GOP staffer resigns following Facebook criticism of First Daughters

GOP staffer resigns following Facebook criticism of First Daughters
(Source: POOL/CNN)
(Source: POOL/CNN)

(WTVM) - Several media outlets report that the GOP staffer that criticized the dress of the Obama daughters during the annual Turkey pardon late last week is resigning.

Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director of Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-TN, resigned from her post on Monday, following a harsh critique of Sasha and Malia Obama's dress and demeanor during President Barack Obama's White House pardon of two turkeys ahead of thanksgiving.

In a Facebook post that was quickly deleted, Lauten spoke of "awful teen years" and likened the 13- and 16-year-old's dress to young women going out to a bar.

"Dear Sasha and Malia," the post began, "I get you're both in those awful teen years, but you're a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. 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. 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."

Lauten later apologized for the initial post after people on social media called her out, demanding her resignation.

"I wanted to take a moment and apologize for a post I made on Facebook earlier today judging Sasha and Malia Obama at the annual White House turkey pardoning ceremony: I reacted to an article and quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager. After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online, I can see more clearly how hurtful my words were. Please know that these judgmental feelings truly have no place in my heart. Furthermore, I'd like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience."

Lauten had worked in Rep. Fincher's office since 2008.

Immediately following Lauten's initial post going viral, several social media pages and a post demanded Lauten to be fired.

Politicians and people from either side of the aisle criticized Lauten's Thanksgiving Day comments, including the communications director of the Republican National Convention on Twitter Monday. Sean Spicer also criticized the media's coverage of Lauten's comments while chastising her.

"Children, especially the first daughters are off limits," Sean Spicer said. "While the comments were inappropriate and insensitve, the mainstream media's coverage of this story is appalling. In over 20 years in politics I have seen 1 of the countless inappropriate comments by Democrats ever covered to a fraction of this."

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