White House slams NRA ad using Obama daughters to criticize new gun laws

The White House on Wednesday blasted a web ad released by the National Rifle Association using President Barack Obama’s daughters to criticize the president on gun control as “repugnant and cowardly."

The NRA released the ad Tuesday, a day before Obama announced a package of proposals aimed at curbing gun violence in the wake of a mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., last month.

In strikingly personal terms, the ad calls Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for allowing Secret Service protection for daughters even as he calls for tighter gun laws.

"Why is [Obama] skeptical about putting armed security in schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?" the ad asks.

As the president's children, Malia and Sasha Obama are entitled to Secret Service protection. Obama has never said he opposes more armed security guards at school, which the NRA recommended in the wake of the Newtown massacre. But the president has said such a step is not sufficient in curbing gun danger.

White House spokesman Jay Carney released a statement responding to the ad shortly before Obama outlined his new gun proposals.

“Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,” Carney said in a statement emailed to reporters. “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.”