics and refocus on fundementals: Guns don't kill people, people do. That's been a solid message for over a decade and seems to have fallen to the wayside. Why is the NRA getting personal with the White House? Just stay on point with what works.

    January 18, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Ivar Tagen

    Who in their right mind would take their kids to the movies if everybody in the audience were carrying guns?

    January 18, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. nothing new here

    EVERYBODY that plans on buying a gun should undergo a background check.
    I have no problem with this.

    January 18, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Tim

    I thought the NRA's references to Obama's children were cheap. Of course, it was also cheap for the president to surround himself with children in his own soap-boxing. Both sides are using children for political gain, and both were disgusting to me.

    January 18, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Pinklney's Pennies..MY 2 CENTS

    The Fatman is looking more and more Presidential. The Right Wing and Tea Party may look upon Christie as a traitor, but some in this country might consider him a viable Thrid Party candidate. CHRISTIE, THE AMERICAN PARTY 2016

    January 18, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. craig

    Christie may be the only member of the GOP to conduct his debate based upon the facts, and that's pretty refreshing. While I don't agree with some of his political positions, I do appreciate that we could have a discussion face to face where we focus on the truth and ideas for fixing things rather than things like the NRA talking points.

    January 18, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Canadian Crazyman

    Christie, you are a waste of human flesh with your pathetic state of New Jersey POOPHOLE, FATBOY!! Get a grip and be part of a solution and not the problem, JABBA the HUT!!!!

    January 18, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. 802man

    Mr Christy has a problem with the NRA and championing the rights of the common man. He in fact has stated that the president should of and, could helped the state of NJ. Where will this idiot end in trying to become everyones friend just to turn a quick cheek on them? Mr Christy, I do believe you have far more important things to do than say any derogatory statements towards the NRA considering half of you're state is still in turmoil.
    People openly criticize this man for running for president in 2016. Yet in his own statement "It's called the oval office for a reason." Just to show you're on 'the peoples side' for laughing at you're own weight problem. Someone please get this slob out of congress!

    January 18, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Greg

    So let me get this right the left can have kids on to support their side of the issue but the NRA can't mention kids. Also Christie if your decision endangers your children why on earth would you do it.

    January 18, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Mojo

    As an Independent who voted for Obama (twice), I think Christie is shaping up as a formidable opponent for the GOP in 2016. The biggest problem he will have is getting the extreme right to vote for him in the primaries.

    January 18, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Carl

    It is amazing how stupid Christie is...

    January 18, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. nothing new here

    Christie is one of the few decent Republicans left.
    This man is 200% spot on.

    January 18, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Debits-n-Credits

    Well done, Gov. Christie!

    January 18, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. joe

    I'm completely amazed why Americans' jaws don't drop to the floor when the NRA insists that our Founding Fathers wanted our citizens to take arms against a legally elected democratic government. The NRA should be treated like the Confederacy, if that's what they believe.

    January 18, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Suzanne

    AMEN, Gov. Christie!!

    January 18, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Will

    I see the troglidites from faux news are out again in force, they can't stand it when Christie speaks the truth.

    January 18, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Farmer

    This debate is a very emotional one. I am not a US citizen. Looking at this issue from the outside I keep trying to understand the reasoning for the need for citizens to have the need to have such weaponry in their possession. If countries like Britian, Canada and others can function without the level of weaponry amongst its citizen why can't the US. Is the issue about safety or that it is simply a matter of your 2nd amendment rights... Is the US more inherently violent then other Western nations? Do average Americans live in that much fear that they feel they need to have this level of weaponry to function? If you do not feel safe, if crime is rampant, if the threat of fear is real and constant then I don't think weapons will solve these issues but certainly it would indicate that something in society is broken and this needs to be addressed. I do not believe that the US is a inherently violent country but I do believe there are those who stoke fears among its citizens.... The sky is falling, the sky is falling syndrome... Having controls around gun ownership will not make you less of a country, will not result in your demise, will not require all of you to go into bunkers... Look around you at most of the Westernized countries and be willing at least to consider why other countries can function with gun controls... No controls certainly will totally rule out violence but it may help lessen it... My grandmother always said certainly if you play with matches you may not be burned but by playing with them you increase your risk of getting burned.

    January 18, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. Two Stray Dogs

    Who cares what that 300-lb piece of pork waste thinks? Well, who besides Piers Morgan, another 300-lb piece of arrogant, British bacon.

    January 18, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. brody02

    The tea party is going down

    January 18, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Bob

    As a democrat, I admire Mr. Christie's courage to stand up against the NRA's outrageous ad using President Obama's kids to push their agenda It would be nice to see others have the courage to also do so. However, I guess money means more than decency to a lot of our politicians.

    January 18, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. menisino

    Goes to show that he has more "balls" then the political leeches like McCain;Rand:Ryan;Graham;Reid ;Asa ?? & others in their pompous self-addulation & interests.Shame on you...but i doubt that you guys would understand.Disgusting.

    January 18, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  25. RKN

    The NRA has said that guns are not the problem because a knife or a car are just as lethal.
    If a car or knife are just as lethal, then why do you need a gun to protect yourself?

    January 18, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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