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Chip Gaines responds after opinion writer says 'family first' mantra is just for show

After a USA Today column questioned whether Chip Gaines and his wife, Joanna, could be good parents and manage a business empire, the star fired back.
/ Source: Today

Chip Gaines is firing back at a USA Today op-ed that questioned whether or not the reality star's own home is in dire need of being fixed up.

A USA Today column that ran over the weekend opined that "Chip and Joanna Gaines did not get where they are by putting their family first."

Chip and Joanna Gaines of the Magnolia empire Nathan Congleton / NBC

Opinion contributor Daryl Austin, a small-business owner from Utah, claimed that it was physically impossible for the HGTV stars to devote the proper time to the parenting of their four kids — Drake, 13, Ella Rose, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie Kay, 8 — given the demands of their real estate and reality TV empires. Joanna Gaines, who recently turned 40, is pregnant with the couple's fifth child, a son.

Chip Gaines, though, was quick to hammer home the point that the foundation of Austin's op-ed was pure conjecture with a tweet on Saturday:

The op-ed still seemed to bother the "Fixer Upper" star two days later. Gaines, 43, tweeted a quote from Sen. John McCain — "Whether we think each other right or wrong on the issues of the day, we owe each other respect" — that seemed to be a pointed response.

Austin's perception, of course, runs counter to the carefully crafted image of the Gaines as perfect parents first, and perfect businesspeople second.

In the USA Today op-ed, he suggested the reality that wasn't shown on the recently wrapped "Fixer Upper" is that running a successful real estate company across the Texas cities of Waco, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and San Antonio, two best-selling books, a quarterly magazine, an online store, a restaurant, Joanna's blog, and line of products for Target is more than a full-time job for two people. It's a full-time life.

"This is just not possible, and it does a disservice to the parents who really are putting their children first. No matter how rich and famous, we are all limited by the same 24 hours in a day," Austin wrote. "You cannot do all they’ve done (or even a fraction of it) and still have any real time left over for family."