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. Jason B

    I rather like that Gov. Christie hasn't been afraid to stand up to the far right lately. And he's correct, the far right has slammed the door to anything that even resembles compromise or moderation. That he's called them out on it makes me want to see what he's got next.

    For what it's worth, I am more liberal than conservative and vote more D than R. But I'm willing to hear someone out if they have a logical reasoning or idea, regardless of which side of the aisle they are on. (although I'm very disappointed in the KS delegation)

    January 18, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  2. AZ Woman


    I wish Mr. Christie were the Governor of Arizona. He puts down political cronieism for the good of the people of his state. If more of our politicians had the same courage to do what is good and right for their citizens, as Mr. Christie appears to do, we would not be in the situation we are in, in this great nation.

    As another "resident" of AZ, I do SO agree! Our state govt has pushed us SO far into not the 20th century, but the 19th.

    January 18, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  3. DN3

    I actually can say I wholeheartedly agree with something Chris Christie said. What strikes me the most in the article, however, is that certain conservative circles are criticizing Christie (no alliteration intended, I swear) for being too close to Obama after Hurricane Sandy. Are you kidding me??? Yeah, as a Republican governor, I'd be much more concerned with how well a Democrat is handling a civil emergency where (American) lives were lost. How dare they help their own people??? I'd look for the first opportunity to openly criticize him for doing trying too hard.

    January 18, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  4. kmac

    The Cons and the NRA hold the key on mass killings. They can end or decrease them or let them continue. They announce they will not let gun bills pass so they will be the responsible ones.

    January 18, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  5. AZ Woman

    OK, let's get this straight. The NRA using OUR First Family kids WAS WRONG! For them to try to rationalize it WAS WRONG. Why? Because they reduced those two girls to nothing more than a press promo. Do I think they are "more" special than my child? No. But they should be "protected" differently than mine because MY child doesn't have to live under a day to day threat of being either abducted or kidnapped because they are part of the First Family.

    OUR President (yes, he is MY President and YOUR President) put OUR kids around him while he signed Orders to protect THEM. THAT is the difference.

    Do I believe in the 2nd Amendment? Absolutely, I own 2 guns. But I also believe that NO PERSON should have an "Assault Type" weapon.

    When the NRA cares MORE about protecting "everyday citizens" as opposed to thier "monetary flow", I may send in a membership.

    January 18, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  6. mg

    This is the 2nd time I did not vote republican because they went too far right. Just need to get rid of this stubborn congress. Might consider Christi if he ran....unless it is Hillary....she is the best chance for a women in my lifetime!

    January 18, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  7. JOE

    So it's okay for obambi to use kids?

    January 18, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  8. JOE

    Chris Christie is a taf azzed tool.

    January 18, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  9. mike

    our government is the biggest group of hippocrates !!! and anyone that supports them as well. there is nothing wrong with that fact it does just what it should. it demonstrates the double standard our government has. how are we supposed to just stand by and allow some one else to tell us something is wrong and not to do it but it is ok for them? u bunch of morons who think that commercial was out of line think about this; what if instead of his children being protected while yours are not, they got to go to the best schools totally free because of what their parents do, while yours will undoubtedly go to community college if at all. would you be mad about the double standard then? or are you just gonna lay there and take courtesy of your elected officials? stop being part of the problem and shut up you metro-sexual, sissyfied, pampered, under educated, over protected, tree huggin' , women. it is time for you to put your big girl pants on now and understand something....our government is not there to protect you!! it is there to keep those in power in power. and that means that if they can take away our means of defending ourselves we are a weaker people and easier for them to control

    January 18, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  10. i'malib

    I say on to more important things, like raising taxes on everyone. I could care less about the nra; I am more worried about getting my fair share. Personally, I think all of America should have gun laws like Chicago–I hear they have the lowest murder rate in the US. I think that is where our new basketball playing president is from. He did a great job there, not like our last president, palin, from Alaska. With that said, it is time to watch the oprah interview with Lance. The rest of you, get back to work.

