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. juliemac

    Yeah, as a life member, I do think its pretty bad. But. We law abiding citizens here in NY have been vilified by the same people complaining. Much worse has been said and done in the past few weeks that go way beyond decent courtesy.

    I have been made a criminal by the moronic laws passed a few days ago. For no other reason, that I own a fire arm. We are just normal people, who given the chance, would like to discuss the problem, but treated poorly by the media and our elected officials.

    January 18, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  2. Tom

    The NRA is totally off the mark and have eliminated themselves as a relevant factor in the discussion about gun control. They have shown that they are nothing more than a lunatic fringe group.,

    January 18, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |

    watch it chris, Cheney, Hannity, Limpbum and the rest of the lunatic right will be calling you a RINO because you dare to think outside the box. Hillary 2016!!!

    January 18, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. joe

    I thought you said this was a buffettA , its the nrA . I am not happy not happy at all. First Obama says he has money for me then i'm at a nra rally . BODDA BOOM BODDA BING.

    January 18, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Scott

    @wake-up, 5:24.

    If you cared at all about the country, rather than just your guns, you'd know that everything you wrote is garbage. I question your sanity, honestly.

    January 18, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. ammoaj

    Bruce Springteen's "Brother from another Mother." Tell it like it is Gov!

    January 18, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Adam in DC

    FINALLY! A Republican who's actually moderate enough to sweep into the White House with a mandate! What a shame that the Republican Party is just way too stupid to ever consider nominating him. Well, I suppose they have 3 more years to wake up from their collective coma and get behind Christie. Otherwise, we'll have President Hillary instead. Either way, it's fine with me.

    January 18, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  8. jakinak

    Governor Christie can register as a Republican but he isn't fooling anyone (except those who wish to be fooled). Remember this is he same guy that as a stage prop for an Obama campaign ad.

    January 18, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. Kent Bowen

    I'm a Democrat, but it's refreshing to see a Republican - or Democrat, for that matter - who speaks his mind regardless of the party line.

    January 18, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  10. valerie fl

    god bless you,chris.everyone of our childrens belong to all of us.we want all to be save.and what ever need to be done to keep them save so be it.

    January 18, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  11. sqeptiq

    Calling the gun fringe insane is giving insanity a bad name. Paying dues to the NRA to support people like Wayne LaPierre should be considered prima facie evidence of mental derangement sufficient to prevent gun ownership.

    January 18, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  12. Shane

    Man the NRA is really grasping at straws here. Why do the President's children need armed guards (much more than your children)? Umm.... because they're the President's children, and so therefore their security measures reflect the greater risks that come with that distinction. And don't get me wrong, it's not like the idea of armed guards in schools is that terrible of an idea, but who's gonna pay for it? The federal government? The entity who's always accused of spending way too much money serving it's citizens in the first place? Furthermore, the NRA is one massive lobbyist group whose main purpose is to maximize the sale of firearms for the gun manufacturers who fund them, so how can we take anything they say at face value? Go figure that they're go-to idea to protect our children is to, wait for it... sell more weapons!

    January 18, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Cindy

    Guns are not the problem, the NRA is the problem. NRA aka American Nazi Party.

    January 18, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  14. Andrew

    When are he, and others like Collin Powell, going to do the right thing and leave that party of crazy?

    January 18, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. saftgek

    Just how badly does an organization (GOP, NRA, ad nauseum) have to be to get slammed by a far-Right Governor?

    What can one say but "WOW !" Perhaps the devastation of his state by Mother Nature has resulted in an epiphany of sorts in Governor Christie?

    January 18, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  16. CMCF

    The cry over guns has caused the media and others to look completely past something very simple. The response to the heartbreak and tragedy of a school shooting has gone straight to guns in the school. However............

    The most effective new security hardware in a school would actually be locks on the classroom doors that could be quickly locked from the inside. (And yes, there have always been solutions in case a teacher gets locked out of the classroom. Duplicate keys, for one.)

    Anyone really serious about school security from politicians to parents groups should sponsor getting this done.

    January 18, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. RF Burns

    I'm an NRA member and, yes, it was over the top. There are better ways to make the point.

    January 18, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Christie should be railing against cheeseburgers. I think they will kill him long before a gun will.

    January 18, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  19. saftgek

    One can only feel great pity for the likes of "WakeUp!"

    How can he/she be taken seriously? The nonsensical oral spewings do little but stimulate the virtual air. No rational substance – no validity.

    As they say down South, "WakeUp!": "Bless Your Heart!"

    January 18, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. skytag

    This is the kind of stupid, bogus argument the right routinely uses to attack Obama because the people who hate him are stupid enough to buy it. There are probably no children in the country who are more sell known and would be at as much risk without armed security as the children of the president. Only a brainwashed fool would be taken in by that ad.

    January 18, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  21. Brenda

    Pork Chop, you never cease to amaze me.... :). They are going to toss your big behind out of the Re-pube-lickin' party. Come be a Democrat, stop fighting with the teachers and just come on over. I jumped can too. It is much nicer here.

    January 18, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  22. m

    Chris Christie is a BIG FAT SLOB!!!

    January 18, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  23. Earthling

    Christie is becoming a Republican that I could actually vote for, and I have not voted for a Republican in over 30 years. The man sees the issue and ignores the partisan BS that is the driving force in American politics today. Unfortunately, as others have observed, this will drive the Republican party away from him, as they are only interested in the most extreme RW loonies they can find. Perhaps he will declare as an independent, and turn everything upside down. I can dream, can't I?

    January 18, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  24. ruetienne

    thr right wingers continue to implode, losing the moderates in the middle, one at a time, which will lead to another election loss. The GOP needs to jettison the Tea Party, the religious crazies, the racists, and the greedy Wall Street types if they want to win again. Oh wait, that IS the Republican Party!

    January 18, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    NRA is nuts.

    January 18, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
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