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Chris Christie Calls NRA Ad 'Reprehensible' for Referencing Obama Daughters

Chris Christie Calls NRA Ad 'Reprehensible' for Referencing Obama Daughters

The latest ad from the National Rifle Association referencing President Obama's daughters has New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie up in arms, calling the spot "reprehensible" and saying it demeans the gun group during a time when so much attention is being directed at gun control.

"To talk about the president's children or any public officer's children who have – not by their own choice, but by requirement – to have protection, to use that somehow to try to make a political point is reprehensible," said Christie at a news conference on Thursday.

Christie, whose name is being talked about as a possible presidential contender in 2016, also defended Obama over Hurricane Sandy and has not backed down from criticizing the handling of issues that many in the GOP feel strongly about.

The NRA and Obama have most recently been at odds over how to reduce gun violence after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting brought the issue to the forefront once again. The White House offered a long list of priorities they hope to implement, the strongest being a ban on all assault rifles.

However, the nation's largest gun rights organization has vowed to fight that and other proposals to limit guns and ammunition, and instead has proposed a plan to put police officers or armed guards at all of the nation's public schools.

The ad in question was released just before Obama's news conference where he outlined his plans for 23 executive orders and a legislative proposal that many believe has little or no chance of passing a divided Congress.

In the ad, a moderator says: "Are the president's kids more important than yours? Then why is he (Obama) skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at school?"

The NRA CEO, Wayne LaPierre, defended the ad in a Thursday appearance on NBC's "Today" show, saying the ads were not about the Obama children. "What it is about is how to keep children safe," he said.

Soon after the video was released, White House Spokesman Jay Carney fired back on the reference to the president's daughters.

"Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight," 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."

Despite his criticism over the NRA ad, Christie is equally as critical of Obama's proposals on gun control, but feels strongly that bringing political figure's children into the debate will only distract from the issue.

"Get to the real issues – don't be dragging people's children into this," he said. "It's wrong and I think it demeans them and it makes them a less valid, trusted source of information on the real issues that confront this debate."

When ask what his personal thoughts were and if he supports a federal assault weapons ban, Christie backed away and refused to answer the question, saying he had no ability to influence the outcome on Capitol Hill.

"I have opinions on lots of things, but it doesn't mean I have to give them all the time," Christie said in response to a reporter's question.

New Jersey state law prohibits the sale of assault weapons, and along with California and New York, has one of the nation's strongest gun control laws.

Additionally, Christie said he does not believe putting armed guards at schools is the best solution. "I don't think having schools turned into armed camps is necessarily the way to go."

Nonetheless, in a new Gallup poll, 54 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the NRA.

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