(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.
Correct, the Secret Service is mandated to protect the President and His family. No matter what the NRA extreme leadership says
Greg is correct. I moved from NJ to SC primarily to avoid the ridiculously high NJ property taxes in my retirement. Having said that, Christie is not the only cause of the stubbornly high unemployment rate in NJ; there are many multinational companies in that state that have been laying off employees by the thousands in the last several years while simultaneously outsourcing jobs to the Far East. Christie is less of a problem (in that regard) than the short-sighted and greedy companies.
I seriously doubt the NRA has hurt its' image in the least because the truth is the truth. Obama's' children are indeed protected by armed secret service personnel as are other politician's children. If memory serves the elite school Sidwell, not sure about spelling, for their children has it's own security force of about 19 armed guards. Anyways this guy has no right to sling mud towards anyone with his lousy record in office. Clean your own house first.
How long before Christie jumps ship and goes Democrat? He and Colin Powell both need to reexamine their politics.
He can kiss his future goodbye as a republican for national office. He might as well now switch to the Dem party. I would not vote for this man even if Obama's Brother Ran for president.
NRA ad is an equivalent of scoring a goal against your own team.
The thing that Republicans can't stand about Christie is that he looks out for his people rather than towing the party line. The folks in New Jersey are lucky to have him.
NRA: "The President gets to ride in a helicopter and a big jumbo jet. Shouldn't WE get to ride in a helicopter and big jumbo jet?"
The ad is reprehensible and tasteless. I am not sure why the NRA is afraid of having a civilized debate on gun control/ violence. There is nothing to gain by arming yourself except to have a false sense of security.
The 2nd Amendment was written in the 1700's and is outdated, yet the cowards at the NRA helm are hiding behind it as if it still relevant.
The 2nd Amendment was enacted December 15, 1791, right along with amendments #1 and #3-10. By your logic they are ALL out of date. Should we remove freedom of speech, religion, and the press? How about protection from unreasonable search and seizure? Shall we do away with ALL of them because you think they are too old?
And by the way, Yogi. The NRA does NOT manufacture and sell firearms.
the republicans love to strip people of their personal dignity dont they vouchers . vouchers what a bacward lot they are . they will be in the cold for decades now at white house levil .chris christie has defected to the democrats .
I do not like what the Republicans represent these days and I proudly voted for Obama the last two elections. But I will say that I respect Chris Christie. He seems like the only Republican that seems to follow his heart and stand for what he thinks is right. Even if it does not follow his parties agenda. Good for you Mr. Christie for speaking out against the NRA.