The hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday ripped into the National Rifle Association (NRA) for using President Barack Obama's daughters in an advertisement opposing new gun safety measures.
On Tuesday, the pro-gun lobbying group sparked outrage by releasing an ad calling Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for opposing guns in schools while allowing his own daughters to be protected by armed bodyguards. The ad comes one month after 20 children were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and just days after the NRA released a first-person shooting game for Apple's iPhone and iPad targeted at children as young as four.
After reviewing the ad on Wednesday, MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle immediately denounced it as "political pornography."
"What's wrong with these people, Mika?" MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asked co-host Mika Brzezinski. "You have children who had no say in the decision in whether their father, who is going to step forward to be president of the United States, to run for president -- one of the most bone-crushing, sacrificing things any husband or wife can do to their family. And the second they make that decision, their children and their entire family have targets on their backs."
"And the NRA is putting something out?" he continued. "What's wrong with these people? Putting out apps that 4 year olds can play on the anniversary of the Newtown murders and now putting out an ad talking about the president's daughters."
"They are out of step, out of the mainstream, totally out of sync with what's going on in our society and, quite frankly after seeing that, I think that some of the people who run that thing are sick," Brzezinski agreed. "I really do. I think they are sick in the head. And I'm serious. I'm embarrassed right now. I'm embarrassed for our country, that we have a section of society, the NRA, which should have a voice certainly trying to protect a constitutional amendment. I understand that. There's a really legitimate debate there, [but] they just took it, they just brought it down to the lowest, most base level. I don't even want to -- it's now fringe."
"They are now a fringe organization with millions of mainstream Americans, gun, hunting guys and women that love to hunt," Scarborough noted.
"You should be embarrassed to be part of the NRA at this point," Brzezinski insisted. "I was even going to try and understand the people running to gun shops and loading up on these high-capacity weapons, assault weapons and magazines. I was willing to understand this debate and understand their fear of laws changing and try and discuss it on this show, but after seeing that, honestly, I'm done. They're done. This ad is the final straw."
"It can't be a real ad!" Scarborough exclaimed.
"That's so sick," Brzezinski lamented. "That's some sick person that did it at home in their basement."
"It's just disgusting people," CNBC host Donny Deutsch piled on. "It just gets to a point where it's below human decency."
"This is how they mark the anniversary of Newtown," Scarborough sighed. "I've never seen an organization as out of touch and extreme with middle America as this one... The NRA's worst enemy could not be doing the damage to this once-respected, mainstream organization as [NRA CEO] Wayne LaPierre is every single day."
"I'm terrified," Brzezinski concluded.