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. Name Sybil Friedrichs

    What does a CNN ANCHOR MEAN when was just on the air–that Obama squeeked by Mitt–?????? Has he been asleep or has CNN now leaning hard to the TEAPARTY RIGHT–Shame on u - I will not be watching them again

    January 19, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Fuzzy

    Wondering? What would be the response of a deranged gunman slaughtering a number of people at the NRA main office? How would those at the top of the NRA react to their children being exposed in ads and public responses that could put them in harms way? Just asking.

    January 19, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. SF

    Seriously folks?!! You don't see the reason why the President's children needs protection?!! Really?!!!

    January 19, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. hamhock

    The Independent voters view the GOP as a bunch of paronoid old men who can't sleep without an assault rifle at their side. We can't wait this July 2016 to shake the etchasketch.

    January 19, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Jane

    To all those folks arguing over what's "Really" an assault weapon, e.g., the AR15 used in Sandy Hook: How's about we lock you up in a room with the families of the children slaughtered, hang up blown up pictures of their little bodies, and you can point out to the families which bullet holes were from assault weapons and which were not.

    January 19, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Jane

    For all those people yammering about how if the teachers had been armed (can't even type that without grimacing) those children wouldn't have been shot, I have only two words: FT. HOOD.

    January 19, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. HP

    NRA = Nutjob Rightwing Anarchists.

    January 19, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. JBK

    Christi just another liberal posing as a conservative. I expect him to change parties any day.

    January 19, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Wazzup

    Yet Obama was surrounded by children when he signed the "executive orders". They all read letters of how "affected" they were by the last school shooting. But when Obama is using children is fine. Can you say double standard?

    January 19, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Todd

    I'm starting to like Christie. I hope other republicans follow his lead

    January 19, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Jane

    @John: Just how many bullets, how large a magazine for spraying bullets willy nilly DOES a "responsible, law abiding goun owner" need????

    January 19, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Jim, Boston

    In response to some of the comments made, it serves the point that irrational people are buying guns. Tyranny does come from governments but it really depends on who is in power. If you have NRA members who are quickly proving to be irrational and extremely paranoid running government, then maybe we should all be armed. I'm to trust a "volunteer" vigilante gun owner to protect my kids in school? At least I know that the armed, trained, uniformed police officers that I support through my property taxes have to answer to someone higher than them. They are my "militia". They enforce the laws we put in place.

    January 19, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. NJGarbageState

    Who can take this joker seriously? The man has no pride in himself, how can he lead people?

    January 19, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. TiSentinel65

    Message to illogical libtards. How many children have died in attacks on schools? How many President's children have died in attacks? If you can not draw the logical conclusion that armed security affords you a higher level of protection, you therfore are illogical. Why do Bloomberg, Obama, Feinstein and all the other hypocrates have armed protection if they don't believe in it. Why do they send their children to schools with armed guards. Why do they travel with an armed security. Talk about an elite society. I guess I should have expected such remarks from foaming at the mouth liberals who THINK THEY ALWAYS KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME!

    January 19, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Greg

    Maple Syrup...don't let him fool you when it comes to being rational. Every squirrel finds a nut once in a while. He can't govern. While most states are recovering economically NJ ranks towards the bottom. Unemployment in NJ is still above 9% well above the national average. He promised property tax relief in a state that has one of the nations highest and hasn't done squat. My uncle was visiting from NJ and lives in a modest house. He told us his property taxes were $14,000. I asked him how he does it. "you just have to if you want to own a house". He's got this aura of some big cuddly teddy bear but he sucks as a Governor. He's nothing less than an ex ambulance chaser.

    January 19, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Margaret

    Um, wait a minute, aren't the Republicans strong for school vouchers so anyone can send their kids to Charter or private schools. How many wealthy Republicans, let alone Democrats send their kids to private schools. Protection for the presidents children is Not for him to decide, the secret service has been mandated to protect them, no matter what party wins the White House.

    January 19, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. keeth

    The ad is a lie. The rest of what the NRA has to say is just as credible. The security guards at the Quaker school do not have guns. Quakers do not believe in violence. The secret service protects only the daughters at the school. The secret service was directed to do so by an act of Congress (1951). To drag the president's children into this shows the NRA has no real argument. And if you want us to enforce the laws that are already on the books, then give the ATF the power to do so. You cannot complain that the system doesn't work after you have choked the life from the system, with the lobbying and money of the NRA.

    January 19, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. blf83

    OMG! I could almost vote Republican if more of them were like Chris Christie in thought. Almost!

    January 19, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Jim, Boston

    Simple. Bloomberg, Feinstein, and Obama have armed protection to protect them from the irrational, paranoid, apocalyptic gun owners who hold allegiance to the self-serving likes of Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones. When you call them libtards and talk about democratically elected officials as being Communists...and you throw in words like tyranny and 'over my dead body' are a threat to their safety and to our democracy. Republican politicians don't have to worry about crazed liberal gunmen shooting them because the majority of those crazed gunmen are right-wingers and side with their ideological beliefs. When you get your mainstream media from Prisonplanet and Rush yet consider CNN to be biased??? It says a lot about you. At least CNN will have someone defend their position on both sides of an issue which gives me more confidence in their reporting. When was the last time Rush or Alex did that?

    January 19, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. frank

    The armed guards at the kids' school are Secret Service and not on the school's payroll. The NRA is lying once again. And if anyone thinks this President's kids are treated any differently given the risk of kidnapping etc than any other President's they are also wrong. The NRA is a puppet of the gun manufacturers and no reasonable American thinks the government is trying to confifcate guns. Only the NRA deceitful approach suggests such total nonsense.

    January 19, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Moderate

    Christie, a republican worth voting for

    January 19, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Randy

    I don't get the controversy. The ad's not really about Obama's kids. It doesn't even name or show pictures of them. They could be three boys named Athos, Porthos, and Aramis and the ad would be exactly the same.

    January 19, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. txan

    Right on Guv!

    January 19, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  24. abbydelabbey

    Once in a while Gov. Christie says something that nails it ... If anyone has been watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart , J. S. has been showing the lack of common sense in the gun control debate ...

    January 19, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. ally buster

    I was a member of the NRA for several years in the 1990's. But I quit my membership when I noticed that they were getting a bit extreme. I'm STILL a gun owner, I'm STILL an advocate for guns, but...

    I cannot support this group any more. During the last election cycle, they branched off and went off-topic, making statements about abortion and gay marriage. Sorry Mr. LaPierre, you've LOST my support!

    January 19, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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