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. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    Christi and Crist and huntsman are the only respectable republicans on the planet !!!!!

    January 18, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Yeah, well, a great many of us gave our opinion that CNN demeaned itself (and its viewers) when it embraced Tea Party fanatics. Two years later, here is CNN still giving stubborn credence to a group of fools intent on taking down the Republican Party. No doubt the NRA will remain just a stubborn as CNN. One is out for ad revenue, the other is out to fund raise. Both are reprehensible.

    January 18, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. Canada

    As a Christian Liberal (in your country) and a Conservative (in my country) I really do have hope that America can change it's course. That you will beat down bullying corporations, and propaghanda tactics. just be sure to know that BOTH sides use the tactics. however agreable the Democrats are (and I largely agree with them) thats the point.. They want you to agree with them, consolidate power by splitting up the population. Though you agree with them, don't be in their corner, they need to be in yours. Likewise, the Right has lost much of their sense. If anything, I would put Christians as beings mainly Democrats and on the left. it seems to me the left is very inclusive, and understanding, and knows it walks a tightrope between peoples, cultures, and values. The right are unappologetic Christians.. which is good in your not telling other people how too live, while living a hypocrisy, Like the love of Guns. The Word is your sword and armour. and then there's Catholics... A Major part of the book of Revelations.
    Good Luck America.

    January 18, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. snowdogg

    "all children who attend schools with private security"

    included in tuition and fees, paid for by the parents

    January 18, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. snowdogg

    the outspoken governor decried the move as "reprehensible"

    i agree

    January 18, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. True American

    Gov. Christie is correct calling the NRA out of bounds, as their ad is "bootstrapping" at its worst for political gain. The children are protected by the Secret Service because any type of threat of "kidnapping or harm" could potentially put any president's ability to be Commander-in-chief at risk. Their protection has nothing to do with private school, school violence, or schools with guards, and they know it. It is political theater and what's wrong with NRA/GOP politics. I wish Gov. Christie and more moderates like him would take our party, the GOP, back from the extremists.

    January 18, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. denis chartrand

    View from Ottawa, Canada – I'm a die-hard liberal but I'm liking Christie more and more – no-nonsense, pragmatic, get-the-job-done kind of guy. I wish he was Canadfian.....

    January 18, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. skeptic1

    The NRA has duped it's bunch of bubba brothers into this ridiculous 2nd Amendment argument; the NRA is about gun manufacturers and gun profits. The NRA uses their member tools.

    January 18, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. jim

    The president kids get to ride in bullet proof cars as well. Should we make sure all kids have the same type transportation?

    January 18, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Marion

    To all those , dems and republicans alike, who now support Christie to run for president in 2016......while I like Christie's honesty and common sense, I would have to hear a lot more from him as a candidate for President to consider voting for him. I think he should run as an Independent because the Republican party will not support him.

    January 18, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. CarolinaGirl

    Lee I am sorry but no President's children should ever be acknowledged over any political debate. Maybe it is you that is delusional?

    January 18, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. Give me a break

    The ad the NRA ran has nothing to do with NObama's children. It is pointing out the fact the NObama certainly agrees that HIS kids should be protected, but doubts that any other children would benefit from any form of armed protection. He is the definition of hypocrit, and will certainly go down as one of our worst presidents, for many many reasons. I'm so sick and tired of you liberals and your whiney "poor me, poor them" attitudes. Bad things happen. the world is not made or marshmellows, despite your pathetic hope that it should be. When bad things happen, the people being affected should have the ability to put a stop to it. If you dont want to, then by all means, stand there unarmed and become the victem. If you really believe the govt and law enforcement are enough to protect you, my guess is, your life expectancy is likely a little shorter than mine...

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

    GOP oughta take heed. We need more moderates like him. But helas that wont probably happen.

    January 18, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  14. Tom in Millstadt

    Uh oh. Another "RINO"

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

    The fact that any child needs armed security is a problem. The NRA approach of putting more armed guards out there shows the level of their denial about the problem being that there are too many guns out their to begin with. I never thought much of the NRA to begin with, and after their ridiculous ad, I think even less of them.

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

    The NRA seems to forget that there was an armed guard at Columbine – who shot at Harris and Klebold and MISSED.

