Washington: The White House has defended President Barack Obama’s two-week summer vacation at Martha’s Vineyard with his family and friends, amid criticism from political opponents over its timing.
Obama returned from his vacation on Sunday night.
During these 15 days, Obama issued three presidential statements, held two briefings, nine rounds of golf, two hikes, three dinners-out, a party with his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and one night of fireworks.
He also returned to the White House for two days to hold meetings with his national security team.
The opponents have argued that this was “not necessary” ata time of domestic unrest in Ferguson and international crisis in Syria and Iraq.
“People look at a lot of things that happen in this town through a political lens. That’s an understandable pursuit. That is just not the way that we look at them,” White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters.
“That when the President is out making these kinds of decisions about which foreign leaders to call, what sort of military actions to order up, balancing the pros and cons of the specific strategy or an intervention, the President is not worried about politics.
He is worried about the safety and security of the American people. And that’s what he’s focussed on. It’s okay for other people to be focused on those things; we’re just not,” he said.
“We often talk about the fact that when the President is travelling or even when he is on summer vacation with his family, he still is bearing the responsibility of being the President of the United States and the Commander-in-Chief,”Earnest said.
“He took with him a telephone that was used on many occasions to confer with international leaders about American interests around the globe and emerging situations in Ukraine and Iraq, and other places. So that’s what the President was focused on,” he said.
In addition to that, the President did, like many other Americans this time of year, did enjoy some downtime with his family. Balancing those two things is something that is a challenge for every single President of the United States, he said.