Malia Obama safe after Mexico earthquake

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011. White House Photo/Pete Souza

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011.
White House Photo/Pete Souza

Updated 7:25 p.m. Eastern Time

First daughter Malia Obama, who is reportedly in southwestern Mexico on a school trip, "is safe and was never in danger" in the wake of a 7.6-magnitude earthquake that hit near Acapulco on Tuesday, the first lady's office said.

The White House does not traditionally discuss the Obama children, but broke with the policy to announce that Malia Obama is safe. Word of her trip to Mexico was reported by a number of media outlets on Monday, though CBS News has not reported her trip until now.

The Monday reports prompted the first lady's office to reach out to media outlets and ask them to pull the stories, which many elected to do. In order to protect the "privacy and security" of the first daughters, the first lady's office said, it was reiterating its longstanding request that news organizations not "report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest."

Malia, 13, is reportedly in the Mexican state of Oaxaca on the school trip. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was felt strongly in Oaxaca, according to the Associated Press.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on Tuesday that he disapproved of Mr. Obama's decision to allow Malia Obama to travel to Mexico, citing a State Department travel warning for the country.

"What I would say is that the president's actions should reflect what his administration is saying," Santorum told conservative radio talk show host Glenn Beck. "If the administration is saying that it's not safe to have people down there, then just because you can send 25 Secret Service agents doesn't mean you should do it...And when the government is saying this is not safe, then you don't set the example by sending your kids down there."

In the State Department travel warning for Mexico, it says "no warning is in effect" for Oaxaca.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.