The communications director of a Tennessee lawmaker is under fire today after scolding President Obama’s two daughters for their demeanor at the turkey pardoning ceremony.
Elizabeth Lauten, spokeswoman for Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher, went to Facebook to complain about the outfits and body language of Sasha and Malia Obama — 13 and 16 years old, respectively — as they looked bored while their father engaged in the annual ritual known as the turkey pardon, according to ABC News.
Lauten wrote that while she gets that “you’re both in those awful teen years,” they are “part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play.” She used the opportunity to take a shot at the president and First Lady, noting that they “don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”
She further went on to say that the Obama girls should “rise to the occasion” and “act like being in the White House matters to you.” And, in one of her most criticized comments, said that they were dressed like they were going to the bar.
The comments blew up over social media over the weekend, with the responses almost entirely negative. She was criticized for attacking the girls, and eventually deleted the post and posted an apology. After “many hours of prayer,” she said she saw understood how hurtful her words were, and apologized to “all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and I pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience.” However, the apology was also later deleted.
Lauten also used to manage new media for the Republican National Committee. The backlash was almost immediate, with people calling her “thoughtless” and “ignorant,” with many saying she should resign from her position.
The “bar” attire the girls were wearing included a maroon dress with a cardigan for 13-year-old Sasha, and a mini kilt with a gray jumper over black tights for 16-year-old Malia.
After the pardoning, Obama asked Malia if she wanted to pet the 49-pound turkey named “Cheese,” but she declined.
Even after posting the apology, Lauten’s Facebook was bombarded with negative comments, prompting her to eventually set it to private.