Politics & Government

Ex-aide who scolded President Obama’s daughters is from NC

Elizabeth Lauten, the congressional spokeswoman who resigned Monday after being ground up in Washington’s latest political scandal, is a product of North Carolina.

Lauten is a 2007 graduate of East Carolina University. She went to high school in Jacksonville.

Lauten was communications director for U.S. Rep. Steve Fincher, a Republican from Tennessee. On Friday, she posted on Facebook criticism of President Barack Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, for their behavior while appearing with their father on Wednesday at the annual turkey pardoning.

A number of outlets commented on how the girls, who are 16 and 13, looked like bored teenagers during the president’s remarks. Lauten took the girls to task:

“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class,” she wrote. “Rise to the occasion. Act like being the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar.”

She also wrote: “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.”

Her comments triggered an avalanche of criticism over the weekend for crossing the line into an area that is typically off-limits: a president’s children. Lauten later apologized on Facebook, saying, “I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager.”

But the criticism continued, prompting Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer to tweet on Monday that while Lauten’s comments were “inappropriate and insensitive, the mainstream media’s coverage of this story is appalling.” Lauten previously worked at the committee, where she was the new media political director.

Lauten also worked as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a Republican from Illinois, and for the campaign consulting firm Purple Strategies.

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