    January 18, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  17. lyn

    Thank God that there is ONE GOP who see the NRA is wrong in tageting the First Children. GOD BLESS THE FIRST FAMILY.

    January 18, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Pinewalker

    Why is it we are suppose to have a "commn sense" discussion on gun control but they won't have a "common sense" discussion on abortion control. Late term abortions, care for babies who survive botched abortions, adoption promotion and support, etc. They say that conservatives are unwilling to negotiate or find commonground but they have shown zero willingness to do the same and yet they are not called to the carpet for it.

    January 18, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. John Brigance

    Good for Mr. Christie, he's simply illustrating the need for rational debate on what is obviously a serious issue with significant consequences. I'm a responsible gun owner myself and most people like me believe that your "right" to bear arms is earned through responsible behaviour. I also coach minor hockey, and to earn that responsibility I'm required to do a criminal background check, and I'm fine with it. Responsible gun owners need to stand up against these extreme positions and denigrating ads that mock the office of the presidency. At best it's childish and immature behaviour.

    January 18, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. Babyboomer

    I'm glad to see someone in the GOP stand up to say how offensive the NRA ad is. Gov. Christie is emerging as one of the few Rep. with enough guts to say what's on his mind and heart regardless of party.

    As for those of you who keep saying that the ad doesn't mention President Obama's children, you need to know that WE see and hear the "Dog Whistles" and "Coded Language" you think is so cleverly hidden. IT'S NOT and the NRA WAS referring to his children. As for the safety of every child, of course no child is more precious than the next. However, every child of our current or any past Presidents (with in the past 60 years) has had and needed extra protection. These 2 little girls in particular because they and their parents have received 300% more death threats than any other first family in history. I think it's safe to say that about 99% of our children don't deal with this particular issue on a daily bases.

    Lastly, for the families who have had to deal with these kinds of horrifying tragedies, I hope our elected officials will ignore the NRA minority and pay attention to the majority of the people in this country that want some kind of sensible gun controls. What civilian in their right mind needs a gun that can shoot up to 30 rounds in one clip??? Key words being "Right Mind".

    January 18, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. v_mag

    A hundred and fifty years ago, we tried something called the Wild West. It didn't work out so well. A lot of people got shot, lynched, robbed and murdered. The cure for violence in Dodge City KS and Tombstone AZ wasn't more guns, and the same is true of any town in America today.

    And I'm all for mental health checks, but the fact is that there is such a thing as temporary insanity, road rage, and just having a bad day. Those mental health states won't be evident when most people are buying murder weapons, but they wind up involving people in gun violence more often than being downright crazy does. In those situations, the only cure is the absence of a loaded gun.

    January 18, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Why is the NRA's ad a surprise? Conservatives have been saying the most vile things about this president and his family, regardless of their age, of any president that I can remember. The fact that Christy, a member of the Bush Justice Department, finally said that the NRA crossed the Rubicon in terms of decency is long overdue. Attacks on the children of public figures needs to stop, regardless of party. The president has proposed getting security guards in schools as part of his proposal to pretect our kids, something the NRA has now conveniently forgotten it proposed in the wake of Sandy Hook. Its about time that someone in the GOP spoke out in favor of decency in our public discourse: its long overdue from the self-procalimed Party of Family Values.

    January 18, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. Grahame Rhodes

    Not my daddies NRA. Now just a lobby group for gun and ammo manufactures. The NRA is really sick,

    January 18, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. caramiamy

    This is a potential republican candidate that has a very good chance of winning the election. It's that kind of attitude – agreeing/supporting the current president and not taking a stance just because the rest of your party does that will gain liberal votes. Kudos to him for standing up to his party. I'd love to have a president that did what (he thinks and most of the american public thinks) is right. I agree with his stance on the ad. It's comparing apples to oranges – the presidents kids are a national security threat, they must be protected. The chances of them being kidnapped or harmed is far, far greater than my kids. With mine, it'd be a random act. With the presidents kids, it's a terrorist act.

    January 18, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  25. conservativeguy

    Really???? But it is ok for political figures and the "president" to bring other people's children into it (the kids he displayed and pandered to on TV during his gun control announcement) when it suits his and the left wing's agenda? Really Christie?? Get a grip and grow up.

    January 18, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
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