(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.
Don't be silly – they never had any credibility to begin with – how can they lose any?
@fedup1962, ummm WHO is doing the exploiting here? The NRA
All the NRA is doing, is protecting their cash cow....the firearms manufacturers.
I doubt he'll make it for four years before he crashes and burns.
The NRA missed out on this one. Armed security isn't a good enough answer. Be realistic – is an armed security officer going to travel with every child throughout their school day? To lunch? The bathroom? Class to class? No! The real answer is to arm the children.
Nice job NRA. Get some new PR people. idiots
I think he's setting himself up for 2016 maybe and after gullible dems vote for him he will turn around and bite you. Haven't y'all learned anything yet? And he's thinking if he is elected then he can say well I didn't like it when they used Obama's kids so hands off mine.
Dear Mr. Christie, I hope that You are for real. But my experience says, those who want the job should not get the job.
Be the exception. Please.
I am sick of this fat, obnoxious RINO. Join the Democrats.
Is Gov. Christie the only Conservative with a brain? I will definitely vote for this man, I don't care what ticket he runs on. Common sense is sorely lacking in public servants. President Obama and Gov. Christie are two of the few who can think on their feet.
Perhaps Christie is vying for a political appointment.
Perhaps Christie is vying for a political appointment?
First to "WakeUp:" I suggest you do with CNN what I do with Fox News: Do NOT turn it on, do NOT go to their website. That is your right. RE: your strange rant, VEHICLES ARE registered...and you have to have a license...take courses to register one and drive it. Are you REALLY THAT thick?
RE: all of you who say Christie is just trying to get on the 2016 ballot: DOOD! It is totally working!! I rarely ever vote for Republicans these days. Too right-wing elitist (YES,WakeUp!!!!!!!! I said it!!!!!!! :-) Christie COULD change that.
ALSO...I am a teacher. We have an armed officer in our school...mainly to control the FEW weird students who act like their weird parents...So I have no trouble with that. But do NOT talk about arming teachers... With all the details we have to keep up with these days, I don't want ANY teacher to have to try to remember where he/she put his/her freakin' gun. JEEZ....NOT our job....(And I am pretty sure one of WAKEUP's cousins is working in my school and I SURELY do NOT want that kind of person armed around kids!)
So its ok to hide the fact that the presidents kids go to a school that have armed guards? It should be known. Why is he against it? Its contradictory to say the least. Focus on the point. The point is that only the rich and powerful deserve to have special privileges like guards for safer schools.
@Wake Up! You are precisely the kind of person who should not even own a handgun, much less a military style weapon. You are so full of anger and resentment that the idea of you having a firearm is worrisome.
As usual, the comments turn from the substance of the article into what amounts to children fighting and name calling. Military-style guns are an issue; thorough background checks are an issue; mental health evaluations are an issue; getting the true facts with supporting evidence on the table are an issue; we are not going to solve it in the comments section (or anywhere else) by ranting. The real feature of this article is once again a politician has taken an open stand that bucks the trend of his party and is not apologetic for it. Gov. Christie is the type of politician that I would love to see take over congress as he always cuts thru the BS and does what he needs to for his state. He is not a suck up, not an apologist, just a decent man trying to do his honest best in what seems like a generally dishonest career path.
I used to think Christie was a big blowhard, but I'm starting to respect him more and more.
Governor Christie sure seems like a good man, despite his being a Republican. I agree with him as I have on numerous recent occasions. The ugliness of gun advocacy in America simply cannot be believed.
Christie has descided that to keep his career going he needs to pucker up to the Administration. We saw this in the effusive praise right before the election.
The commercial was not about the children, but about the President's hypocracy in choosing to put his children in a high security public school – the kind of school that his children go to not because he is President, but because he is a millionare.
The President's kids DO need more security and have SS bodyguards with them, but they would have those guards with them even if they were attending public school (which you would think the President's children SHOULD do, particularly a President who speaks against the rich so very often – and yet, as a millionare, gives his children the prep school advantages he laments for others).
Now, what the add was about what not the SS guards, but the fact that Obama has no problems with armed guards at school – his children's school has 11 (not counting the SS) and yet publically criticized the NRA suggestion of more armed officers in schools.
That criticism is even more hypocratic when you see that Exec Order #18 from the other day was about putting more armed police in the schools. So, apparantly, he SUPPORTS the idea and just says he doesn't when it would mean agreeing with the NRA.
That said, anyone who sees that add as an attack on the kids instead of an attack on the President is a few IQ points shy of 100. It would be like seeing an add critizing Bill Clinton for being an adulterous pig and saying that the President's wife shouldn't be a target.
I used to like Christie for being plainspoken, but he is beginning to look more and more plainminded.
The NRA is a lobby group for gun-manufacturers, they have managed to brainwash simpletons into thinking that their "rights" are in jeopardy, so that these simpletons will keep buying guns which makes money for the gun manufacturers. What's hilarious is that this is a genuine conspiracy aimed at making money hand over fist by manipulating slack-jawed yokels into voting patterns and electing politicians who themselves will support the gun-manufacturers goals. In a country that thrives on bizarre conspiracy theories, they don't know a real one when it shoots them in the head!
The unfortunate fact of the story is that it is true.
1. Obamas children go to a school where there is active security-FACT
2. Obama feels security will not protect children against mass shooters-FACT
3. The clear question would be "Would Obamas children be safe against an attacker at their school?" Clear answer-YES
Why is Chris Christie mad? Because HIS children are ALSO protected by security at school.
Thats the way it goes. When you prove a point and its leans toward the "bad scary guns". People in opposition get mad instead of realizing "hey you have a point-what makes your children more special than mine?".
It would appear that the "elephant boy" turned into a RINO !!...he should be ignored by the GOP.
I'm beginning to really like Christie!
I'm beginning to really like Christie! He's one of the very, very few Republicans to stand with the majority of Americans and not sou not sound like a far right wing nut-ball!