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NRA ad attacked for including President Obama's daughters

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The National Rifle Association on Tuesday released a controversial new ad that makes reference to President Barack Obama’s daughters - sparking outrage from critics who charged that the spot is over the line.

“Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “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 video calls Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for not embracing armed guards in schools even as his daughters enjoy armed protection at their schools.

(Also on POLITICO: W.H.: NRA ad on Obama daughters 'repugnant')

“Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” the ad’s narrator asks. “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”

The gun group’s spot came under immediate attack.

Former White House Press Secretary and Obama advisor Robert Gibbs slammed the ad on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday morning.

“I mean, it is disgusting on many levels,” Gibbs said. “It’s also just stupid.”

(PHOTOS: Politicians speak out on gun control)

He added, “This reminds me of an ad that somebody made about 2:00 in the morning after one too many drinks, and no one stopped it in the morning.”

“What’s wrong with these people, Mika? What’s wrong with these people?” Joe Scarborough, host of “Morning Joe,” asked co-host Mika Brzezinksi in disbelief.

“They are out of step, out of the mainstream, totally out of sync with what’s going on in our society, and quite frankly after seeing that, I think some of the people who run that thing are sick,” Brzezinski said. “I really do. I think they are sick in the head.

“And I’m serious,” she continued. “I am embarrassed right now.”

Later, replaying the ad, Brzezinski added, “It may disgust you. It terrifies me.”

(Also on POLITICO: NRA knocks Obama on daughters’ security)

According to MSNBC, the NRA swung back in a statement provided to the network.

“Whoever thinks the ad is about President Obama’s daughters are missing the point completely or they’re trying to change the subject. This ad is about keeping our children safe,” said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.

The NRA did not immediately respond to POLITICO’s request for comment.

Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, defended the ad Wednesday in an appearance on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom.”


”I think the ad is spot-on,” Pratt said. “It points to the hypocrisy that we see so much from our ruling class, and it underscores the need that we’ve been pointing to that if we’re going to get serious about protecting our children, we’re going to do away with the ‘gun-free zone’ requirements in federal law, which have created a magnet for these mass murders.”

When asked about discussing the president’s children, Pratt added, “This is a democracy. This is a country where we are all equal before the law, and to have special privileges for others that wouldn’t necessarily extend to us common people goes down a little hard.”

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Melody Barnes, the former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said the country should brace for more ads like the NRA spot.

“And that’s what’s going to infiltrate the debate,” Barnes said. “Those are the kinds of visits members of Congress are going to get, and that’s why people have been scared to take on this issue even after tragedy after tragedy in our communities around the country, and the American people have to be prepared for that and make a decision what kind of country do we want to live in and the message that they want to convey to their policymakers about the kinds of laws and the kinds of policies that we’re going to have.”

Sasha and Malia Obama attend Washington’s posh private Sidwell Friends School.

”Their whole goal is to ratchet up the rhetoric,” Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said on CNN’s “Starting Point” about the NRA ad. She added, “Let’s stay calm. Let’s look at the function of these weapons… we need to ban those weapons that have the functionality that can kill a whole bunch of folks in just a few seconds.”

David Frum blasted the ad in a blog post.

“…the NRA’s sneering references to the president’s family are beyond the pale,” Frum wrote. “As the makers of the NRA ad should know, and probably do know, the First Family has come under years of racially coded attack for their ‘uppityism,’ as Rush Limbaugh phrased it. This latest attack ad looks to many like only one more attempt to enflame an ancient American wound.”

Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, added, “Generally speaking, a president’s family should not be subject to political criticism. That rule was honorably upheld in the case of the Bush daughters, who grew into fine young people, and the rule should be same for the Obama daughters - especially if it’s true, as has been widely reported, that this first family has faced a unique degree of threat.”

Twitter reaction also took off after the video dropped.

CNN’s Piers Morgan, who has taken heat from gun advocates for his position on gun control, ripped the video in a tweet.

“This new @NRA ad is just disgusting,” he tweeted, linking to the clip.

Kathleen McKinley, a conservative blogger for places including the Houston Chronicle, bashed the use of Obama’s children in the ad.

“Here’s an idea. How about the NRA and Obama NOT use children at all to promote their agenda?” she tweeted.

“This is not an SNL skit. This is a real NRA Ad,” tweeted actor Zach Braff, linking to the clip.

“Trying to figure out what NRA is thinking with web ad targeting Obama girls. Who thinks that’s appropriate? #mitchellreports,” offered MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

Ron Fournier of National Journal group called the ad “low” in a tweet.

In a follow-up tweet, he added, “”Has the NRA Finally Gone Too Far?” My take: Hell, yes.” Fournier included a link to a post that further took the NRA to task. “The ad is indisputably misleading, and is arguably a dangerous appeal to the base instincts of gun-rights activists,” he wrote.

