(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 only way in the WORLD I would ever vote Democratic is if the hypocrite Chris Christie was the Republican candidate. I cannot stand this big slob!
The only way in the WORLD I would ever vote Democratic is if the hypocrite Chris Christie was the Republican candidate. I cannot stand this guy!
Chris Christie is the ultimate R.I.N.O.
Who cares what fatso thinks...
The n't NRA's cheap-shot reference to the Omamagirls getting Secret Service protection is the straw that broke the camels back for me. IMO, any politician who knuckles under to the NRA's pressure tactics doesn't deserve to hold office and should not be re-elected. Going one step further, if it was may way, they all would be loaded on a barge and shipped off to some far away island!!!
This presidents children are protected just like the children of presidents before him. The NRA doesn't care about your second amendment rights, they just care about the millions of dollars the gun manufacturers give them for being they're number one lobbyist.
In short, the NRA is right and Christie is wrong. All these gun-grabber politicians surround themselves with armed guards yet deprive us of protecting ourselves. This is why I belong to the NRA.
Christie is a fat jerk. I won't vote for a fat president.
The NRA President, Mr. Keene, must have a bullet loose in his gun....or maybe he just isn't keen on telling the truth. Defending the ad, NRA President David Keene said that the ad wasn't specifically about Obama's two daughters.
Hmmmmmmmmmm.... lets take a look. The ad states..
Mr. Keene, I am so sorry. You are absolutely correct. The talks about the Presidents kids not his two daughters. Please forgive me.
This is the NRA concept of truth. Listen to their ads and campaign in the months to come. See for yourself... draw your own conclusions.
Those who lie once wil lie again and again. Don't be fooled!!!!!!!!
Typical NRA, preserve the gun culture ar any cost, especially the government's cost. We don't have enough money for maintaining a respectable and competitive public school system but armed guards, that's something we can afford. If it's such a good idea, why doesn't the NRA offer to pay for the armed guards at school program instead of wasting it on controversial ads and lavish lobbying in DC?
If you believe it or not, the NRA is all about the MONEY!!!! Anyone who doesn't get that is very sad. The Gun lobby is the second largest lobby in Washington. Why would that be? Money and power plain and simple.
Christie should not worry about the NRA. He needs to worry about that abundance of fat he is carrying around!
Long live the – NRA!
I don't see this 'stand up guy' that media keeps hyping. What is he really? I don't want to look at him now. The whole Sandy thing was him begging for $$ and of course Americans were supportive of aid, but, why so many billions? Where is the accountability in any of this?
If this man keeps up is behavior he just might end up the next president of the United States. It's not everyday you find a republican with both brains and balls.
Lost some credibility? I'm a supporter of the 2nd amendment, but I absolutely refuse to be associated by those paranoid conspiracy freak nutjobs. They make all gun owners look bad.
Lost some credibility? I'm a supporter of the 2nd amendment, but I absolutely refuse to be associated by those paranoid conspiracy freak extremists. They make all gun owners look bad.
Lost some credibility? I'm a supporter of the 2nd amendment, but I absolutely refuse to be associated by those paranoid conspiracy adled extremists. They make all gun owners look bad.
As a former republican, I am looking forward to the day when I can proudly call myself a Republican once again! Keep it up Gov. Christie!
What is wrong with this "gordo" RINO?! Obalooney and his cohorts (Benders Forward) are NOT going to support your run for president. No matter what!!!!
Payback for the bromance hugging moment with the Prez' after Sandy.
It's time for Chris Christie to change parties. He simply duznt fit in with the Republicants way of thinking. And I agree with him. If not Dem then Independent.
Christie, like Colin Powell, is a Republican in name only. Look for him to switch parties.
You are right on this Govener The nra is a bunch of asses . And I have all kinds of weapons . I wouldn't join that group of flakes for a new ar 16
What the NRA doesn't realize is that some schools already have armed guards (police) on campus, (my high school had two officers when I was in school class of 99). This decision is done at the state and local school district levels.