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. chubby

    Just another example of the nobamas double standard for himself and his party over the wants/wishes of the American people. These kids are achieving an education currently but he is going to ensure that it ends. Is that the CHANGE you voted for? I'll bet not.

    January 4, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Video Guy

    Maybe sending his children to Sidwell has made it easier for the Secret Service. I wish this clown would stop this negative stuff against this administration. How about some ideas and cooperation.

    January 4, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. KJ

    And how many republicans send their kids to Sidwell? Members of both parties send their kids to private schools across the country.

    January 4, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. annie s

    Gee Mikey, I still can't get over that the Republican's like vouchers – I mean really, taking my tax dolalrs to send poor kids to rich schools – isnt' that socialism?

    January 4, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Mushmouth's off to a good start this year. There are so many layers of hypocrisy involved in Mushmouth's accusation and argument that Obama is a hypocrite that it is simply astounding and he's going to have to work his tail off for the rest of the newly minted year to top it. It may even take him the rest of the new decade.

    Irony 1,237,984: GOP 0

    January 4, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Danny E. Gonzalez

    political cheap shot... do you know the kind of burden and money a "public school" will encounter trying to accomodate the President's kids? it is a reality of the job Mr. Steele... what a joke!

    January 4, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. bgbg85

    So where do his children go to school ???

    I bet my last paycheck its a private institution. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    January 4, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Michael from Ventura

    Steele and his party will take every opportunity to spew their seeds of hate. I hope that his party feels the wrath of all thinking Americans this year and in 2012. I am so tired of their hypocratic nonsensical blabberings!

    January 4, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. tmart

    This is truly a critical issue, isn't it, Steele! You always say the stupidest things. Why did the Republicans choose you as their chairman?

    January 4, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Debra

    You idiot, the President kids are off limits, you have no right to bring them into a public debate. His kids has nothing to do with what he choose to do as the POTUS.

    Idiot.l

    January 4, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    These guys will complain about anything.

    January 4, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. J McDermott

    Steele should know better. It's fairly well known that the Secret Service has long encouraged presidents to send their kids to schools where the Secret Service believes it can better provide protective services. I

    t's unfortunate that Steele seems to see everything as a chance to criticize Obama, since any cogent criticism gets lost in the sewage.

    January 4, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. redleg

    Steele would know all about hypocrisy - having campaigned as a Democrat in 2006 . He also knows how to be a hawk now that he no longer needs to hide behind a cassock to give cover to his choosing not to defend America against Communism and terrorism.

    January 4, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Carl

    Private school.. The rich and well off send their children, for the most part, to private school. There is nothing hypocritical about this. Lots of people are complaining he is not cutting enough spending and so this one time when he tries to cut spending you attack him. Stop attaching and start offering viable means for cutting the deficit while still accomplishing all of your goals.

    January 4, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. chad in seattle, wa.

    mr. steele,
    your comments are not worth a comment.

    January 4, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. hongli

    Michael Steele -– The biggest joker in 2009. The most defined black slave in the Republican party. I guarantee that Michael Steele will be kicked out of the Republican party in 2010.

    January 4, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Ken

    Imagine that, a liberal politician who is a hypocrite. Of course, Obama’s hypocrisy is a minor problem, compared to his outright effort to destroy this nation by destroying free market capitalism and replacing it with socialism.

    January 4, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. cyrus

    No Sir...you are an idiot and a hypocrite. I thought you and your party people don't like federal "take over" and "govt. handouts"!! That scholarship fund was being mismanaged and the voucher program didn't work for the intended beneficiaries. Take a good read at the law he signed. It increased educational funding, as well as resources to schools.

    Did you cook this up over a glass of champagne during this weekend? I mean, where do these people come from!!

    January 4, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. em

    Who's hypocritical?? Republicans criticize the deficit, claim they want to make spending cuts, and then when Obama makes ANY spending cuts, they criticize those too. Clearly they don't really care about reducing the deficit if they are cool with spending 30,000 of our tax dollars a year per kid to send them all to private schools.

    January 4, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. kk

    The Democrats sent their children to Sidwell because they needed protection. Bush's girls went to the bars.

    January 4, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Annie

    All the Presdients kids whether they are Democrat or Republican should be put into the best Schools that not only offer a good education but SECURITY........don't tell me that Bush didn't send his girls to the schools that provided good security.......after all these girls are the daughters of the President of the United States and they deserve the best.........but I know the Republicans and conservative right wingers think that because these girls are Black they don't deserve the same as their White sons and daughters.......as for Steele, he is just the Uncle Tom spokesman for the Republican party and he will say anything they tell him to say......he doesn't have a brain of his own.....

    January 4, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Tom C

    Where did Reagan's, Bush's and Mcain's kids go to school??

    January 4, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Paul

    It's the Grand Obstruction Party's boss! Would you like some cheese with this latest whine, Mr. Steele?

    January 4, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Brandon

    He's just doing what a responsible parent should do. Sending their children to the best school that they can. And in this case, it's a private school.

    Obama would be derelict in his duty as a parent if he didn't do so. It's not his fault that the Public schools in America aren't up to muster, although I'm sure you'll blame him anyways.

    January 4, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. F. AZARRE

    I think Michael steel the of Rep. Party is out of words. What does he need in Obama's daughters, what is his intention about Obama's children. Please Micheal steel, get your teeth-steel of any american children. Children are not in politic.

    January 4, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7