(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.
The NRA needs to go away.
I can not stand cnn!! You guys suck! How on earth would you even print a story like this but not one about how oboma used kids the same way! A gun is a tool!! just like a hammer or a car! Drunk drivers kill people do you want to outlaw cars too????? You are so one sided it makes me sick! If you love america at all you would see what you are and the pres is doing is WRONG!!!!!! Yes i said it!!! If you support anything he does you are againest america and everything she stands for! I know you will not print this because you know its the truth!
Besides possibly funding the program, the Federal government is the wrong place to look for public school security. It should be up to the state and local governments to implement the program should they deem it nessessary on a case by case basis.
The NRA is right about one thing though. The president's children are no more precious than my own.
802man, you're really on top of things, aren't you? Governor Christie isn't in Congress, he is the Governor of New Jersey. All the rest of your statement shows the same level of knowledge of events.
I THINK that requiring someone who wants to buy an assault weapon PAY AN EXTRA FEE for an extended gun safety course out of their pocket – say 30 days training – then they could pay for background check and proceeds from this could go to victims of gun violence. If NRA won't agree to the assault weapons ban – put a weapons tax on the purchase....
Gov. Christie is a liberal in conservative clothing. He has always been anti-gun, and he is attempting to exploit the NRA ad to gain O'bama points. He has done nothing but trash his party since the election. He's definitely trying to grease the wheels for a "moderate" conservative run at the White House in 2016.
I own several guns, all automatics. That's my right, however, I don't need an AK or any other automatic rifle to carry around, why? NRA cheap shot on the President and his family, hands off.
Anonymous, does not need guns and they will FU up! Get the picture.
Over the past few years, I find myself becoming more and more of an independent, sickened by both parties thinking that playing politics is more important than really solving issues. I wasn't so sure about Christie when he was considered a possible Republican candidate for 2012. But seeing more and more that he rises above politics and says what he really feels regardless of party, he's earning my support. Unfortunately, even in 2016, his own Republican party will likely reject him for that very reason.
Mr. Christie – I've never voted for a Republican, but I think I could vote for you!!!
Give this guy credit, he calls out BS when he sees it. "Tough, but fair" is a saying that many people agree with. Christie seems to be taking this more and more to heart – ignoring partisan ties, but instead shooting toward the right thing to do. I liked when he called out Congress for delaying the Superstorm Sandy aid to the East Coast, and giving Obama credit for helping when he did. Shows you can still be opponents, and debate issues, but keep the dirty side of politics out of it if you REALLY want to.
The Republicans need a truckload of Christie's to find some credibility with mainstream voters.
The more I listen to this guy,the more i like him. When 50% of Americans figure out that thier middle ground is superior to the 25% at each extreme we may see the birth of a viable 3rd Party...the Moderate Party. He is taking what we used to call "the high ground" in combat.
Whatever happened to mental hospitals? The mass killings of today have been repeatedly committed by extremely disturbed individuals. Back in the day, I remember seeing numerous mental facilities and people who needed psychological help being in there, but now I don't even think there is a single mental health facility within 50 miles of my house. The thought of a military state freaks me out, and having armed guards at schools will only reinforce conformity and give power to those who fear the common man. It will only be a matter of time before those guards decide who will be able to enter those schools.
@rkn; because I can't carry a car in my pocket and won't bring a knife to a gun fight?
We GET it. You're running for President in 2016 and you're wanting to be a moderate. We understand. Don't overdo it, though, okay?
I'm a blue blood Dem, don't remember last time I voted Repub. Will be listening carefully to Christie in 2016.
Christie. Go eat a few more hoagies.
Christie is a RINO if there ever was one. Sandy Aid, hand is out waiting on the feds. Gun Control. Wants you defenseless. Using kids in an Ad. OK for Obama to surround himself with kids to spew his political agenda, but when he gets pointed out that he's a hypocrit, the RINOs and dems can't take it.
News flash. The School the Obama children go to had armed security before they went there. The leftiest elite and media wh0res in the area send their kids to school their because the have armed security.
The NRA hit the nail squarly on the head and drove that nail deep, which is why it hurts the left so bad.
Feinstein wants to ban guns, but has a conceal carry gun in California, which most people can't get.
When Harry Reid is siding with the pro 2nd amendment people, it's time to give it up lefties. You can't take away peoples rights to make you feel safe.
The NRA's remarks since the Newtown tragedy have been nothing but pathetic!
I wouldn't vote for Christie if he was the only one on the ticket.
The NRA is made up of Citizens, the same people who deserve to have their constitutional rights upheld.
Enough of these stupid gun control laws, and blather from people who think that making more laws, that take away our rights, and make us more vulnerable.
Support the NRA, support keeping guns in the hands of law abiding American Citizens. The folks who many have died for to keep these rights.
NRA is attached at the hip to the GOP. Bottom line they are afraid to lose money on their guns, BUT THEY WILL!!!!!!! Christie/Clinton 2016.
That fat phukker needs to shut his mouth. Get off the bandwagon, no one likes you!
Shut up and eat another Cheese Burger!
Thank God a Republican I can finally respect. I am sick of the "lock step" approach of the Republicans. At least there is one who dares to think for himself. Thank you, Governor Christie, for giving us hope for change in the GOP and their negativity
Hey "wake up" – SHUT UP... i'm surprised you have internet in your cave.... you are recycling the same old bs – 'a gun is a tool' ... YOU are a tool
I'm starting to like this guy a lot !!