03/21/2012 03:30 pm ET Updated Mar 21, 2012

Obama Camp Responds To Santorum's Comments About Malia

President Obama's campaign has responded to comments Rick Santorum made about Malia's school trip to Mexico. Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that she is "surprised" Santorum would drag the president's children into the political crossfire.

"I think that children, for candidate purposes, have always been off-limits in presidential campaigns, and really any campaign," Cutter said, according to The Hill. "I'm surprised that Rick Santorum wouldn't agree with that."

Santorum offered his critique of Obama's parenting after news got out that Malia, 13, was vacationing in Mexico with classmates.

“What I would say is that the president's actions should reflect what his administration is saying,” Santorum told Glenn Beck on Tuesday, according to The Blaze. “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. You should set an example. I think that‘s what presidents do. They set an example. And when the government is saying this is not safe, then you don’t set the example by sending your kids down there.”

The State Department has issued travel warnings about parts of Mexico, but the region where Malia was staying was under no advisory. Santorum, a father of seven, said he was just holding Obama to a "higher duty" required of the president.

The White House has an unwritten rule urging the media not to report on the private activities of presidential children but made an exception and released a statement Tuesday after an earthquake hit Mexico to announce that Malia was safe.