Walsh says aide who lost job over Obama remarks 'didn't last with me'

  • President Barack Obama and daughters Malia, right, and Sasha, center, appeared Wednesday at the White House for the traditional turkey pardon ceremony. An aide to a Republican congressman has resigned after her critical comments about the two teens daughters touched off a backlash.

    President Barack Obama and daughters Malia, right, and Sasha, center, appeared Wednesday at the White House for the traditional turkey pardon ceremony. An aide to a Republican congressman has resigned after her critical comments about the two teens daughters touched off a backlash. Associated Press

  • In 2011, Chief of Staff Justin Roth runs through questions from constituents before Press Secretary Elizabeth Lauten video-records Congressman Joe Walsh's responses. Walsh on Monday said Lauten "didn't last with me."

    In 2011, Chief of Staff Justin Roth runs through questions from constituents before Press Secretary Elizabeth Lauten video-records Congressman Joe Walsh's responses. Walsh on Monday said Lauten "didn't last with me." Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/1/2014 4:44 PM

Former Congressman Joe Walsh called his onetime press secretary Elizabeth Lauten's Facebook post about President Barack Obama's daughters "pretty stupid."

Lauten worked for the former Republican lawmaker for several months in 2011. She resigned her post as communications director to Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee Monday and has apologized.

 

"I'm stunned that this is a story," Walsh said. "What she said was pretty stupid. But so what?"

Walsh said Lauten wasn't on his staff long and she was gone before his unsuccessful 2012 re-election campaign. He was first elected in 2010.

Walsh said he wasn't surprised she'd make comments that would get her in trouble.

"She didn't last with me," he said. "She had some issues and some problems."

Lauten said Malia Obama, 16, and Sasha, 13, should have shown more "class" at a turkey-pardoning ceremony last week at the White House.

Lauten wrote that the girls should "respect the part you play" and added, "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.'"

After the post became the topic of conversation on a variety of websites, Lauten issued an apology, saying "many hours of prayer," conversations with her family and a rereading of her words made her reconsider the post.

"When I first posted on Facebook I reacted to an article and I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager," Lauten told the Commercial Appeal of Memphis in an email. "Please know, those 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."

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