CNN host Erin Burnett on Wednesday suggested that the National Rifle Association (NRA) had not crossed the line by targeting President Barack Obama's daughters in an advertisement.
The NRA advertisement released on Tuesday branded the president an "elitist hypocrite" for opposing armed guards in schools while his own daughters were being protected by the Secret Service. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney slammed the ad as "repugnant and cowardly" because "a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight."
Speaking to Burnett on Wednesday, CNN contributor Roland Martin agreed that the NRA was "weak and cowardly."
"There's no need to invoke the president's daughter's in this conversation," Martin insisted. "I can guarantee you that had anybody invoked the daughters of President George W. Bush in a similar ad attacking him, folks on the right would be just as upset. It makes no sense."
"But what about the fact that politicians use their kids when they want to politically all the time?" Burnett wondered.
The CNN host then displayed a photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton holding hands with their daughter Chelsea, followed by a second photo of Barack Obama with his arms around daughters Malia and Sasha.
Burnett explained: "Remember the famous picture of Chelsea Clinton, after the Monica Lewinski affair, walking between her parents? Or -- hold on, let me just finish -- this time before the DNC, when the White House released the picture of the president with his two daughters snuggling on the couch -- there it is -- watching Michelle Obama."
"You know, they use their children for political purposes when they want to," she opined.
"First of all, walking with Chelsea to the helicopter, they were going on vacation," Martin replied. "And so what are they supposed to do? Take her to another helicopter or through the back door or somewhere?"
"It was the hand holding!" Burnett interrupted.
"Okay, so what? If there was a photo and there was no hand holding then it's okay?" Martin shot back. "I mean, seriously, that is not the same as putting an ad out where you mentioning the president's daughters. It makes no sense. And, again, if you're the NRA, you don't have to actually do that, you don't have to go that far. If you want to do that, why don't you go to Chicago and say, 'How many armed guards are in Chicago schools where the president is from?' That's legitimate."