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. N. S.

    Of course the Presidwnt's children have security, they are potential targets for terrorists.
    Other children are only targets for the NRA.

    January 18, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. cf

    The ad is a lie to begin with; Obama is not "skeptical about putting armed guards in schools." One of the executive actions he passed was to do research how to do that very thing.

    January 18, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. nilla

    Finally, a Republican who actually learned something from the last election.

    January 18, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. snowdogg

    Wow... I've agreed with Christie on TWO issues now.

    January 18, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. marita

    Nothing was wrong with the Ad, it was just truthful! I like Christie, now I'm slightly confused! Is he starting to campaign already + therefore adjusting his views to whatever works best to reach his goal? That would be disappointing! – @Marita.

    January 18, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. rs

    It is sad- The GOP embraces radical little men like Grover Norquist, and follws his lead- at the cost of the 98% of Americans who get hurt by his policies. Same with the NRA- The NRA represents maybe 1.5% of the population who worship guns and violence and enshrine it in their "right" to bear arms, and their childish anti-government talk.
    This radicalism, and acceptance of fringe beliefs is what is causing their popularity to plummet- I am not going to vote for crazy people. Are you?

    January 18, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Jack

    Good for you Mr. Christy.

    I hope Limbaugh and Hannity choke on it!

    January 18, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Nathan

    The children on the stage with the President volunteered through their parents and letters to the President to be a part of this necessary debate. Neither the Predisent's children or the 20 kids who died in Ct. volunteered to be a part of this debate. The NRA along with the narrow monded people who support it never have a valid argument for their unbending stance on guns other than its the 2nd admendment. They and anyone who agrees with them on this issue should be ashamned of themselves. Christie is correct in his comdemnation. If he keeps on acting like an adult he willhave to switch parties.

    January 18, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. xeno

    Sometimes I agree with what Christie says, sometimes I don't, but the thing I love about him is that he says what he thinks. He's not swayed by partisan pressure to tow the line of either side, and is equally likely to praise or criticize the actions of either side, regardless of "political consequences." Our government could be so much more effective if there was more of this on both sides.

    January 18, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. rs

    N. S.

    Of course the Presidwnt's children have security, they are potential targets for terrorists.
    Other children are only targets for the NRA.
    You are partially cirrect. The NRA just made the President's children targets- not from the foreign threats who probably already would love to get his children- but now they are targets of the NRA nut jobs posting here.

    January 18, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. nilla

    If they put armed guards at my kids' school, they just get killed walking to school. If they assign armed guards to walk every kid home from school, they'll get killed at soccer practice, Girl Scouts, etc.

    The obvious solution is to just lock our kids up and let them play video games all day.

    January 18, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. LR

    Don't you just love how the NRA back-pedals on the ad? They don't really mean the Obama children, they mean all children who attend a school with security. What a bunch of crap. Besides, the President did NOT say that he is against having security in schools.

    You can make up anything....despite what the truth is....and the lowest common denominator of the public will fall for it. Sad.

    January 18, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Tracy

    Long live the NRA!

    January 18, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Dev

    I have started to like Christie. Not the picture I had after his speech at republican convention. I may not agree with him on everything but good to see there is a common ground. I cannot say the same for other republican leaders.

    January 18, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. be in tn

    I strongly admire christie for having no fear of the evil NRA who cares nothing about the lives of any American!!!!! All about the money. Maybe some other GOP chicken poops will do what is right instead of fearing that they will not be re-elected. They should also consider that they can be removed from office for supporting the NRA!!! The people will speak at the ballot box just as they did in the last two elections!!!

    January 18, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. judith

    Good for Christie. When is he going to see the light and leave the knuckle-draggers of the GOP behind? The NRA are simply the paid front men of the bloodthirsty gun manufacturers. The tipping point has been reached and we should no longer them determine national policy on guns.

    January 18, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. no_name

    Me and 25 others quit the NRA today due to the hypocrisy and blatant misinformation they are feeding people.

    January 18, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. us_1776

    Gun owners in USA: nearly 60 million

    Gun owners in NRA: 4 million

    That should tell you something about what rational gun owners think of the NRA.

    The NRA is nuts !


    January 18, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. Va Voter

    The more I hear, the more I think I'm seeing the next republican candidate for President. This is one guy who will say what he really thinks, and what most reasonable people think, and if it offends the fringe crazies, so be it. If the GOP is smart enough to run him, I suspect he'll win.

    January 18, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. UDidntBuildThat

    The ad merely point out the hypocrisy of Obama who said earlier he does not agree with putting trained armed police in schools. The school Obama's kids attend had armed security. And I'm NOT talking about the Secret Service. Before Obama kids went there the school had armed security. The point is that why would Obama not want to protect our kids when his kids & his elitist friends children all go to private school with ARMED SECURITY?
    Secondly, where was Christie's outrage when conservatives like GWB, Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan's kids were fair game for the liberal media and liberals organization like MoveOn, Bill Mahr, Kathy Griffin?

    January 18, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. BT

    I am a gun owner, a hunter, a moderate republican and an EX-NRA member. The emails i get from the NRA and the beligerent rhetoric I see them spew make it really tough to sit on the same side of the isle with them. They lean so hard on fear and hate that it is embarrassing to be a gun owner some times. It is troublesome that non gun owners think that the NRA represents the mindset of all gun owners.

    January 18, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. truthbetold1226

    Being a democrat, all I can say, I am glad Romney was running against Obama, and not Gov. Christie. Gov Christie is showing the nation a different kind of GOP. This guy is up front, and tells it like it is. I hate to say it, we need people like this leading out country. Put politics aside when it come to important decisions about our country to be made.

    The NRA has dug itself a hole. Even a moron knows that all president's children will have SS protection..

    January 18, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Anonymous

    I like Governor Christie more and more every day. It's so refreshing to see someone so honest. I've always voted democrat, but what this country sorely lacks is blunt honesty that doesn't always fall in a perfect political box. Good for Governor Christie.

    January 18, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. Good move, Christie

    Wow, this is twice that Christie has stood up to the far right fringe (Storm Sandy aid was the 1st). Way to go!!! I'm a democrat and will watch Christie. Could he possibly be more moderate than he's looked so far? I don't know.

    January 18, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. scott

    I really like christie for his candor, but this time he is wrong. he says bringing kids into this debate is wrong. sorry chris, but kids are the reason this has finally come to a head. the standard of politicians being surrounded by armed protection should represent the standard for ALL citizens; children, women, blacks, white, rich poor or whatever. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" applies regardless of your social status. EVERY american citizen of clear mind has the EQUAL right to protect themselves. I think the NRA ad is fair and to the point. whats fair for the president is fair for all!

    January 18, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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