ABC News' Russell Goldman reports:
Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck mocked President Obama’s 11-year-old daughter for asking her father what he was doing to stop oil from spilling into the Gulf of Mexico — the very question many Americans have regarding the government’s response to the ongoing disaster.
President Obama Thursday, in an effort to illustrate the point that many Americans were frustrated by ongoing environmental disaster, told reporters that even his daughter Malia asked: “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?”
During his radio show, The Glenn Program on Premiere Radio Networks, Beck today imitated the middle school student, speaking in a high-pitched childish tone and implied that only an uneducated person would ask what the president was doing to address the crisis.
“Daddy? Daddy? Daddy, did you plug the hole yet? Daddy?” Beck said, imitating Malia.
Beck’s co-host Pat Gray then responded as if her were the president.
“Honey, not yet … Not time yet, honey. Hasn't done enough damage,” responded Gray.
Beck then broke character to comment on the educations of Malia and her young sister Sasha, 9.
"’Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?’ Is that's their – that's the level of their education, that they're coming to – they're coming to daddy and saying 'Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?'" Plug the hole!” said Beck.
It was that line that raised the ire of liberal bloggers and parents who assailed Beck online for taking his attack on the president too far by going after his daughters.
“Glenn Beck smears Obama’s 11-year-old daughter,” wrote the liberal blog Media Matters for America.
“Glenn Beck attacks president’s daughter,” echoed left-leaning blog the Huffington Post.
In the same routine, Beck imitating Malia, also asked: “Why do you hate black people so much?”
To which Gray, as Obama, replied: “I’m part white, honey.”
Obama shared the anecdote about Malia asking about the oil leak at a press conference Thursday at the White House, his first in months. Malia, he said, knocked on his bathroom door one morning while he was shaving, peeked her head in and asked about the leak, now considered the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
Obama said he takes “full responsibility” for finding a solution to the leak, some 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf and the cleanup of millions of gallons of oil set to wash up on Gulf states’ beaches.
Many conservatives, including former governor Sarah Palin who supports offshore drilling, have chastised President Obama for not playing a more active role in addressing the crisis.
Following the publication of this story, Glenn Beck issued a statement apologizing for the bit making fun of Malia.
“In discussing how President Obama uses children to shield himself from criticism, I broke my own rule about leaving kids out of political debates. The children of public figures should be left on the sidelines. It was a stupid mistake and I apologize–and as a dad I should have known better,” Beck said in a statement emailed to ABCNews.com.
On Wednesday Beck say the media should “leave the families [of politicians] alone.” He was then discussing a story about a journalist working on a book about Sarah Palin who moved into the Wasilla, Alaska house next to former Republican vice presidential candidate.