WASHINGTON — In a sharp pushback against any new gun regulations, the National Rifle Association posted a Web video that labels President Barack Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for allowing his daughters to be protected by armed Secret Service agents while not embracing armed guards for schools.
"Are the president's kids more important than yours?" a male narrator asks in the video. "Then why is he skeptical of putting armed security in schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards in their school?"
The spot, posted even before Obama unveiled his gun policy proposals on Wednesday, drew an indignant response from the White House.
"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 in a statement. "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 is part of what's expected to be an aggressive NRA lobbying push to thwart new gun regulations. The group has been raising money in response to the outcry for new gun laws. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that a fresh fundraising appeal, circulated this week by executive vice president Wayne LaPierre to the group's membership, calls the current debate "the fight of the century."
"I warned you this day was coming and now it's here," LaPierre wrote.
The group's formal response to Obama's announcement of legislative proposals and executive actions on Wednesday was more muted but still skeptical. "The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law," the statement said.