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January 16th, 2013
08:17 PM ET

NRA president to CNN: I think that the Second Amendment is going to survive this...

Today on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, National Rifle Association president David Keene sat down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to talk about the controversial NRA television advertisement and the president’s call for tougher gun restrictions. A full transcript of the program will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sitroom.html; a highlight from the interview is after the jump.
National Rifle Association president David Keene, “When you're up against the president, if he is in fact willing to spend his political capital, you wouldn't want to mortgage your house and bet on how it's going to come out. I think that as this debate goes on, we've had this debate before and as people begin to look at it, as the public engages, I think we're going to be fine.  I think that the Second Amendment is going to survive this...

Highlight from Interview
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BLITZER:  The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, among a lot of other people, were very disappointed.  They said: "Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight, 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."

KEENE:  They know better.  They know the point that we're making was a very clear point.  That we believe the same kinds of safety that elitist kids safety should have should be available to the children of the average working Americans.

BLITZER:  But don't you think the children of a president are unique given the fact that he's commander-in-chief and that the security is so tight around the president…

KEENE:  Well, that's different.  They have their Secret Service protection, as the family should and they always should.  But…

BLITZER:  Every president…

KEENE:  … the school that they attend and is attended…

BLITZER:  Whether the Bush twins or Chelsea…

KEENE:  … by other…

BLITZER:  … they all - we try not to bring them into the political fight.

KEENE:  Of course, that's true.  But the fact of the matter is that the schools in Washington that are attended by the elites, not just the president's daughters but the sons and daughters of others, are protected by armed security.  Not the Secret Service.  The school has other security.

BLITZER:  Yes.  I think you could have made that point without necessarily bringing Sasha and Malia specifically into the…

KEENE:  Sure, you can make the point…

BLITZER:  You could have made the point that elites at private schools, they have got security.  We want all kids to have - that, I think, would have - that would have…

(CROSSTALK)

KEENE:  Well, that's fair.  That's fair.  You can make the point in a lot of different ways.  But the important point is that the point we were trying to make is that point, not some other point.

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