On Tuesday, at the opening of the White House Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa, President Barack Obama spoke on the need for urgent action in Washington. Saying he wants “to leave no stone unturned when it comes to strengthening this economy,” Obama listed off the same measures he has been urging Congress to pass for several months — cutting the payroll tax, passing incentives for businesses to hire veterans and passing trade deals.
“So I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, Independent, if you’re not registered with any party. I want to enlist your help. I need your help sending a message to Congress that it’s time to put the politics aside and get something done,” Obama said. “You do your part. You meet your obligations. Well, it’s time Washington acted as responsibly as you do every single day. It’s past time.”
The President spent three days this week traveling across the Midwest, talking to rural communities hard-hit by the recession about his Administration’s plans to put the economy back on track. Obama is now facing widespread criticism, though, because his family leaves Thursday to go on a 10-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, just one day after the end of his Bus Tour.
“Images of Obama fundraising, golfing and on vacation — especially in such a well-heeled location — undercut his message that the economy is his ‘singular focus,’” Doug Heye, a Republican strategist, told POLITICO.
Businessman and oft-rumored Presidential candidate Donald Trump told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that Obama “takes more vacations than any human being I’ve ever seen.” The New York real estate mogul criticized Obama’s vacation further, saying: “Well, I mean, it sends a bad message. Here we have a country that really is going to hell in a hand basket. Let’s not kid ourselves. What’s happening to this country is horrible. All over the world, they’re talking about it. And we have a president that’s constantly — whether it’s Martha’s Vineyard or someplace else, constantly on vacation… We have to work in this country to bring it back.”
According to the POLITICO article, White House Press Secretary defended the Martha’s Vineyard vacation to reporters last week.
“There’s no such thing as a presidential vacation — the presidency travels with you,” Carney said. “He will be in constant communication and get regular briefings from his national security team as well as his economic team, and he will of course be fully capable if necessary of traveling back if that were required. It’s not very far.”