In the advertisement the NRA claims President Obama is an "elitist hypocrite" because his children have personal protection while he has been critical of an NRA plan to put armed guards in America's schools. Obama's two daughters are afforded the same Secret Service Protection that all first families have had.
"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," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
The ad has created headlines on the same day as Obama and vice-president Joe Biden wereannouncing plans to tighten gun regulation in the wake of the Newtown shooting which saw 20 young children and six adults gunned down at an elementary school in the usually quiet Connecticut town.
The tone of the ad has been typical of the NRA's stance since Newtown as it battles what it fears is a public backlash against its aggressive lobbying on behalf of gun owners and the large firearms industry. After New York state this week passed a slew of gun regulation measures the NRA issued a statement attacking governor Andrew Cuomo, "These gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime," the NRA said in a statement.
And after meeting with White House officials about planned new regulations, the NRA said it was "disappointed" in the meeting and accused the Obama administration of pursuing an anti-gun ownership agenda.
But the new ad has earned condemnation from some usually sympathetic figures on the right wing. MSNBC television host Joe Scarborough, who as a Republican congressman was a strong supporter of the NRA, said earlier on Wednesday that the ad was "frightening and over the line". Conservative columnist David Frum also attacked the ad. In a blog post he said: "The NRA's sneering references to the president's family are beyond the pale."
This ad is coded. The fact that no other president has been criticized by the NRA for having the Secret Service protect their family is quite telling. The hidden message as I see it is, "This Black man is utilizing firearms to protect his family, and surely his family is not better than yours."