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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Former vice president Dick Cheney resurfaced again this week, to sharply criticize President Barack Obama for being on vacation when ISIS murdered American journalist James Foley.

During a Wednesday night appearance on Fox News’ Hannity, Cheney reiterated his belief that President Obama doesn’t understand foreign policy, and slammed him for playing golf after making a statement condemning Foley’s killing and denouncing ISIS as a “cancer.”

“Every day we find new evidence that he’d rather be on the golf course than he would be dealing with a crisis that’s developing rapidly in the Middle East,” Cheney insisted.

Cheney is not the only person to criticize President Obama for taking a working vacation, nor is his criticism the most ridiculous (for example, The Hill recently criticized the president for taking a walk while “the White House grapples with crises at home and abroad”). But the complaints are especially galling coming from the 46th vice president.

For starters, Cheney’s former boss blew Obama out of the water in terms of time spent away from Washington. To date, President Obama has spent about 150 days on vacation. During his two terms, according to accepted presidential vacation expert Mark Knoller of CBS, George W. Bush spent 1,020 days487 at Camp David, 490 at his Crawford, Texas ranch, and 43 at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

But guess who Cheney thinks was better at dealing with crises in the Middle East (never mind the question of who’s responsible for them)?

Cheney himself has some experience with executive branch vacations. Back in 2005, Cheney hesitated to cut his own vacation short after Hurricane Katrina struck, and then pointedly turned down President Bush’s request that he lead a task force designed to speed the recovery effort (White House advisor Dan Bartlett reportedly backed the decision, noting that the vice president “doesn’t do touchy-feely“).

For its part, the White House insists that, like his predecessors, President Obama is perfectly capable of doing his job from outside of Washington. But that won’t stop the media from obsessing over his vacation. After all, punditry is hard during the dog days of summer — and overeager critics like Cheney are always ready for their closeups.

Screenshot via Foxnews.com

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