The National Rifle Association released a new video on its Web site Tuesday calling President Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for having Secret Service protection of his daughters at school but saying he was "skeptical" about installing armed guards in all schools.
The NRA's provocative, 35-second video is as harsh as any attack ad in a political campaign and illustrates how emotionally charged and personal the debate over gun control is becoming.
"Are the president's kids more important than yours?" a deep-voiced narrator asks. "Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school? 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."
"Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement Wednesday. "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 takes issue with Obama's comments in a recent interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," in which the president voiced uncertainty about the NRA's proposal to put armed security guards in schools nationwide.
"I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools," Obama said. "And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem."
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the ad is not directed at Obama's children.
"The main aim of the ad is to make sure that we all act to keep our children safe. It's not aimed at anyone's child in particular," he said. "Anyone who claims otherwise is intentionally trying to change the topic or missing the point completely."
He added, "The president and his family enjoy 24-hour-security from law enforcement at taxpayer expense, and this ad asks very real questions: If it's good enough for the president, why shouldn't it be good enough for the rest for us?"
A majority of Americans, 55 percent, support the NRA's armed guards proposal, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week. Those with children at home are more apt than those without to want armed guards at schools, the poll shows.
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