Fox News Host Eric Bolling has offered to pay for White House tours that have been cancelled because of the sequester. The tours are supposedly being indefinitely suspended effective tomorrow.
Bolling learned that a group of Iowa six graders were denied a chance to visit the White House because of the sequester-driven automatic federal budget cuts. So he made a public offer to President Obama and Press Secretary Jay Carney to cover one week’s worth of tours to the tune of $74,000 to keep the White House open.
The $74,000 figure that the government provided is based on the salaries of 37 Secret Service agents who monitor the tours but none of those agents have been furloughed during the sequester. They are still on the job, which raises the question of how canceling the White House tours — which is a drop in the bucket in terms of overall federal spending — saves any money at all.
On FNC’s “The Five” yesterday afternoon, Eric Bolling made these comments about the White House tour shutdown and how he would personally pay to keep them going: “Mr. President, it was you that decided to pony up for a boy’s weekend golfing with Tiger Woods. It was you that decided to take the family to Hawaii for Christmas.”
Bolling continued: “And you decided Michelle and kids should go skiing in Aspen and that’s good for them, by the way. But why shut doors on those kids in Iowa and Florida and Texas?”
Commenting on the cancellation of the tours, which many people feel is political grandstanding given all the wasteful government spending that hasn’t been touched, Eric Bolling said on FNC this morning that “If I can get the White House doors open for those sixth graders in Iowa, I’ll spend … the $74,000. I mean it.” Bolling also made the same offer on Facebook and Twitter.
Fox News Channel Host Bolling added that “This isn’t trying to upstage the president. This isn’t playing a game. He’s playing the political game by saying, ‘I’m closing the White House.’ He’s punishing those kids.” His colleague Sean Hannity also tweeted that he is willing to pitch in as have others in the Fox News orbit.
Separately, earlier this week, a congressman introduced an amendment to defund President Obama’s golf outings in part because as one example furloughing 341 federal employees could have been avoided had Obama not traveled to Florida for the aforementioned three-day golf trip which included playing with Tiger Woods.
When asked about private donations to fund White House tours, Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, substituting for Jay Carney, told reporters today that “I don’t know if it’s technically possible. My guess is that it’s not.”
— ericbolling (@ericbolling) March 8, 2013
Watch Eric Bolling offer to pick up the tab for one week’s worth of White House tours: