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. MarkC

    Myself and 25 others I know join the NRA this past week!

    January 18, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Martha in CF

    Christie is the ONLY republican with any guts.....Go gettum

    January 18, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Not a Christie fan, but he is right on target with his criticism of the NRA. More Americans kill each other with guns than by terrorists in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

    January 18, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Brian

    Vittoriokiss – government is. We want our schools to permit teacher to carry guns and defend our kids once they pass required trainings. Government posted welcomes signed on the doors so criminal PREFER schools, hospitals, theaters where they know they have monopoly. They can shoot till they are ready to stop....UNTIE OUR HANDS and I DARE criminals come knocking.

    January 18, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Jerry

    The point of the NRA ad is correct. It is not just the president but a lot of other political elistists on the left who hypocritally want to say armed guards don't belong in schools but then send their kids to private schools protected by armed guards. The school they attend didn't start having armed guards when the Presidents kids showed up, it was already guarded. The school has 11 armed guards (and is hiring a 12th) in addition to the Secret Service. The CBS news anchor that interviewed Obama about gun violence and is so strongly against guns in schools sends his kids to the same school. Okay for them but not okay for the average Joe in America? Time to raise the BS flag. Christie had my respect but he keeps stepping over to the left and sounding more like a liberal every day. I wonder how long before he makes the switch like the piece of you know what former Gov Christ (is it a name thing) who switched parties when he couldn't win an election as a Republican anymore.

    January 18, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. blue dog

    Christie is talking so much sense these days. It's hard to believe he's still a republican.

    January 18, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. coflyboy

    Much like the GOP, the NRA is run by a bunch of grumpy old men who are out of touch with the rest of the world. America's thinking needs to be modernized, and both GOP and NRA need to change if they want any future credibility. Gov. Christie could mentor their ways. Thank you Governor, for being the first rational Republican thinker. Unfortunately, you cant teach an old GOP-er new tricks. ...and SHAME on the NRA., the bane of a modern America.

    January 18, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. blue dog

    When kids in Afghanistan have less chance of getting killed by a bullet than in USA, we should know we have a gun issue.

    January 18, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Jeff

    Sandy, I did figure that out and you are correct it was not difficult. It is also not hard to figure out that the NRA is not "attacking" the presidents children, they are just pointing out that if having armed officers at the president's daughters school seems to be a good idea, why did the president dismiss the idea for other schools so quickly? The ad is not talking about secret service protection (which everyone agrees is necessary) it is talking about the armed guards at the school. The NRA did not do it in a very good way, but I do think all of our kids deserve the same level of protection as his kids. I am an idependent and I feel all that is going to happen is fingering pointing and no real legislation anyway. It is sad.

    January 18, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. enuff

    Thank goodness.their politician out for.their nasty behavior. If you notice, right.after this came out, Boehner, McConnell, Ryan... All of them turned.their.heads and started whistling into the wind, like they didn't hear a thing. Where is their outrage? Why aren't they saying using.the.President's children is too far? it"s like finding out a.player cheated on an exam,but.doesn't care because the.big game is all that matters. Thank you Gov. Christiefor being the honest one.

    January 18, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Rudy NYC


    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.
    If Republicans don't want to "cough up the money" to help hurricane victims, what makes you think that they would cough up some money for more police officers. They've been trying to lay off teachers and police officers for a few years now. They've been cutting education budgets, too.

    The children of the POTUS are a special case because they are targets just because of who they are, which is why they have Secret Service protection. The other kids that you're talking about attend private schools. So the parents want that type of environment for their kids, and they pay for it. If that is the environement that you want for your children then I suggest that you explore one of two options, private schooling or home schooling.

    January 18, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. fritzb

    The NRA has one product only: they sell fear. And the scared sheep in this country just lap it up and do as they are told.

    January 18, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. FFC

    After Newtown, why would the NRA bring the president's young children into a discussion like this?


    I am hardly an Obamican, but I could not be more proud of a president for standing up for human values, and I could not be more embarrassed and ashamed by the right wing of America with these chants of intolerance and violence.

    January 18, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. ST

    Chris Christie have brains and not the RNA people also some republicans. Can anyone imagine Marc Rubio with his rank of being a Senator is calling the president "this guy"! and yet Rubio has plans to be a contender in 2016!!! Who will vote for this crap who has no respect at all.

    January 18, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    MarkC wrote:

    Myself and 25 others I know join the NRA this past week!
    For what? The NRA is not concerned over your civil rights or personal safety. They simply use those altruistic arguments to lure you into joining, but more importantly to spend more money on weaponry. Case in point, the entire board is comprimsed of owners and chief executives of companies in the weapons business. Everyone. What does that tell you about their true interests and where their priorities really are.

    January 18, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Brian

    On the actual issue of gun control, I may as a liberal disagree with Christie, but I can't disagree with what he's said here. It's no secret the NRA opposes any and all new gun control legislation, but I agree with Christie that the new NRA ad is ridiculous. To all the hundreds of thousands of people joining the NRA in recent weeks, have at it. If I were one of the responsible, level headed gun owners out there, I'd be ashamed of what the NRA has become. I'm sure the founders of the organization are turning over in their graves.

    January 18, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. Momto3

    The NRA's stance is ridiculous. It's like saying the President is an "elitist hypocrite" because he has Secret Service protection and the rest of us don't. Of course, his daughters have to have security - not only at their school, but everywhere they go - because there are many groups or people who would specifically target them. The NRA's accusation is beyond stupid.

    January 18, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. Simm

    Christie has a point, but I think it is more the point that he is looking to campaign for 2016. And with that being said, he's trying to establish that he doesn't want his kids dragged into political ads if he does. This NRA ad will only open the door greater for kids to be dragged in.

    January 18, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. rkm

    Christie should contest as an independent candidate in 2016 for president. Sure he will gain support and win the presidency.

    January 18, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Anthony

    i dont get it!!! how does haveing guns in a school make it safer? Columbine had police officers and that did nothing to deter the shooters. VA Tech, had state polilce on campus and in the hall and still did nothing to deter the shooter. so please point to an example where having an armed person at a school deter a shooting? also if i am not mistaken, but the movie theater too had armed security and still led to the largest shooting spree in this nations history!

    January 18, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. GOP is for the rich

    They should start a pool of funds from the sales of assault weapons and large capacity magazines, taken from increased prices AND MANUFACTURER'S PROFITS, to pay for the guards at the schools. Otherwise, they are INCREASING THE DEFICIT that Repugs have been screaming about for months!....Unless they are hypocrits.....

    January 18, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. don in albuquerque

    Nice to see a member of the GOP who can still speak his mind and doesn't just march in lockstep. I'm a Dem but I like this guy more all the time. Thank You for not following a maniac fringe. Yes, they are a fringe group, and represent less then 1% of all Americans.

    January 18, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. GOP is for the rich

    Do we all have to pay(in the form of paying for these guards) for a few to feel safe and have fun with their assault weapons?

    January 18, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. Thunder Tyee

    Chis Christie keeps moving further and further away from the dark side.

    @MarkC – nobody cares

    January 18, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Sniffit

    Haha...someone recognizes Cuomo as a threat....

    January 18, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35