02:57 - Source: CNN
GOP staffer disses Obama girls

Story highlights

A Republican spokeswoman's comments about President Obama's daughters is causing a stir online.

The spokeswoman criticized the girls' dress and said they shouldn't roll their eyes at their dad.

Washington CNN  — 

A senior staffer for a Republican congressman scolded President Obama’s daughters for dressing like “they deserve a spot at a bar” and told them to “try showing a little class” in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, drawing her heavy criticism and prompting calls for her dismissal.

Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Tennessee Rep. Steve Fincher and a former communications staffer for the Republican National Committee, wrote the screed against the First Daughters in a Facebook post on Thanksgiving.

In it, she scolded them for their clothes and bored looks during Wednesday’s turkey pardoning, and took aim at the President and First Lady for failing to “respect their positions.”

“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. At least respect the part you play,” Lauten wrote in the post.

Sasha and Malia Obama attend turkey pardoning.

“Then again, your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter,” she added. “So I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

While Sasha and Malia Obama, 13 and 16 years old, respectively, indeed both looked less than enthusiastic to accompany their father to the Turkey pardoning ceremony on Wednesday, their typically teenage glowers were met with amusement by multiple media outlets.

Lauten, however, had some advice for the First Daughters, imploring them in the Facebook post to “stretch yourself…rise to the occasion” and “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,” she concluded.

The post was tweeted out by a reporter for African-American media outlet The Root and quickly picked up traction across social media, prompting heavy criticism across the web. One Lauten detractor launched a petition on Change.org, a popular progressive organizing tool, calling for Lauten to be fired.

Hours after the post went viral, Lauten returned to Facebook to publish an apology, admitting she “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 just how hurtful my words were. Please know, those judgmental feelings truly have no place in my heart,” she said.

Lauten also pledged to “learn and grow…from this experience.”

Neither Lauten, her chief of staff Jessica Carter nor Fincher responded to requests for comment via email.

The First Daughters, meanwhile, took an outing with their father to a local bookstore in Washington on Saturday, to highlight Small Business Saturday.