White House blasts NRA ad as 'repugnant'
January 16th, 2013
12:16 PM ET
8 years ago

White House blasts NRA ad as 'repugnant'

Washington (CNN) - A television ad from the National Rifle Association which features President Barack Obama's children elicited a sharp, angry response from the White House Wednesday.

"Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight," Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "But to go so far as to make the safety of the president's children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly."

The ad, which the NRA said is airing on the Sportsman Channel, was announced Tuesday. It calls Obama a hypocrite for being "skeptical" about placing armed guards at schools, while his own two daughters are protected by the U.S. Secret Service.

"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."

In the ad, the narrator only mentions Obama by name, but it also features images of Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NBC anchor David Gregory.

Bloomberg is an influential voice in favor of stricter gun laws and has dipped into his personal fortune to help fund a lobby campaign, and Feinstein, a California Democrat, is helping spearhead a congressional effort to enforce tougher gun laws.

The introduction of Obama's children into the gun debate further demonstrates the high stakes in this very complicated and emotional issue about how to weigh Second Amendment rights with the safety of citizens following several high profile killings, including the recent massacre of 20 children and six educators at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.

As advocates for new gun restrictions pledge to pressure Congress to pass new laws, the NRA and other like-minded gun rights groups and conservative organizations have said they will fight any changes to the current gun laws.

"Stand and fight sums up what Americans need to do to preserve our Second Amendment freedom," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN.

The NRA is not ruling out expanding the buy to air the commercial elsewhere.

Filed under: NRA • President Obama
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. DG

    The armed guards protecting the first and former first families get their guns AFTER a thorough vetting of their mental health, exhaustive background checks and years of training. They are liable for their actions and for the safety of their wards and guns. They have to account for every bullet they receive and fire. If you want to get those guns, you should go through the same process and be held equally liable and accountable.

    January 16, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This ad does not drag the President's children through the mud, nothing is said about them,
    That's a lie.
    INFERENCE, and not too subtle inference at that. It poses the question does the President think his children are better than yours, and then goes on to say how they are protected by armed guards while yours aren't.
    It is NOT about dragging Malia and Sasha through the mud as much as painting a target on their back for one of our many resident psychos to prove that they are NOT in fact better, and that even with their protection they can be "accessed" as easily as your or my children.
    It is a non too veiled attempt to make some think that the President and his family are better than the rest of us.
    And some, as proven by the comments on this thread, are more than willing to believe the worst about this President. Some may even seek to "even the scales".

    January 16, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Andy

    The NRA and all of those people that continue to fight for easy access to assault weapons are on a sinking ship. They can't answer the simple question as to why civilians should have assault weapons. The best answer they've given is that these weapons are needed because the government has these weapons and so civilians need them to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. Of course, the government also has nuclear weapons – so should civilians have legal access to nuclear weapons too? The NRA's arguments, and those of its supporters are increasingly shrill, and the NRA's ad questioning secret service protection for the children of THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is just the latest example and will be off the air any minute due to stupidity.

    January 16, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. davesop2

    It is extremely amusing to see the White House be upset over the NRA ad when, during the presidential campaign, so much crap was thrown at Mitt Romney (which almost all of Obama's supporters just lapped up like milk). Can't take criticism but surly can dish it out.

    January 16, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. Andy

    Oliver above makes a great point. Let's not forget that Columbine had armed guards present. There were also armed citizens at the Giffords shootings. What people forget is that the element of surprise is a HUGE advantage and typically allows people of equal and often lesser training to prevail. Even if every teacher had a sidearm strapped to them at all times and SOMEHOW you could make absolutely sure that only he/she could fire that weapon (smart gun technology maybe) the bad guy will always have the advantage. Bottom line is that its a false sense of security.

    January 16, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Realist489

    @My 2 Cents – "This ad does not drag the President's children through the mud, nothing is said about them, it simply points out that they are protected by armed guards throughout the day and yet, the President makes the argument that putting armed guards in the schools is not an appropriate option. Can't have it both ways."

    Uh actually you can, unless you want to make the argument that every PERSON needs armed guards because the President does. But that argument is silly, might as well make people fearful for their children.

    If the President's kids are in danger it will affect our President's decisions that could endanger all of us. Sadly, it is a totally different situation than having an armed guard in every school in America.

    January 16, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. B.

    Most Americans support the President actions concerning guns and if the NRA can’t deal with the realities of change that are common sense, too bad!

    This country has developed a Sick Gun Culture and it will be dealt with by the majority of Americans that have had enough of the madness now happening with guns.

    January 16, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. jag

    Wow! Unbelieveable.

    January 16, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. True Independant American...

    I refuse to be manipulated by my emotions so that someone else can take away my second ammendment rights. 42 countrys have worse murder rates than ours and in all 42 countries they already have their guns taken away. It made no difference in those countrys and won't here in the U.S.A.. This mud-sling, hate mongering, currently going on between both parties is repugnant and solves nothing. The current politicians don't care about us and I meen ALL politicians. If you've picked and are defending a side, right or left, you've already lost. Are kids have no future and the current administration has found yet another way to divide Americans even further. I hope I'm not the only one who can see this.....

