January 4th, 2010
12:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele: Obama 'hypocritical' for sending kids to Sidwell

Michael Steele, in his new book, accuses President Obama of being 'hypocritical' for sending his daughters to a private school.
Michael Steele, in his new book, accuses President Obama of being 'hypocritical' for sending his daughters to a private school.

Washington (CNN) - In his new book, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele accuses President Obama of being "hypocritical" for choosing to send his daughters to an expensive private school while also killing a voucher program that offered low-income children in Washington the chance to do the same.

After winning the presidential race, the Obamas chose to send their daughters Malia and Sasha to the Sidwell Friends School in Northwest Washington, where tuition costs nearly $30,000 a year. In December 2009, Obama signed the 2010 omnibus spending bill, which included language ending the Washington Scholarship Fund, a federally-funded D.C. program that awarded school vouchers to lower-income children.

"Here in D.C., President Obama doesn't have a problem cutting off the lifeline for kids who need a good education as much or more than any children in the nation," Steele writes in his book "Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda," which was released Monday.

"After all, he can afford to send his kids to Sidwell Friends, and he needs to keep the teachers' union bosses happy. He won't sacrifice his own kids for the teachers' unions - and he shouldn't. But he shouldn't sacrifice other people's kids either."

Steele writes that he doesn't fault the president for sending his kids to an elite private school over D.C. public schools, which he calls "the absolute worst in the nation." But he does accuse Obama of being disingenuous.

"Vice President Biden's grandchildren attend Sidwell," he writes. "Bill Clinton's daughter went there too, and so did Al Gore's son. President Obama is just carrying on a hypocritical Democrat tradition that boils down to this: do as I say, not as I do."


Filed under: Michael Steele • President Obama
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. jenn

    Steele is such an idiot. Sending the Obama girls to a public school would be a security nightmare for the school and disruptive for the other students. Sidwell Friends is already set up for, and experienced in, the security concerns of a presidential family. It has nothing to do with the idiotic voucher idea, or public vs. private schools, but Steele, like every other Republican, would like nothing better than to see our nation's schools fail, and he is happy to exploit the innocent Obama daughters in pursuit of his ridiculous quest.

    By the way, how is it "free market" and "up by your bootstraps" to expect government vouchers for private schools? That sounds mighty socialist to me, Mr. Steele!

    January 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Nuwsoul

    This is an indication that nobody cares about what this guy has to say.

    January 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. ACinCincy

    To be clear (which the headline isn't) the hypocrisy isn't simply that Obama is SENDING his kids to the school, the hypocrisy is that he ended the voucher program that allowed low income kids to attend the same school.

    It was 100% a nod to the teacher's unions. No question about it.

    January 4, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. birdy

    isn't steele the real hypocrite? michael steele doesn't believe every day citizens like you and me are entitled to the same PRIVATE health care he receives when we can't afford it. as a matter of fact, he says we can't even have a PUBLIC option. but kids who do have the PUBLIC option of PUBLIC school should be also be entitled to PRIVATE as well? this guy makes my head spin. where is his logic? i'd prefer me and my family to have good health care more than i care whether a harvard grad or state school grad is teaching my children their abc's in private vs public.

    January 4, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. leapfrog

    If our president were to tie his shoe in a particular way, this guy would complain. it's like the old Monty Python Argument Sketch:
    "If I argue with you I must take up a contrary position."
    "Yes, but that's not just saying, 'No it isn't'."
    "Yes it is."
    "No it isn't."
    "Yes it is."
    "No it isn't"

    January 4, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Really???

    And all of the Republican Presidents have sent their children to public schools, right?

    January 4, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Stevo

    Picking on his choice of schools. Come on guys – don't have ANYTHING legitimate to say.

    January 4, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Laverne

    I can't stand this unintelligent nutcase! No wonder he didn't send his kids to the DC public schools and chance they will turn out like Michael Steele talking all of his "ebonics". Geez, get a life moron!

    January 4, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. T. Steele

    Like the job of the Secret Service isn't hard enough without the President sending his kids to the horrible, drug infested, gun toting, public schools of D.C. Get real... Not only did democrats sent their kids to Sidwell, so did Theodore Roosevelt (a Republican), who sent his kid Archibald Roosevelt. Steele, isn't there anything you wouldn't say to try to harm the democrats? I am ashamed to have the last name as you, you pinhead. I'm just glad we're no related!

    January 4, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Steele says and does what Rush Limbaugh tells him to say.

    Shuttee already, Steele. You have no original thought.

    January 4, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Russell Johnson

    This is one of the those issues that Democrats simply can't dodge. Sending your own kids to private school while denying that opportunity to others. The heighth of hypocrisy.

    January 4, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Hey Michael: The Obama are using their own money as tuition. They sent their children to Sidwell for security reasons. Jealous by any chance?

    January 4, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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