Chris Christie rails against NRA, calls ad 'reprehensible'
January 17th, 2013
06:31 PM ET
2 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. sss

    Get at em Christie!..

    January 18, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  2. Jeff

    What I don't understand in this whole thing is that it is ok for the president to surround himself with other people's children when he is presenting his proposal and use them as props and a photo-op. but for the NRA to mention that his daughters go to a school with armed guards is "reprehensible".

    January 18, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  3. hih

    If you want to slam a lobby group slam the ones who really do harm.. Pharmaceuticals, Big AG and Banking

    January 18, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  4. I Am God

    Private schools? What about public schools nimrods. Private schools can afford their own security guards; they just don't want to fork the tens of thousands of dollars they get every year to do it.

    January 18, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  5. Lee

    I am not a supporter of the NRA and I have read the text of the NRA ad several times over and I have to say that I am baffled at the degree of delusional analysis that Gov. Cristie and many others have concluded. Nowhere in the ad is there any hint of an attack leveled against the presidents children. These people need to learn to read simple english and how to take a more objective view while analyzing simple communications.

    January 18, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. ru serious

    Refreshing, good to know that there is some sanity within the GOP. The mindless support of the morons at NRA by the majority of the Republican party is doing even more damage to that already damaged party. As a conservative Ind., I am finding it more and more difficult to support them. While I loath the Dems on most things, on gun control, they are right!

    January 18, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  7. sandy

    Jeff the President was trying to show it is to protect all children, black, white, asian spanish whatever you saw all the races, figure it out buddy! Not diffacult.

    January 18, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  8. Jonline

    Those kids he surrounded himself with were kids that had written him letters asking for him to do something about guns. I doubt Obama's kids wrote the NRA asking for their help

    January 18, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. SillyBean

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms SHOULD NOT EVEN EXIST. True freedom would mean LESS government agencies and LESS laws governing the every day lives of citizens. I aplaud the NRA for sticking up for American freedom!!!! We can't regulate the minutia of the human experience in a FAILED "attempt" to make everything nice and safe. We will only end up putting innocent people behind bars for stupid stuff. NONE of these safety nets are going to stop the crazies heck bent on causing harm. Wake UP and quit supporting the nanny state mentality of more rules = more safety. We have hundreds of rules surrounding drugs and are equally surrounded by drug addicts. CASE IN POINT! Now, leave me and my guns alone.

    January 18, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Joi Gibson

    At least someone on the GOP side has the guts and sensibility to admonish the NRA's vile ad. I have to give the man credit for speaking out. Unlike our governor, whom I refer to as Governor Lurch (Rick Scott) who now says he had nothing to do with the voting law reducing early voting days – it was the legislature – apparently some else signed the bill.

    @Tony in Maine – good one – LOL :)

    January 18, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. Be Sane

    NRA, employer of gun manufacturers. Pure and simple

    January 18, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  12. jvance

    Gov Christie may or may not run for president, but he is positioning himself where the GOP needs to be heading.

    January 18, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  13. Brooze

    I'm a democrat, but the more I get to know Chris Christie, the more I like him. I dont agree with everything the guy says, but in an age of such severe political divide in our government and across the nation, it is very refreshing and exciting to hear a guy talk about what he believes, even if it goes against the strong-arm of his party.

    January 18, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. Jon

    The president's children have to have armed security guards because there are so many Republican gun owners that hate Obama that they would go after his children. Nuff said.

    January 18, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  15. michelangelo64

    Let me tell you alot more Republicans should be criticizing the GOP. That is if they have any cojones.

    January 18, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  16. Brian

    I consider myself conservative and a republican. However, I am not a platform republican in that I can think for myself and there are issues which I am more liberal on. I also was concerned with Christies republican nomination for NJ governor. I was learning toward North Jersey Rep Mayor Lonagan (May have misspelled his name here). Anyway, Christie has FAR exceeded my expectations. He tells you HIS opinion and does what he believes is right. I applaud Christie for once again being the ONLY republican to do the right thing and condemn this Ad. BTW – someone asked about what Christie is doing in NJ for gun control? NJ gun laws are currently tougher than those proposed by the POTUS. However, I agree a holistic approach is what is necessary to address these issues of violence and not place the blame solely on guns alone.

    January 18, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  17. James PDX

    "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."

    If the ad wasn't specifically about Obama's daughters, why did you specifically single them out? The new NRA isn't my father's NRA. My father's NRA could at least manage a coherent and logical argument.

    January 18, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  18. Rino

    NRA are really out of touch, cruel old white men. They had it their way so long that they are now surprise that people are shock. I will even go farther and say that they are racist, there was a tangential reference to black kids, which by tha far are the biggest victim of gun vilolence in the inner city. Their logic was if we do not care about inner city black kids death, why would we care about the president's black kids. It is a very racist organisation.

    January 18, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  19. sandalista

    No conservative here but if Mr. Christie runs for President in 2016 he has my vote. Finally a politician who has the cahoonas to speak outside the party line. On more than one occasion.
    The NRA really messed up with that dumb ad. Naturally the President's kids get more protection than other children. That has been the case for many other children of President's and for very good reasons every person with a bit of thought would understand. I hope this ad backfires big time.

    January 18, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Josh

    Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is a rare Republican who has his own mind, knows right from wrong, and is not afraid to speak up.

    Three cheers for Christie ! ! !

    January 18, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  21. Aippy

    I live in NJ and hated Christie up until the time he started acting like he is from Jersey. Though i am not a republican, i think he will drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century and dispite them all hating him now they will thank him in the end for the changes he will bring.

    January 18, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  22. MM

    The more Christie opens his mouth, the more I admire him.

    January 18, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. ruetienne

    Makes sense to me....unlike most things my governor says, John Kasich

    January 18, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. cedar rapids

    'Nowhere in the ad is there any hint of an attack leveled against the presidents children. These people need to learn to read simple english and how to take a more objective view while analyzing simple communications.'

    funny but i was thinking the same thing about you.
    No one mentioned 'an attack leveled against the children' at all, they talk about bringing the president's kids into the argument, with such statements as...."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."

    January 18, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  25. Gerold

    So the NRA says armed guards in every school, OK. The next mass shooting happens in a movie theater; oh wait, it already did. Armed guards at the movies, that will solve the problem. How about churches, why not. Bowling alleys, airports, malls, grocery stores, amusement parks, football games ... How about every time there is a group of more than 5 people lets have armed guards protecting them. Wait a minute thats been done before – Russia, East Germany, Romania, Poland, Hungary, China, North Korea... I wonder how those people felt (feel) about armed guards everywhere?

    In fact isn't the number one argument from 2nd Ammendment zealots that 'I need my gun to protect myself from the government.'

    The 2nd Ammendment is not blanket permission to own any weapon you want with no restrictions of any kind. Regulation of human activity is a fact of life; zoning, building codes, speed limits, pollution controls, stop signs,...

    Laws are used to set the rules for civilization, otherwise there is chaos.

    January 18, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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