    January 18, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. Chuck

    Hes turning into a Lefty like Powell

    January 18, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  12. Debbie Jennings

    Christie is an idiot!! He also wanted to fly flags at half-staff for Whitney Houston– who was so noble to die of drug overdose, a real insult to war herls and soldiers. Ummm, when are people going to go after the alcohol industry instead of the guns? Alcohol has killed people LONG before guns, and it requires just as much human interaction to operate. Don't see anyone blaming cars for the DUI's or the relating deaths.....mmmmmm

    January 18, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  13. Luke

    I saw a new poll that said more than twice as many people would rather have more guns than more restrictions. Christie has aspirations and we are going to remember this along with throwing Romney under the bus the last week of the campaign. I know he thinks he is playing politics but he just blew a portion of his strongest base. These democrats will hate him again come the next Pres. election. First he needs to take some time off and get healthy or he is going to die prematurely from that obesity problem.

    January 18, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  14. Lokn70de

    I am an Independent voter, and I would vote for Christie.

    January 18, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  15. John

    What jokers come on here! Look at ol' 'wakeup' for example-cars and knives are as lethal as guns. Stock NRA, one idiot convincing another idiot. Both knives and cars were not necessarily DESIGNED to injure and/or kill. Guns WERE designed to injure and/or kill. In common, proper, legal usage, knives and cars don't hurt anyone, whereas legal or not, the proper use of a gun does hurt someone. Wake up, wakeup! If all cars disappeared we'd have a wholesale mess. If all guns disappeared, all we'd have is just a lot fewer violent deaths. Duh.

    January 18, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  16. 007

    Sorry Christie, I like you for the most part and commend you on speaking your mind but, on the ad, you are wrong.
    There is no difference between the safety of the American children and the President's children. The NRA makes a very good point, that is valid; The President's children's school is protected by armed guards, but the president doesn't support guards protecting YOUR CHILD'S school.

    Second, I have been always been a registered Democrat. However, after watching the party attack the constitution, which I took and oath to protect and I thought they had too. I will be changing my party ASAP. The Democratic party has become a disgrace, a slap in the face of the founding fathers, the constitution, and values of our country.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of the Republican Party or congress as a whole either, but the blatten attack on the second amendment is treasonous. The failures of Congress and the Office of the President with the fiscal crisis is insubordinate criminal.

    January 19, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  17. aaron

    The NRA has never had credibility among sensible people. They're essentially advocating using children for target practice, but still; has millions of followers, most of whom would normally be adhorred by the murder of WHITE children, but even the fact that the murdered kids were white doesn't seem to spark any glimmer of outrage in them now.

    January 19, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  18. Vasya Bricklyn


    January 19, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  19. Blah Blah

    Christie 2016 for President!!!

    January 19, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  20. 2020

    David Keene – dig your head out of the sandpit. Disgrace NRA.

    If you want to know how stupid you were, look into the mirror, make a change.

    if you don't understand those 20 kids died of multiple gun shots, put one with 100 magazine into your head, then, you can tell us how good is your gun and bullet.

    You talked like a no brainer. really stupid.

    January 19, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  21. Jeff

    I like the way this entire anti automatic weapon started from 4 handguns. The Newtown killer had an automatic weapon and did all the damage with handguns. So this can not be used for any logical basis. Handguns are responsible for thousands more deaths than automatic rifles. Only a RETARD would say "duh, lets band 'some' guns but not the ones responsible for 1000 times more deaths." Stupid.

    January 19, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  22. Jeff

    I mean he had an automatic weapon in his TRUNK. He killed everybody with handguns.

    January 19, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  23. LouieD

    Gotta love how the GOP's attack dog Christie has been turning against them so viciously ever since Obama hooked up New Jersey with Hurricane Sandy relief!

    But guess what, Governor McCheese!

    Reasonable Americans still remember all the verbal fecal*matter you spewed before then, and to us you come across as nothing but two-faced now! But please: keep making a three hundred-fifty pound fool of yourself, straight through the 2016 elections. Republicans: you made this slob, YOU keep him!

    January 19, 2013 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  24. Lizard Lance

    David Keene and his little blind followers are idiots. Idiots with guns and no brains. They are no better than the idiots of the Taliban.

    January 19, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  25. Amanda

    I'm an independent. I've always been an independent who has voted for the canidate that I believed went along with my own views better. That's led me to voting Democratic in the last 3 elections. But this man is the kind of Republican I could vote for.

    January 19, 2013 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
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