“@thedailybeast: NRA Ad Targets Obama Daughters http://thebea.st/U0y119 . Tasteless, mean spirited and totally out of bounds. Agree?” tweeted Democratic strategist and commentator Donna Brazile.

John Dickerson of CBS News said on “CBS This Morning” that the video “makes a larger argument. It’s not just about guns,” he said. “It’s going into… negative views about the president. It uses all the emotional — presses all the emotional buttons for those people who don’t like the president and the NRA is making this about hypocrisy, not about safety.”


by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Replies (11-20):
rfurlongg
by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM
4 moms liked this
While I adore my kids I realize they are not the target of nutjobs. The O girls are, hence the need for greater protection.

As far as the ad itself, I think it failed to make its point. It has become a firestorm of whether or not children should be used in ads instead of how guns should be handled / viewed.
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Bigmetalchicken
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I have no problem with the obama children having protection. They did not ask to be dragged into this mess, and what their parents do should not leave them open to harm.

That being said, I personally think people are overreacting about this damn add. The wording is not the best, as you don't have to be wealthy or an elitist to send your child to a school with an armed guard. And it is also silly to imply that he is evil for sending his girls to a private school. I mean, hello, DC public schools are awful.  But I think that all this moral outrage is only giving a not well thought out add more publicity. And using his children in the add is no different than his little trick of exploiting the death of children for his agenda. Blah.

Bigmetalchicken
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM
2 moms liked this

Oh, I also want to point out that I don't think armed guards should be hired for public schools either. I would be terrified if my kid went to a school with some armed douchebag TSA agent type person patrolling. Public schools don't have the money to hire the kind of armed guards that are trained, certafied, bonded and not just looking for a way to pretend that they are tough guy authority figures.  You want your child to be protected by an armed guard? Shell out and put them in a private school like the rest of us.

LIMom1105
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM
2 moms liked this
I saw the ad this morning and found it disgusting and over the line. I would say this same if this was a Repuucan President.

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Happymamax2
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting iloveashton804:

 Well, the children of Sandy Hook were not the President's children. There are crazy people out there that would kill others' children obviously, not just the Presidents.

Quoting Happymamax2:


Quoting LuvmyAiden:

He can use dead kids as pawns but his kids are off limits? That is laughable. HIM and HIS family having protection while the rest of us are not supposed to is hypocritical to the max. The ad is short and to the point. No smearing just truth, I have watched it. And for the record, the NRA has ALWAYS made it about safety. That is the biggest part of EVERY NRA event and class.

The rest of us haven't earned the honor of being the President of the United States.  There are crazy people with guns out there who would love to kill his children! Lol.  You are comparing apples to oranges.  Calling him a hypocrit for this IS laughable.

 

True! The less military type weapons out there where unstable people could use them to kill others, the better, IMO.  But on average, there aren't folks out there that would target our children at the same level they would target president Obama's kids...

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:07 PM
2 moms liked this
Given his use of kids today......so. Sarah Palin's kids were used in some truly awful ways...and that was suposed to be ok because she put herself out there....so did Obama.
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Simmeringhearts
by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:13 PM


Quoting Happymamax2:

And it is clear that one does not have to be the President's daughter to be a shooting victim!

Quoting LuvmyAiden:

He can use dead kids as pawns but his kids are off limits? That is laughable. HIM and HIS family having protection while the rest of us are not supposed to is hypocritical to the max. The ad is short and to the point. No smearing just truth, I have watched it. And for the record, the NRA has ALWAYS made it about safety. That is the biggest part of EVERY NRA event and class.

The rest of us haven't earned the honor of being the President of the United States.  There are crazy people with guns out there who would love to kill his children! Lol.  You are comparing apples to oranges.  Calling him a hypocrit for this IS laughable.


ramonafrog
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree with the statements being made by the NRA
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Happymamax2
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM


Quoting talia-mom:

Except the guards are employed by the school.  It has nothing to do with the President's kids being there.   They just have employed armed guards during the school.

Quoting Happymamax2:


Quoting LuvmyAiden:

He can use dead kids as pawns but his kids are off limits? That is laughable. HIM and HIS family having protection while the rest of us are not supposed to is hypocritical to the max. The ad is short and to the point. No smearing just truth, I have watched it. And for the record, the NRA has ALWAYS made it about safety. That is the biggest part of EVERY NRA event and class.

The rest of us haven't earned the honor of being the President of the United States.  There are crazy people with guns out there who would love to kill his children! Lol.  You are comparing apples to oranges.  Calling him a hypocrit for this IS laughable.


I don't know this but, I'm sure that the presidents kids are protected by the secret service, not some random armed school guards....  No guard employed by the school could be entrusted to protect the presidents children.  So it is still comparing two completely different things.

candlegal
by Judy on Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:48 PM
1 mom liked this

yes he did

Quoting yourspecialkid:

Given his use of kids today......so. Sarah Palin's kids were used in some truly awful ways...and that was suposed to be ok because she put herself out there....so did Obama.


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