President Obama said he wants “a vacation from the press” during a recent interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Talking to Chuck Todd about his much-criticized golf game following brief comments lamenting the decapitation of U.S. journalist James Foley at the hands of Islamic State extremists, the Commander-in-Chief had this to say.
“I should’ve anticipated the optics. It’s not something that always comes naturally to me. But it matters.”
The Obama vacation that drew ire from both political rivals and allies took place on August 20. The president took time away from his getaway to Martha’s Vineyard to express that he was “heartbroken” over Foley’s beheading.
Minutes later, he met several friends at a golf course and hit the links.
“The possibility of a jarring contrast, given the world’s news, is always — there’s always going to be some tough news somewhere — is going to be there,” Obama said. “I think everybody who knows me, including, I suspect, the press, understands that that, you know, you take this stuff in. And it’s serious business. And you care about it deeply.”
The important thing, for President Obama, is to “get the policies right.”
“Am I protecting the American people? Am I doing what’s necessary? And when it comes to the policies, when it comes to the actions we’ve taken, I have no higher priority than keeping the American people safe,” Obama said. “I think I’ve done a very good job during the course of these last, close to six years, doing so. And I intend to continue to meet that responsibility or meet that duty, for as long as I have the privilege of holding this office.”
At the end of the segment, the president confessed.
“Part of what I want is a vacation from the press,” he said, to which Todd added that a “permanent break” begins January 20, 2017, when the next president-elect takes office.
The discussion is already ruffling the feathers of conservative blogs like Hot Air.
“Does the vacation really ever end if you’ve already checked out?” asked Noah Rothman, contributor for the website.
Many feel that Rothman raises a good point, especially when looking at the “we have no strategy” comment regarding how the U.S. should be dealing with ISIS, the group behind Foley’s beheading.
What do you think, readers? Does President Obama deserve a “vacation from the press”? Is he doing enough to address the ISIS threat? Sound off in our comments section.