Suddenly, Republicans Are Upset Over A President Leaving The White House
Reprinted with permission from American Independent
After four years of tolerating Donald Trump's frequent golf vacations, Republicans are now attacking President Joe Biden for not spending every moment at the White House.
"Biden goes on vacation," Trump's handpicked Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted on Wednesday, "after leaving hundreds of Americans stranded in Afghanistan."
She was referencing an Associated Press news item that Biden plans to spend Labor Day weekend in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
In recent weeks, several congressional Republicans have also attacked Biden for spending part of August working from home or from Camp David, the official presidential country residence.
"American troops are dying. And Joe Biden is still hiding on vacation," falsely claimed House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik last Thursday.
"Biden has spent just 4 of the last 15 days in DC," complained Georgia Rep. Jody Hice. "No wonder his Administration is in chaos!"
"American citizens are still in danger, and our President went on vacation refusing to do ANYTHING," Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson baselessly charged. "Biden is INCOMPETENT!"
But Republicans stood by then-President Donald Trump for four years as he frequently left Washington, D.C., for his golf courses and other resorts.
Despite campaign promises to "rarely leave the White House" and to not "have time to play golf," Trump made spent nearly 300 days on golf courses during his term, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of about $148 million.
According to a Washington Post count, Trump spent 428 days of his lone term in office visiting one of his own Trump Organization properties — an average of more than two days out of each week.
Trump claimed these were really "working" trips — though he played hundredsof rounds of golf on those visits.
"I go to Bedminster, which is a beautiful place, but it's never a vacation. It's working, mostly," he told reporters in July 2019, plugging his Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.
Republicans did not attack Trump for these trips. McDaniel frequently praised him as "working hard" for the American people.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) retweeted McDaniel's tweet on Wednesday. In February, he made national news for taking a vacation to Cancún, Mexico, with his family in the midst of massive winter storms in his state. Millions of his constituents were left without safe drinking water or electricity as he traveled to a Ritz-Carlton luxury resort.
Trump is not the only former president who spent much of his presidency out of Washington, D.C.
A 2014 FactCheck.org analysis noted that George W. Bush spent more than 875 days at Camp David or at his Texas ranch. He spent much of that time clearing brush.
Ronald Reagan also spent hundreds of days in California at his "Western White House" ranch.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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