January 4th, 2010
12:40 PM ET
8 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. JenniferM

    This is recycled ... people leveled the same criticism when the Clintons sent Chelsea to the same school. And at that time, even Republicans came out saying that it's not right to use your child to make a political statement, especially if her safety is at stake.

    January 4, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Rollo

    Not for nothing, but don't mess with a man's kids.

    January 4, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. SocialismBad

    Way to nail these Democratic hypocrites to the wall Steele! The public school systems are a DISASTER in this country in spite of the tons of cash pumped into them. And now these same hypocrites want to muck with our healthcare system while they enjoy they're own. There is no end to the destruction the Democrats want to bring to America.

    January 4, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Dex, Houston TX

    Is Michael Steele really this stupid...He's an American tragedy, what an embarrassment!

    January 4, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. michael

    Steel's party of NO do nothing republicans continue to amaze me. They are obstructionsist to effective Health Care for all. Why not give Americans, or at the very least vets, the same healthcare republician senators and congressmen receive. "hypocritical"?

    January 4, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Milo Ippolito

    Don't mess with those two little girl's, Mr.Chairman Michael Steele, you inappropriate behaving jerk. You've stooped to your lowest.

    January 4, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. mjm

    Steele makes a very good point....which will be lost on the libs who post here as most points are.

    Unions are what's wrong with this country. You want reform? Get rid of the unions.

    January 4, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. John

    Michael Steele, fight with Obama himself and leave his kids out of it. Only creeps go after the kids of their political opponents.

    January 4, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |

    This 'man' is a POOR EXCUSE for a HUMAN BEING

    Boner needs to crawl under that rock with 'the Dick' Cheeney

    January 4, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. RepublicanCommunismWorse

    Mr. Steele, you are an idiot.

    January 4, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. susan

    Steele, its none of your business where a dad sends his kids to school on his own money.
    Stop trying to brew more controversies to sell your book.

    January 4, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Roger

    Where did the GOP Presidents send their children or grandchildren?
    WHO really cares everyone knows that the Dems can be hypocritical for the rest of time and still not come close to the GOPers who have been hypocrites their entire life & remain the best of the best.

    January 4, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Mike

    I have always been amazed how the powers that be extol the virtues of the public education system as they continue sending their children to private institutions. For this voter, actions speak louder than words!

    January 4, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. sifto77

    hypocrisy at its worst–the kids should get the vouchers back........

    January 4, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Independent

    Steele you are soooooo stupid

    January 4, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. LC

    Hmmm. So now that Obama doesn't wan't to "re-distribute" wealth through the voucher program, it's hypocritical of him. But Steele is not?

    January 4, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Michael-SC

    and where do his kids go to school?
    What senator sends his kids to a public school?
    Politician == hypocrite

    January 4, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Theresa

    Maybe one day Mr. Steele, you too will be President. Let's see what you will do.

    January 4, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Bush had already "sacraficed" many "other" school children through his No Child Left Behind" agenda.

    January 4, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Tammy

    How stupid and hypocritical. What about safety and security?

    January 4, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Penguinn

    If there is just one act committed by the GOP which has not been hypocritical, Michael Steele might be able to comment in good faith. As it is, his book is just more political pandering.
    Hypocrisy – thy name is Steele.

    January 4, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. dg

    they want to shove thier their health bill at us, but are not willing to be in the same plan, they want us to stay in bad schools not willing to make them better, but not sending thier kids to public schools. its all good for everybody but them

    January 4, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Ron - Saint Louis

    Mr. Steele fails to mention that the Obama's did look at public schools but for security reasons, that idea was killed. Not only would it have been a security nightmare, it would have severily disrupted to the school which the Obama's wanted to avoid.

    Mr. Steele may have some valid points about the voucher system but mixing the voucher decision with where Obama's children go to school is a big mistake and Steele knows better. Shame on you, Mr. Steele.

    January 4, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    What does Steele expect? As a father, and as the President, Obama has to protect his high-profile-target kids from kidnapping and the like, and as a Democrat, and as the President, he has to protect his teacher's-union contributors. In none of these roles does Obama have the slightest incentive to look out for the interests of the dumb schmucks, or their kids, who can't afford pay him off, uh, "make big campaign contributions."

    January 4, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Brenda

    Michael Steele needs to go somewhere, sit down and shut his mouth BEFORE Rush Limbaugh tells him to do it again!

    January 4, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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