Michelle Obama Under Fire for Luxurious Spanish Vacation

Michelle Obama is coming under criticism for her vacation in Spain, which some are calling lavish while many Americans are struggling with the economy.  INSIDE EDITION has the latest.

It was a day at the beach for Sasha Obama. The First Daughter frolicked in the ocean with friends on the picturesque coast of southern Spain as part of her overseas vacation with mom, Michelle. Spanish police cleared a portion of the beach so the First Family could have some privacy.

But is the First Lady a "modern-day Marie Antoinette" for taking the luxury trip?

One contributor to the New York Daily News is creating quite a stir with what's being called a "scorching editorial."  Andrea Tantaros, a former Republican strategist, is slamming the First Lady as a "material girl" for the "glitzy" European vacation "while most of the country is pinching pennies."

"While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel," Tantaros wrote. "Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times." She goes on to compare Mrs. Obama to "a modern-day Marie Antoinette, the French queen who spent extravagantly on clothes and jewels without a thought for her subjects' plight.

INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent spoke with Beth Frerking, a Senior Editor of Politico. Trent asked Frerking if this was a fair criticism.

"The unemployment rate remains high, the jobless numbers were worse than some economists had expected. Maybe this particular timing wasn't the best for Michelle Obama," Frerking said.

The First Lady is taking heat for her swanky accommodations. She and an unknown number of traveling companions are staying at the posh five star hotel Villa Padierna, which some call the best hotel in Spain.  The price of a room for one night can run as high as a whopping $2,500.

Trent said, "The bottom line is that the Obamas are millionaires, so they certainly can afford this trip."

"Yes, they made it clear that they can afford the trip and that they're going to pay for it with private funds," Frerking agreed.

The editorial also points out that there may still be a cost to the taxpayers. Michelle and Sasha Obama flew to Spain on Air Force 2 and have been constantly surrounded by a team of Secret Service agents.

A White House source tells INSIDE EDITION that Michelle is traveling with a small group of friends and minimal staff.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had this to say about the First Lady's overseas excursion:

"She is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip. And I think I'll leave it at that."