TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blasted the NRA’s new ad focusing on President Obama’s daughters, calling it “reprehensible” — but wouldn’t give an opinion about a proposed federal assault weapons ban.
Christie’s comments on the issues of guns and violence came during a news conference Thursday at the New Jersey Statehouse in which he announced the creation of a task force to examine “violence control” measures in the wake of the shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Led by two former state attorneys general, one Republican and one Democrat, and made up of a school superintendent, mental health expert and executives of two substance abuse centers, the SAFE Task Force will have 60 days to offer the governor suggestions.
He said he was “not worried” about how the NRA or gun-control advocates would react to the ultimate decisions he makes on the task force’s recommendations.
“I’m not worried about the NRA, I’m not worried about the Brady Campaign (To Prevent) Gun Violence, or (former U.S. Rep.) Gabrielle Giffords or anyone who is very vocal on any side of the issue,” he said.
Despite repeated questions, Christie wouldn’t give an opinion on a federal assault weapons ban and a limit on high-capacity magazines.
But the governor did strongly criticize the new ad from the NRA calling Obama an “elitist hypocrite” because his two daughters have armed protection at school while most American children do not.
“To talk about the president’s children and any other public officer’s children who have not by their own choice but by requirement have protection — and to use that somehow to try to make a political point — I think is reprehensible … I think it’s awful to bring public figures’ children into the public debate. You see that kind of ad and you cringe because it’s just not appropriate.”
Christie said the ad “demeans” the NRA and “makes them less of a valid and trusted source of information on the real issues.”