WASHINGTON -- The White House says a National Rifle Association video that makes reference to President Barack Obama's daughters is "repugnant and cowardly."
Obama spokesman Jay Carney says most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as "pawns in a political fight." Carney was referring to an online video from the pro-gun lobby that calls Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for having armed Secret Service agents protect his daughters at school while voicing skepticism about installing armed guards in all schools.
The NRA released the video ahead of Obama's announcement Wednesday of proposals for curbing the nation's gun violence. The president is calling on Congress to enact universal background checks and ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines -- all measures the NRA opposes.
The gun lobby has instead called for armed guards in schools.
In a nod to calls for more school security, Obama said Wednesday that his administration would provide incentives for schools to hire more police officers as part of his overall package of anti-gun violence initiatives and proposals.
In a related matter, NBC news criticized the NRA video for including an image of "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory, who prompted an investigation by District of Columbia prosecutors after displaying a high-capacity ammunition magazine during an interview with NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre last month. Prosecutors decided not to file charges.
"NBC News firmly objects to the use of our journalists in any political ad," the network said in a statement. "David Gregory's role as moderator of `Meet the Press' is to ask tough questions of guests representing all sides of the issues."