Republicans quickly blasted the National Rifle Association (NRA) for including Malia and Sasha Obama, President Obama’s daughters in the new ads protesting any gun control measures.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the ads with the daughters “reprehensible.”
“I think it’s awful to bring public figures’ children into the political debate. They don’t deserve to be there,” the Republican said at a televised Trenton, N.J. news conference. “For any of us who are public figures, you see that kind of ad and you cringe.”
“The NRA has real issues to debate on this topic,” Christie continued. “Get to the real issues — don’t be dragging people’s children into this. It’s wrong.”
The NRA ad does not show a picture of Malia and Sasha Obama in a video on their website, which has since been taken down because of the ferocious backlash from even right-wing and conservative Republicans. The video said: “Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?”
Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, said Thursday on NBC’s Today show that the ad wasn’t about Obama’s daughters. “What it is about is how to keep children safe,” he said.
But Joe Scarborough, a conservative Republican and host of “Morning Joe,” questioned the sanity and motive of the NRA:
“What’s wrong with these people? … You have children who had no say in the decision in whether their father, who is going to step forward to be president of the United States, to run for president — one of the most bone-crushing, sacrificing things any husband or wife can do to their family. And the second they make that decision, their children and their entire family have targets on their backs.
And the NRA is putting something out? What’s wrong with these people? Putting out apps that four year olds can play [notably, it seems the age range has been raised] on the anniversary of the Newtown murders and now putting out an ad talking about the president’s daughters.
This is how they mark the anniversary of Newtown. I’ve never seen an organization as out of touch and extreme with middle America as this one … The NRA’s worst enemy could not be doing the damage to this once-respected, mainstream organization as [NRA CEO] Wayne LaPierre is every single day.