Yesterday at Georgetown University, commenting on private education, President Obama said that when the rich withdraw "from the commons," it harms everyone.
"An anti-government ideology then disinvests from those common goods and those things that draw us together," Obama said. "And that, in part, contributes to the fact that there’s less opportunity for our kids, all of our kids."
Related Video: Obama Criticizes Sending Children to Private Schools: "Contributes To Less Opportunity For All Our Kids"
On Wednesday's "Morning Joe," co-host Joe Scarborough asks White House press secretary Josh Earnest how the president can complain about private schools hurting the "common good" while sending his own children to Washington's most elite schools. "Is there a self critique against himself, the mistakes he's made?"
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Were you, I am sure you will be asked this question many times in your next press briefing, but the president was critical of people who went to private schools and sent their children to private schools and plays at private clubs and well every alarm should be going off. Do you have that clip? Let’s play that clip first.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Those who are better and better, more skilled, educated, luckier, having greater advantages are withdrawing from, sort of the commons, kids start going to private schools. Kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks. An anti-government idea old disinvests from those common goods and those things that draw us together, and that, in part, contributes to the fact that there is less opportunity for our kids.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Obviously, the man that said it, went to the best prep school in Hawaii and went to the best private colleges in the United States, his children who I don't think it's anybody's business where they send their children, but if the president is going to criticize people who send their children to private schools he has to recognize, obviously, that he sends his children to the best schools in Washington, possibly America. How does he, is there a self critique against himself, the mistakes he's made? What was the president trying to get at there?
JOSH EARNEST: Joe, the point the president was making is it's important for us to recognize it as a country. We all have an interest in investing in the common benefits that our country has to offer.
EARNEST: His point is that even if you send your kids to private school, we all have an interest in making sure we have good high quality public schools available to everybody. It’s not that far from the White House that we do have some of the best public schools in the country over in Fairfax County, Virginia.
That is an example. That is also a more wealthy than average county in the country. That is an example of a society of a community that has invested in a common good for the benefit of their community and that's the kind of thing that we need to see all across the country. Whether that is something as simple as investing in our national parks or local parks or public schools or making sure that every single American has access to quality health insurance.
JOE: So did the president consider sending its children to public schools? Again, none of my business unless he is criticizing Americans who send their children to private schools.
EARNEST: Again, I don't think he's criticizing sending people to private schools.
He’s suggesting all Americans need to keep in mind; it's in our collective interest as a country and as citizens for us to invest in the common good, for us to invest and make sure we have good quality public schools available for everybody so that everybody has a fair shot. Everybody has a fair shake. Everybody has an equal opportunity to succeed and will let their ambition and hard work take them as far as it will carry them. That is what this country is all about. we start to lose sight of those basic values in this country the we start to retract into our own private clubs and schools and lose sight of the fact if we lose interest that we want those public schools to be good.
JOE: Please let the president also, I got a name of a couple public golf courses I’d like to show him. My comment is one of the best. I’d love to take him on a round out there. Public, beautiful.