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. Gil

    Some people have flawed arguments such as the post: "Drunk drivers kill people do you want to outlaw cars too?". Cars were designed to transport people and goods; every year engineers test and add new features to increase their safety and improve on their utilitarian purpose. Assault guns were designed to kill people and as such engineers test and add features to make them more lethal every year. These type of guns should be banned from public access because you cannot ban crazy people from existence. Craziness, deep depression are natural occurrences.

    January 19, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  2. Elliott Carlin

    The Soprano act of his has gotten old. Nothing but a northeastern liberal and part of the problem.

    January 19, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. John

    As both James Holmes and Adam Lanza were NRA members.. seems Hypoctitical for the NRA to on one hand ensure there is an adequate supply and demand for such weapons and to promote hatred towards anyone that does not share their extreme views. Maybe they should spend more on policeing their own membership and outing "crazies" than saying its everyone else's fault?

    January 19, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  4. Christiethelarder

    Why would anyone listen to a guy who can't even take care of himself, he is morbidly obese, go away Christie

    January 19, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  5. Thomas More

    I don't have a gun, but the NRA have a point...why are some schools safer with guards, and others are not? Obama kills 1.4 million babies every year.....not necessarily protecting children

    January 19, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  6. clarke

    how about a little common sense and logic, is that possible.

    January 19, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. xxemmanuelgoldsteinxx

    I joined the NRA when I was 13 years old and was a proud member. Then I started to read their monthly newsletter. At first I wad simply disappointed with some of their extremist views. I drew the line after the Waco Texas incident. The NRA created an add ghat pictured the ATF agents with stormtrooper outfits superimposed over their uniforms. It made me sick. The ATF agents risked their lives to save children being abused held against their will with nut jobs that had an army's worth of weapons and a few of them died. The NRA saw that as an opportunity to take a cheap shot st the agents??? They lost all credibility and proved to be a scummy entity after that. This just shows they have not changed.

    January 19, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  8. dv

    NRA should be renamed RMA (Rifle Manufacturers' Association). I dont understand people claiming that vehicles and knives are as lethal as guns. Are they gonna take cars into the classrooms to kill little kids?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 19, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Diogonese

    Ok, so Christie is a Republican running for re-election in Dem-dominated NJ. So he takes "shots" at the NRA to gin up favorable print and cyber ink. It's all political theatre.

    January 19, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. Jim terwiliger

    They are hypocrites. Obama aside. David Gregory has no right to argue against guns in schools when he pays extra to have that security for his children.

    The NRA is right and this ad is the truth.... There is a reason that the elite never face prosecution by federal authorities (Wall Street, HSBC, Libor, John Corzine) yet activists are hounded to death with threats of life sentences by Carmen Ortiz (RIP Aaron Swartz).

    The USA 5% of world population 25% of prison population.. 1776

    January 19, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Mark

    Typical of the NRA to stoop to that level, Christie was right in calling them out. Whether your for or against guns, there is no need to be that ugly and bring kids into it.

    January 19, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  12. Alex

    My daughter went to Sidwell, where the Obama girls are at school, and there was no private security at the time. If there is security there now it's most definitely the Secret Service and I'm certain that they follow the President's children wherever they go. The NRA's argument is specious and predicated on the average american not being able (or willing) to see through its false logic.

    January 19, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. Jim

    So it's OK for Obama to dangle the poor traumatized kids from Newtown to make a point but it's not OK to use Obama's kids to make a point? There you have it, it's OK for me but it's not OK for you. The divide and conquer strategy that Obama has used successfully to split this country in half. It has never been worse than now. What happened to him being the great "Uniter"? To pit one party against each other ferrociously keeps us focused on each other instead of what's going on in the White House. Now you'll have the Obama trained dogs attack me with the "What's the matter with you?" comments or the "Teabagger" insults. Truthfully, I don't even know what they stand for. I vote my conscience not by party line. We need a party-less system to unite this country.

    January 19, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. Tom

    Big Bag of HOT AIR!!!! New name for Krispy Kreme, HR PUFFINSTUFF!!!!!!

