(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.
Seems like Christie keeps reaching to the left. Is this all just political positioning so he's sitting pretty for 2016?
The NRA is a bully. Keep your guns, but when we elect a person to run our country, we put him and his family in a position that can be very dangerous. We provide security detail for that person and their immediate family. Since the very early 1900's, we have been doing this for every president. Republican or Democrat. Hmmm, wonder which manufacturer of the guns his security detail uses is in the back pocket of the NRA. What a tangled web we weave, indeed.
I've discovered that most of the boys around here who believe they have to have an assault rifle have never been in combat or showed the courage of joining any branch of the military. Wonder if it's compensating for some male difficiency.
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.
Your ideas would work if we could all agree on one idea of civic and personal virtue, like the Founders envisioned. Since we cannot do that, and we never have been able to do that, your fantasy about there being no need for an ATF vanishes in a puff of smoke. By the way, you gave away your lack of civic-mindedness when you said, " Now leave me and my guns alone". You don't have that option. this country works when we all participate and all abide by the law. If you don't like the law, change it, but don't threaten me or anyone else with violance.
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
Correct, unacceptable to those that choose to be willfully stupid perhaps, but absolutely correct nonetheless.
The children of ALL American Presidents have ALWAYS been guarded and protected for reasons that are surely obvious to all but the dim-witted, The angle that the NRA took in their ad only revealed that their organization is now desperate and panicky. (Oh, yeah, two good attributes to be associated with guns!) I think most of us probably suspect that an interesting revelation just occurred with this particular ad.
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.
Remember the " Mission Accomplished" banner? Who was Bush pandering to then? By the way, Christie worked in the Bush DOJ, so he's hardly a child. Your understanding of the lives of public fugures and politics, however, is like that of a child.
The NRA is taking lessons from Rush Limbaugh. Attacking the children of politicians.
WRONG mentor NRA.
There are not enough rational people in this discussion.
It's simple. The presidents children are at a much higher risk than anyone posting here and if kidnapped it has national security implications. That's why they are and should be protected.
christy and crist from florida – would be the only ones that i would vote for, if i had to vote 4 a repub. No wonder why the gop wants to start changing the electoral college for Their Benefit ! blame lance prebus for that !!
Christie is truly a pleasant surprise. His values are conservative Republican, but he has proven he will work across the aisle for the good of his constituents. While I find him to be a bit rough around the edges, if he decides to run he will be the first republican in a long, long time that I would consider voting for.
Christie, like many on the left, (and he is on the left) is missing the point of the ad. Itisnt about the Presidents kids, it is about the stupidity of climaing that putting guards at schools only makes the situation worse. The behavior of the POTUS and Senator Feinstein with her armed guards and concealed carry gun she has make it quite plain that they know that more gunds do NOT necesarily make the situation worse as long as innocent law-abidinig Amerians are the ones with the guns and not criminals.
Things like this make Gov. Christie look more and more like a presidential contender. Unfortunately, it also makes it less and less likely that he would survive the GOP primaries.
The NRA is starting to sound like a bunch of Klingons.
I have voted for one Republican in my life (a county judge in Texas when I lived there). Why is he sounding like someone I would vote for?????
Christie's comments ae nothing but hypocritical. Why is it not ok for the NRA to do that when it's ok for the President to trott out a bunch of kids in a photo-op to watch him sign the EOs, especially since he says he wants to separate children and guns. Kind of the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it?
I meant to say huntsman and crist
This is what most of us in the country want, a politician who isn't so far right or left that he cant make his own decisions and comments without fear of not towing the party line. Isnt this what we want whatever way you lean?
He needs to stop sucking up to Obama. We all want schools to be safe, but we disagree on how it can be done. When Christie stops his campaign to gain reelection or new office, he will see what's proposed is WORTHLESS when it comes to MAKING OUR SCHOOLS SAFER. How shameless are these politicians to use kids to hide their charade? If they really want to make school safer, they will either cough up the money to post guards or untie teacher's hands by allowing concealed and carry on school grounds. Talk about double standards.... If their plan is so good, remove the guards from their kids' schools. NONE OF THEM DESERVES TO BE REELECTED. We will be watching what you propose and how you vote.
Here is one governor that earns respect the authentic way.
I have learned to like him more + more all the time. Go get 'em, Christy!
Refreshing! A little common sense from the right is nice. Regardless of motive.
NRA, these kids go to private school, if you want to send all American kids to private school with private security and pay their tuition. Do it, no one is stopping you.
The presidents children are at a much higher risk than anyone posting here. There are national security issues if they were kidnapped. To many emotional responses here and not enough thought put into them.
The NRA has nailed their own coffins now.
What is really appalling is that not one prominent, elected Republican had anything to about Newtown until the NRA defined the GOP's position for them. Since that first NRA announcement, the NRA and promininent GOP members have been in literal lock step with their stated opinions and positions.