(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.
Hey noBody – I think the point rkn was making flew right over your head.
I should not take part in this : I am a foreigner. Still, I wonder how come people from "The land of the free" can not respect a man who stand for his ideas and refuse to kneel down to a lobby representing a big 1,3 % of the citizen of USA...
If it is not about them whay are you talking about them ? The guy with the idea should be fired !!
Governor Christie is absolutely right in terming the NRA ad "reprehensible." Even in the wars between crime "families," it was usually understood that family members were not fair game for a "hit." The NRA have shown themselves to be worse than gangsters.
Everyone is a liberal if they don't agree with the NRA, right? WRONG. Keep your extremists rants to yourself.
If Christie runs for president in 2016–as long as he continues to demonstrate the courage he's been demonstrating–I will consider jumping parties to vote for him.
I'm beginning to like Governor Chris Christie the way he handles his self amoung the Republicans, he doesn't seam to be afraid to speak out even if most Republicans do not agree with what he has to say. For me I believe he speaks from the heart an for me that makes him an honest person. I'm not a Republican I'm an independent an was once a Damacrat.
Hey "Wake up!," you're a nut job. Love that your side has the inside scoop on all that's true. Freak.
Governor Christie has a good head on his shoulders. He puts it out there straight, no BS. I hope he's a candidate in 2016
Why are the presidents children protected by secret service? Answer is easy,we can't afford to put the leafer of ournation in the position of dealing with terrorist or right wingnuts kidnapping anyone in his family. This president more than any other thinks all children are special. I own a gun but would never join the nra, a truly in american organization
Hey fat boy. Just change parties already.
Although I do not live in America, your cousins to the North follow you very closely. If I were to live in America I am sure I would vote Democrat. However, I can imagine voting for someone like Mr. Christie. He speaks his mind and seems to have a level head on his shoulders- able to cross party lines and try to get issues worked out. I just don't understand the NRA at all. We don't understand your gun culture at all either. You have to be licensed to drive a car. What is so wrong about licensing for a gun? If I had to have a thorough backround check I wouldn't feel it was against my rghts. And as far as the 2nd Amendment goes..well.... I am sure that the founding fathers didn't think about semi-automatic weapons and enough ammo to take out a building. Own a hand gun fine.... but really does anyone need to have an arsenal. If that is the type of country you have well you can keep it. But you see that is how you are perceived..gun loving, an unwilling to comprimise people. Something really has to change. Maybe Bill O'Reilly was right(can't believe I am saying that).. Mandatory 10yr sentences for people that own,use,cross state lines with semi automatic/assault rifles. Get rid of the guns. Don't own a gun, don't know anyone that does and wouldn't know where to buy one even if I did. I am sure most American's couldn't say the same thing. Somehow that seems so very wrong.
To all the Nuts out there that feel the need to own an assault rifle – join the military and do some good. I'm sure that there are many kids that would gladly trade places with you.
A knife has additional purposes as does a car. A guns primary function is to kill/injure. Stop using the "outlaw car" argument, its ridiculous.
I'm just waiting for when these "armed school guards" get their asses handed to them by the students and it turns into a blood bath. It will be a sad day if the NRA allows guns legally into the school, rather than the kids having to sneak them in
Gov. Christie thinks like a mature intelligent person. He is making independent decisions. He is even more proof that the Republicans are an outdated – elitist party that ONLY serves big business. The Rebublican party needs to be blown up and start over with people like Gov. Christie.
Crist,Christie what is the difference? Colin Powell beckons you.
Sorry rest of America, but your kids just aren't as tasty a target to professional bad guys as his are.
Gov Christi, a moderate that speaks his mind and calls out the extremist. run for President Gov Christi.
While I don't agree with Gov. Christie in many areas, with each passing day, my truly admiration for him grows as he is his own man, and has the courage and principles to speak his mind in a straightforward, no nonsense way.
We need more like him on BOTH aspects of the political spectrum. Perhaps then we can actually get to the point of having an intelligent conversation on all the pressing issues confronting this country without the vitroil, intransigence, and hyperbole that is de rigeur today.
Guns are used to protect the President and even his children, why are his kids more important than yours. That is ludicrous, his children are obviously more important than yours, they are the Presidents kids and as such are more important.
Coming from a guy that dumped his own party at the convention and even more so when he kissed the president to get more money for his state, I see clearly that he is a liberal democrat to the core and has been changing colors to suit his own selfish interests. I can't wait to see what party he runs for in 2016 but promise I will vote against hime regardless.
Not sure the NRA did anything wrong here. They aren't attacking Obama's kids. Its an attack on Obama. And as far as "bringing Obama's (or any other politicians kids) into it", Obama (and other politicians) use their kids all the time to benefit themselves politically and they are using the kids of Newtown to help them in their debate for stronger gun laws. Can't have it both ways.
Hum, I wrote 1.3 %, compared to the total population. This was innapropriate. I should have write : 1.7 % of the eligible voters...
If christie would end his frontal assault on public education, he would be a Demcrat at this point. Good for New Jersey, except on education, but not so good for christie tying to run in a goober primary.