    January 16, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. charles Gannon

    The White House, the NRA, and the Media – they all are standing on the graves of the kids !

    January 16, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Believes no one


    People who threaten to not uphold the laws or threaten to act on those that do, are either cr1minals, terror1st or m1litants depending on what they do.

    So...I guess you are all for Illegal immigrants to be deported since they are breaking the law (by being here illegally). Also, I guess you are all for Obama and the other Libs who want to give them amnesty to go to jail – since they are clearly breaking the laws that are already on the books?
    This is exactly what the NRA was getting at – Obama and the Libs ARE elitist hypocrites. They only want to enforce the laws that they want to.

    January 16, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. chill

    Vile. Pure evil. It's time for members of this organization to start walking with their feet if they have any decency left whatsoever. The NRA used to be a worthwhile organization, but over the past two decade has become nothing but an advertising ploy for the gun companies to sell mroe guns. These people scare me far more than the likelihood of government oppression.

    January 16, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. ga.democrat

    This ad put out by the fear mongering NRA is the most disgusting and twisted ad I have ever seen. The lack of respect for the President and his family should not be acceptable in this country. In my lifetime, all President's children have been protected by the Secret Service, as they should be. The politicians in this country need to have the moral fiber to stop inciting hate and disrespect and start acting acting like reasonable adults that actually care about something other than getting re-elected. Each and ever member of Congress should denounce the NRA for this ad, but sadly they will not because the NRA has them in their pockets and. I applaud President Obama and VP Biden for having the guts to stand up to the NRA and their crazies.

    January 16, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. jinx88

    The majority of the American that agree that guns laws need to be changed need to vote and send their congressman or congresswomen packing in the next election and vote for someone that represents "YOU" not the NRA. All the money the NRA has doesnt replace the American people vote, take the 2012 presidential campaign as example. People get out and vote next election cycle and get representative best for you in office.

    January 16, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. yem

    You don't still get it? How many children have to die before you get it. What is right when your children are gun down.

    January 16, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. CarolinaGirl

    I saw the ad this morning. That ad is disgusting and will not help the NRA win over intellegent people.

    January 16, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. steve harnack

    The NRA's anti-Obama rhetoric leading up to the election was completely over the top hysteria. I have to question the mental balance of these people. To deign to answer a very stupid question; yes, the President's children ARE at far greater risk than other children and the major reason is because of the hate that people like the leaders of the NRA engender for their own personal gain.

    January 16, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Reef

    Do as I say, not as I do. The liberal mantra.

    January 16, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Tony

    What we need is removal of all restrictions on all guns. Any restriction is a violation of the day God came down to earth and told our founding fathers that every man, woman and child should be armed to the teeth with every possible gun known and as yet unknown to man. Speaking of that, allowing private pilots access to M61 Vulcan gatling guns (the ones on AC-130 gunships that can burn off about 6,000 rounds of armor-piercing, land tilling, bad guy killing rounds of 20mm ammo per minute) should legalized. God didn't know about those yet in the 1700s and neither did George Jefferson or Thomas Washington, but if'n they did they'd have made sure that everyone got one. Come on NRA, keep up the pressure and get those leaglized!

    January 16, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Lamar Doolittle

    If gun free zones work, the president, and all the anti gun celebs who hire gun toting guards, should be fine with foregoing any armed protection of him and his family. Just pass a law.

    January 16, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. 40below

    I think the ad makes a good point. I raised 6 kids and they are every bit as important as anyone's. My 7 grandchildren are just as important. As always, there is a lot of NRA bashing. What good are they? They help train your police officers, they advocate responsible firearm ownership, they help maintain standards of proficiency for our armed forces. It takes way too long for police, who are not responsible for your safety, to respond. They get there in time to clean up the mess. We are responsible for the protection of our families, friends and community. We should have the tools we think is the best for the task.

    January 16, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Greg Spivey

    @ScottN1960 " people that provide you the freedoms that so many wish they had." I'm hoping you just worded that badly. Our government is there to uphold our freedom, not provide it to us. THAT fundamental error is really the root of the whole 2nd amendment debate.

    January 16, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Tjhmax

    The president of the United States does not have a choice whether he or his family gets Secret Service protection. They just get it. Period. With that name recognition there are enough gun wielding crack pots that would like to do harm to the president and his immediate family.
    If we did not have 300 million guns in the US and have as strict gun laws as in most industrial nations, we would not need to have the Secret Service!
    We should bill the NRA for that! They don't care who gets what gun. They don't care who gets killed as long as you can easily get any weapon you like. It is not the gun's fault, but your own fault if you don't carry one also and have a good old fashioned shoot out in the middle of main street.
    Next week they'll probably propose to have kids carry guns in school. That would be a hoot.

    January 16, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. James PDX

    The president's children would be a prime target for danger if left unprotected. The average American's children aren't going to have assassins or terrorists targeting them. Do they really think Americans are stupid enough not to see such a blatantly obvious flaw in their argument? Was this really the best defense they could come up with?

    January 16, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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