By Justin Sink - 01/16/13 12:26 PM EST
A video released by the National Rifle Association (NRA) hours before President Obama is set to formally debut his plan to combat gun violence blasts the president as an "elitist hypocrite" for opposing the gun lobby's proposal to place armed guards in schools.
"Are the president's kids more important than yours?" the ad's 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?"
Members of the president’s immediate family are protected by Secret Service security details, which the agency insists upon.
"Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he is just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security," the narrator says, as an image of Obama is shown flanked by "Meet the Press" anchor David Gregory, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and Vice President Biden.
It was on "Meet the Press" that Obama said he was "skeptical" of a plan touted by NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre to place armed guards into schools to prevent future mass shootings in the wake of last month’s killings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
"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," Obama said. "And, look, here's the bottom line. We're not going to get this done unless the American people decide it's important."
The sharp personal attack from the NRA previews what will be a tough fight for the administration as Obama looks to press new gun-control measures.
During an appearance Wednesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs criticized the ad as tone-deaf.
“I mean, it is disgusting on many levels,” Gibbs said. “It’s also just stupid.”
Obama will unveil his proposals to combat gun violence at an event Wednesday morning, the White House announced Tuesday.
"Tomorrow the president and the vice president will hold an event here at the White House to unveil a package of concrete proposals to reduce gun violence and prevent future tragedies like the one in Newtown, Conn.," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "They will be joined by children from around the country who wrote the president letters in the wake of that tragedy expressing their concerns about gun violence and school safety, along with their parents."
Carney hinted that Obama was likely to introduce a "comprehensive" package, saying the proposals will include "the assault weapons ban, including a measure to ban high-capacity magazine clips, including an effort to close the very big loopholes in the background check system in our country."
The president is also expected to outline 19 executive actions that he can take unilaterally, according to Capitol Hill Democrats briefed on his plan. Those executive actions are likely to include more aggressive enforcement of existing gun laws, increasing federal research on gun violence and stronger prosecution of those who lie on gun background checks.
The event is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Confirmed attendees include members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the National Education Association and the Brady Campaign, as well as members of Congress involved in gun-reform efforts.
The White House has been mum on whether the NRA proposal on armed guards in schools could make its way into its package of gun violence measures. But the NRA's reaction to a meeting last week with Vice President Biden's task force suggests the proposal had not gained traction within the administration.
The NRA said in a statement after meeting with Biden that they "were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment."
In a pair of polls released Wednesday, respondents were broadly supportive of the NRA's plan, alongside a broad array of other gun-control measures. Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a Pew poll and 55 percent of those surveyed by The Washington Post and ABC News said they supported placing more armed guards in school.
That's despite generally unfavorable views of the NRA itself. In the Post poll, only 36 percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable opinion of the group, while a plurality — 38 percent — said the NRA had too much influence over the gun debate.
This story was last updated at 8:29 a.m.