BATON ROUGE – President Obama has been taking some serious heat – even from members of his own party – for going on taxpayer-backed fundraising junkets in the midst of ongoing domestic and international crises. Two weeks ago, President Obama traveled to Texas for fundraisers but refused to see the humanitarian crisis at the border firsthand, drawing criticism from his own Party. Then this week, amid developments with Russia, Ukraine, and the Middle East, President Obama again hit the fundraising circuit even as natural disasters rocked both states he visited. Politics never seems to take a day off with President Obama, but does Mary Landrieu honesty think the President should be spending so much time trying to save the political careers of vulnerable Democrats like himself with all that’s going on right now?
“Mary Landrieu has been silent on whether she approves of President Obama raising money that benefits her reelection campaign instead of directing his full attention to the Presidency while multiple crises unfold here at home and abroad,” said RNC spokesman Ben Voelkel. “With President Obama, politics never seems to take a day off, but does Mary Landrieu honesty think the President should be spending so much time trying to save the political careers of vulnerable Democrats like herself with all that’s going on right now?
“President Obama Is Set To Make A West Coast Swing This Week, Stopping In San Francisco And Los Angeles For Fundraisers And Photo-Ops. As Michael Shear Noted Over The Weekend, Obama's Decision To Fundraise As The World Burns Isn't Great For Optics.” (Dylan Byers, “Fundraising On The Titanic,”Politico, 7/21/14)
“Some Are Questioning The Timing Of The President’s Trip And The Message It Might Be Sending In Light Of The Current International Crisis.”“President Barack Obama is in the Bay Area for a short fundraising visit, drawing some criticism. Some are questioning the timing of the president's trip and the message it might be sending in light of the current international crisis.” (“President Obama In Bay Area For Fundraiser, Draws Criticism,” NBC News, 7/23/14)
As Obama Arrived In California For Fundraisers, Even Democrats Were “Scratching Their Heads” As Obama Fundraises During International Crises.“Meanwhile, Obama's 18th visit to the Bay Area as president - an in-and-out fundraising stop - is handing GOP opponents an opportunity to needle him for hitting up wealthy donors for contributions at a time of international crises. Even some loyal partisans say they're scratching their heads about the president's strategy. ‘It defies every principle,’ Garry South, former adviser to Gov. Gray Davis and a Democratic consultant, said of Obama's pure-fundraising itinerary. “‘Official activities should always drive the schedule.’” (Carla Marinucci, “Obama Lands In Bay Area, Draws Criticism For Trip,” San Francisco Chronicle, 7/23/14)
“As Violence Exploded In The Middle East And The World Recoiled At The Destruction Of A Commercial Jetliner, President Obama Kept Largely To His Schedule, Which Included Recent Appearances At Democratic Fundraisers That Drew Criticism From Political Opponents.” (Kathleen Hennessey and Cathleen Decker, “Fundraisers Yes, Jimmy Kimmel No During Obama’s Los Angeles,” Los Angeles Times, 7/21/14)
Amidst “International Matters On People’s Minds,” Obama Continues His West Coast Fundraising Trip. “President Barack Obama continues his week long West Coast fundraising trip with two events in the Bay Area, but some political pundits say he should be more focused on pressing international issues. The president aboard Air Force One landed at 9:20 p.m. at SFO Tuesday and will attend two events in the Bay Area on Wednesday to help members of the Democratic party run for Congress across the country. In the meantime, there are several pressing international matters on people’s minds from the escalated fighting in Gaza to the surging number of Central American children crossing our border.” (“Obama Draws Criticism For Continuing West Coast Fundraising Tour Amid International Crises,” CBS5, 7/23/14)
National Journal’s Ron Fournier: “While Palmieri Is Correct That Gutting A Presidential Schedule Is Rarely A Good Idea, There Are Times When It Is. You Could Make An Argument That Thursday Was One Such Time, When The Gaza Strip Erupted With Violence And Russian President Vladimir Putin's Allies Shot A Passenger Plane From The Sky.” “Second, while Palmieri is correct that gutting a presidential schedule is rarely a good idea, there are times when it is. You could make an argument that Thursday was one such time, when the Gaza Strip erupted with violence and Russian President Vladimir Putin's allies shot a passenger plane from the sky. A president can bring calm and clarity to a confusing situation, or he can add to public anxiety. About the time a Russian news agency reported 23 Americans were aboard the downed liner—a report that was responsibly attributed and distributed by U.S. news agencies—Obama was ordering lunch with a single mother at the Charcoal Pit in Delaware.” (Ron Fournier, “Is The White House Lying Or Just Bad At Crisis Communications?” National Journal, 7/21/14)
“As Smoke Billowed From The Downed Malaysian Jetliner In The Fields Of Eastern Ukraine On Thursday, President Obama Pressed Ahead With His Schedule: A Cheeseburger With Fries At The Charcoal Pit In Delaware, A Speech About Infrastructure And Two Splashy Fund-Raisers In New York City.” (Michael Shear, “Sticking To His Travel Plans, At Risk Of Looking Bad,” The New York Times, 7/19/14)