    January 19, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Alina77

    The NRA is showing the ultimate disrespect toward this President and his family... H.Bush canceled his NRA membership after NRA ridiculed the Oklahoma bombing as a "Government conspiracy"... Now it was time for all Presidents to show the unity and condemn the NRA ad....

    January 19, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. sayer

    "It makes them less of a valid, trusted source of information on the real issues that confront this debate," he said. Truuuu.

    January 19, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Gwhorto

    If we could pass one law to stop Mass murder I would vote for it but all of you know it's not going to happen. Removing high capacity magazines and guns will do nothing, then the killers and outlaws will make their own. It all starts at home and Children need to be raised and loved. Our congress and senate can't agree the sky is blue, shame.

    January 19, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. rs

    The NRA (and by extension, their lackies in the GOP) were given the chance to hear the nation's voice and respond with logical gun control.

    No. The choice was stand up for our children (and all of us who want to live free of gun violence), or stand up for the rights of the killers. The NRA and the GOP chose the former.

    More than a thousand lives lost to gun in a month and 4 days, 6-times more gun violence than the U.K. or Australia. For the NRA and the GOP THAT is acceptable damage as log as Remington, Glock, Smith and Wesson make PROFITS.

    January 19, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. DC

    Why is it morally reprehensible to bring the president's kids into the talk while the president is bringing kids in to read anti-gun propaganda to the world? Now I am not saying it isn't morally reprehensible, I am saying that using the kids to read the propaganda is.

    The kids, which obviously have no clue what they are being used for, are innocently reading their letters, which, in their minds is perfectly fine. But they too are a bargaining too used by the president to drum up support for his agenda. No the kids did not write to the families and victims expressing their heartfelt condolences, no the letters were only directed at "ending gun violence". Its not right on either side of the equation, but no one will point that out about from the other side.

    January 19, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. martin

    Christie is trying hard to bring the GOP back into the real world. The question is, will it work for him or backfire during the '16 primaries.

    January 19, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Michel Desmarais

    If Christie is the new face of the GOP, then there is hope for Americans.

    Says a Canadian.

    Fight at keeping them honest.

    January 19, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. wabob62

    The NRA is a tool of the gun makers they are told by them on what to say if they want to receive any money and gifts anything they say should go in one ear and out the other. They are only interested in maintaining their positions and could care less about their members or the second amendment rights, they are phony's and too many people drink their kool-aide.

    January 19, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. sonnie3

    obama used kids as a political prop/ that's ok
    NRA used kids as a prop/ the libs think this is not ok???
    Obama is looking for a knee jerk reaction to a tragic situation to push the 2nd Amendment into past history gone.
    The libs and democrats would like nothing better than to disarm America so when Government getS so out of control that we have no way to defend our right and liberties
    It was American Blood that fought and died for these rights and I did not think Government should be, so stupid as to think we would not shed blood to keep them. I for one want to always be CITIZEN & NOT A SUBJECT OR SLAVE.

    The news media is so biased about their love for obama and the libs that they provide a daily stream of liberal one sided news to advance the cause of aborting babies in the womb and running down Christian Values. It's the Devil at work in their hearts. May God Help Them Soon.

    January 19, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Ryan

    The point really is that while it is feasible, both economically and logistically, to 'guard' or 'protect' a relative few, it is not at all feasible, especially from a logistical standpoint, to protect the entire population of school-aged children in the same fashion. The best part of the 2nd amendment is that we have the right to bear arms, but for the most part, in this country we do not need to do so on a day-to-day basis. Do we really want to become an openly militant society?

    January 19, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Sigh

    The error in the NRA ad is so simple. It's not that the president's children are more important. It's that the president's children (one can easily presume his whole family) are the subject of death threats by crazy right-wingers. Secret Service agents have guarded presidential children long before Obama took office. if my child attended a school with children of the president (any president), I would want the school to have stringent security measures. The NRA ad is a cheap, ignorant shot and it makes them look so very, very bad.

    January 19, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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