Matt Lauer Says It’s ‘Fair’ to Grill Christie on Sending Kids to Private School But Never Challenged Obama

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From Media Research Center:

By: Kyle Drennen

Friday, June 24, 2011

In an exclusive interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played a clip of a woman attacking the Republican as hypocritical for sending his children to private school while cutting funding for public schools. Lauer agreed with her premise: “I thought it was a fair question.”

Lauer sympathized with the woman and argued: “…what she was asking you was – she clearly sends her kids to public schools and she’s saying, ‘Governor, I understand you send your kids to private schools, but is it possible, though, then you don’t understand how these cuts are going to affect families,’ like her’s on a daily basis. Why isn’t it a fair question?”

In the clip, Christie told the woman: “First off, it’s none of your business. I don’t ask you where you send your kids to school. Don’t bother me about where I send mine.” Lauer worried: “…you became known as a guy who speaks in blunt terms, sometimes to a shocking level….Is that a little blunt, even for you?”

While Lauer thought it was perfectly fair to question Christie’s decision to send his kids to private school, the Today co-host never leveled the same criticism at President Obama. On January 5, 2009, as Malia and Sasha Obama were headed to their first day at the elite Sidwell Friends School in Washington, Lauer talked to psychiatrist Gail Saltz and Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth about how the first daughters would maintain a sense of “normalcy” once their father was sworn in as president.

Lauer never described the decision to send the Obama girls to private school as controversial, but he did ask Orth a question about the First Lady: “Do we have a sense of the mothering style of Michelle?”

During a town hall meeting about education reform on the September, 27, 2010 Today, Obama was asked about his daughters attending a private school. However, the question did not come from Lauer, or any NBC journalist, but rather from a woman in the audience.

That woman, Kelly Burnett, didn’t necessarily criticize the President, but simply wondered: “As a father of two very delightful and seemingly very bright daughters, I wanted to know whether or not you think that Malia and Sasha would get the same high-quality, rigorous education in a DC public school as compared to their very elite private academy that they’re attending now?”

On Friday, Christie completely refuted Lauer’s assertion that the question was “fair,” or even relevant:

It’s nonsensical. I mean, to think as the governor you don’t understand every cut that you make and the effects that it has on people is nonsensical. And the fact is, wherever I send my children to school – because my wife and I decide that we want our children to go to Catholic school because it helps reinforce the values we’re teaching – has nothing to do with it. I’m a product of the public schools, I went to the public schools in New Jersey my entire life. And so the idea to think that as governor somehow that makes my ability less powerful because my children don’t go to them.

Because let me tell you this, Matt. You know what my skin in the game is on the public schools? I pay $38,000 a year in property taxes and my kids don’t go to the school that uses most of that money. But that’s my responsibility as a citizen, to help to fund good, free public schools in my state. I’m not complaining about it, I’m not asking her for any money to send my kids to parochial school. So it’s none of her business. [Emphasis added]

The interview began on a positive note, as Lauer praised Christie’s ability to pass major cost-cutting reform legislation on a bipartisanship basis: “Governor Chris Christie is celebrating a very big win this morning. He just persuaded the Democratic-controlled legislature in his state to pass historic pension and heah care reform that he claims will save his state billions of dollars.”

However, Lauer quickly found a negative way to spin the accomplishment: “It comes with a cost, okay? I mean when you look at your situation in New Jersey right now, teachers don’t like you, the public employees unions, they hate you right now. Your approval rating, 47% of the people in New Jersey disapprove, right now, of the job that Chris Christie is doing in the state. Simply go with the territory?”

More……….

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Obama Sends His Kids to Private School But Opposes School Choice Vouchers

October 20, 2008

By Fred Lucas

Excerpt:

[....]

Despite his work to improve Chicago’s public schools, the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee sends his two daughters to the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School, a prestigious private school in Chicago – and he opposes school vouchers, which would allow parents to send their kids to the school of their choice.

[snip]

Tuition for the Chicago Lab School where Obama’s daughters attend is $18,492 a year for grades 1-4, the grades Obama’s daughters attend. The tuition climbs to $20,286 a year for grades 5-8, and $21,480 a year for grades 9-12, according to the school’s Web site.

LINK

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Christie: I Was ‘Damn Right’ in Reaction to Question About Kids’ Schooling

June 26, 2011

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday he was “damn right” to speak curtly to a questioner who asked him about his kids’ schooling, arguing that he’s “huggable and lovable” but family decisions are a private matter.

In the widely seen interview from a week ago, the questioner, “Gail,” asked why Christie thought it’s fair to cut funding for public schools when he sends his own children to private school. Christie responded at the time that it was “none of your business” where he sends his kids for their education.

On Sunday, Christie said he had no problem with the response he gave.

“You know why? Because this is who I am and the public knows they get it straight from me. And so what I said to her was, don’t question my wife and my parenting decisions. That’s the most personal thing that you can say to someone,” Christie said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.

Christie said he was very blunt and direct, but so was Gail.

“You’ll get her tone and her demeanor in that question  … She’s questioning my ability as a public office holder to make decisions about every child in New Jersey in their public education because my children go to parochial school? I went to public schools in New Jersey. I’m a product of public schools. And so, you know what, absolutely, I wish more people in public life would respond just that way,” Christie said.

During the Q&A, the Republican governor told Gail that he chose to send his kids to private school because he wanted them to get a religious education. On Sunday, he said parenting decisions are personal, “from the heart” and “not appropriate for public inquiry.”

He said he thinks his response is one that parents would respect.

“It’s not costing anybody anything for me to send my kids to parochial school and you know what? At the end of the day I think every parent should have the right to decide that most important decision how their child should be educated,” he said.

But, Christie added, if people are offended by his style, he’s sorry for their reaction.

“I’m huggable and lovable,” he said. “I’m not abrasive at all. Listen. I’m honest. I wish we had more of it in politics. You know what people are tired of in politics? They are tired of blow dried tested answers that are given by political consultants, the politicians and everybody sounds the same — everybody sounds the same.” [Emphasis added]

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/26/christie-was-damn-right-in-reaction-to-question-about-kids-schooling/#ixzz1QTomNPXg

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How refreshing: A government official giving a BLUNT but HONEST answer!

The best statement by Christie:

“You know what people are tired of in politics? They are tired of blow dried tested answers that are given by political consultants, the politicians and everybody sounds the same — everybody sounds the same.”

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