- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2014

A Republican staffer on Capitol Hill is resigning amid controversy over her criticizing the conduct of President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, at last week’s ceremonial pre-Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony, according to several media reports.

Elizabeth Lauten, who was the communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher, Tennessee Republican, had written in a Facebook post that the president’s daughters should “try showing a little class” and “at least respect the role you have to play” following their appearance at last week’s annual ritual.

“Then again your mother and father 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 wrote in a since-deleted post. “Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events.”

Ms. Lauten later apologized for the remarks, but has since said she is stepping down from her position after a firestorm of online criticism.

Mr. Obama’s teenage daughters appeared unimpressed at times with their dad’s jokes during the ceremony, which included a comparison between pardoning the turkeys, named “Mac” and “Cheese,” and his recently-announced executive action on immigration.

According to MSNBC, Malia Obama also declined to pet “Cheese” when asked if she would like to by her father.

White House press secretary Joshua Earnest said Monday he didn’t have a specific reaction to Ms. Lauten’s resignation but that he was a little surprised a “political operative on Capitol Hill” used a Thanksgiving-themed event to criticize members of the first family.

Asked if he would say generally that first children are off-limits, Mr. Earnest said, “I think a lot of people observed that a principle like that is - I think is pretty much common sense.”

Earlier Monday, a top spokesman for the Republican National Committee said the comments were out of line, but also criticized the ensuing backlash to them.

“Children, especially the first daughters are off limits,” RNC communications director Sean Spicer tweeted. “While the comments were inappropriate and insensitive, the mainstream media’s coverage of this story is appalling. In over 20 years in politics I have never seen 1 of the countless inappropriate comments by Democrats ever covered to a faction of this.”

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