NRA Cowardly And Repugnant For Using Obama’s Daughters In Attack, White House Says

A controversial NRA ad released ahead of President Obama’s gun violence plan announcement yesterday has provoked a mixed response, with many conservatives praising the spot — but the White House has answered back, calling the NRA’s use of the President’s daughters as “cowardly” and “repugnant.”

After a week of deafening silence, the NRA finally addressed the Newtown school shooting in a press conference last month, calling for an expensive and wide-ranging “school shield” program involving armed guards placed in American schools. The plan was widely criticized as unwieldy and potentially dangerous, and at the time, Obama commented about the proposal on Meet The Press, saying:

“I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools … And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem.”

But the new NRA spot — which criticized Obama as “elitist” and insinuated he was hypocritical for using armed guards for his own children — focused heavily on how the President’s daughters Sasha and Malia are protected by Secret Service agents. After the controversial ad made the rounds, White House press secretary Jay Carney slammed the NRA not only for using the children to make a point, but attacking safety measures for the girls — who are at far higher risk than other kids due to their father’s position:

“Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight … 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.”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough also attacked the NRA, telling co-host Mika Brzezinski yesterday:

“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 … What’s wrong with [the NRA]? Putting out apps that 4 year olds can play on the anniversary of the Newtown murders and now putting out an ad talking about the president’s daughters.”

RawStory quotes Brzezinski as concurring, and she commented:

” … I think they are sick in the head. And I’m serious. I’m embarrassed right now. I’m embarrassed for our country, that we have a section of society, the NRA, which should have a voice certainly trying to protect a constitutional amendment. I understand that. There’s a really legitimate debate there, [but] they just took it, they just brought it down to the lowest, most base level. I don’t even want to — it’s now fringe.”

Mika added:

“You should be embarrassed to be part of the NRA at this point … I was even going to try and understand the people running to gun shops and loading up on these high-capacity weapons, assault weapons and magazines. I was willing to understand this debate and understand their fear of laws changing and try and discuss it on this show, but after seeing that, honestly, I’m done. They’re done. This ad is the final straw.”

You can watch the NRA ad criticized by the White House below: