CBS This Morning’s Major Garrett on Monday chided Donald Trump for taking an August vacation, highlighting how long he’s been away from the White House and digging up the businessman's old tweets about Barack Obama’s trips. Yet, the very same network excused and defended Obama’s excursions.
Guest co-host Margaret Brennan scolded, “The President has spent 44 of his first 200 days in office away from the White House. At the same point in his presidency, Barack Obama had spent 21 days outside the White House.” Garrett complained, “Mr. Trump's summer travel is predicted to cost the township of Bedminster [New Jersey] more than $300,000.”
Trying to make seem Trump seem hypocritical, Garrett reminded:
As was so often the case, Mr. Trump singled out Obama for criticism. In 2011, Mr. Trump tweeted, "Barack Obama played golf yesterday. Now he heads to a ten-day vacation in Martha's Yineyard. Nice work ethic."
Garrett also took time to run down another GOP president: “Bush 43 took heat for vacationing during the Iraq war and for looking down at the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as he flew back to D.C. after a nearly month-long vacation.”
On August 22 of 2014, guest co-host Jeff Glor offered a defense for Obama when he played golf following the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS. He spun, “You can't appear to be held hostage to events.” Garrett touted Obama’s golf, enthusing that the Democrat was “swinging freely and shaking hands leisurely along the fairway.”
On July 19, 2010, Chip Reid rushed to Obama’s defense, hyping, “Whatever criticism there may be of the President's vacation choices, he's spent 33 days on vacation in his first 18 months. His predecessor, Bush W. Bush, spent 96 in the same period.”
Finally, don’t forget that This Morning co-host Gayle King vacationed with the Obamas in the spring of 2017.
CBS This Morning
MARGARET BRENNAN: The President has spent 44 of his first 200 days in office away from the White House. At the same point in his presidency, Barack Obama had spent 21 days outside the White House. President George W. Bush was away for 67 days. Major Garret is traveling with the President with a look at how Mr. Trump’s time away compares to those other presidential vacations. Major, you’ve experienced many of them yourself.
MAJOR GARRETT: Indeed I have. Good morning. Now, President Trump says this is not really a vacation. It’s a working effort and the White House contends that he’s only here in New Jersey because of renovations, structural and cosmetic going on at the White House. But so far, this vacation looks a lot like its modern presidential predecessors. No public events, no briefings and some criticism.
DONALD TRUMP: I promise you, I will not be taking very long vacations if I take them at all. That's no time for vacation.
ANITA MCBRIDE: At the time, I remember saying he's going to find that that is just not true.
GARRETT: Anita McBride, former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush, knows the ever present pressures and responsibilities that shadow a president.
MCBRIDE: You are going to need time away and it's healthy for you, but your work is going to go with you.
GARRETT: George H.W. Bush spent summers Kennebunkport, Maine. President John Kennedy sailed near the family compound in Hyannis. Martha's Vineyard attracted Barack Obama and George W. Bush. While George W. Bush reveled in the rustic isolation of his Crawford ranch.
MCBRIDE: It was a little more private. Donald Trump happens to be going to a place that, these are his properties. There are members there. So, it’s not truly private.
GARRETT: Bush 43 took heat for vacationing during the Iraq war and for looking down at the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as he flew back to D.C. after a nearly month-long vacation.
TRUMP: I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off. Who's going to leave?
GARRETT: As was so often the case, Mr. Trump singled out Obama for criticism. In 2011, Mr. Trump tweeted, “Barack Obama played golf yesterday. Now he heads to a ten-day vacation in Martha's Yineyard. Nice work ethic.” Mr. Trump's summer travel is predicted to cost the township of Bedminster more than $300,000.
MCBRIDE: This is a very different than previous presidents where there are family members who are official members of staff as well. So they have, not only security, but they have staff. It adds up. I think we know as human beings everybody needs a break or a change of scenery. It’s just we certainly expect more out of our public leaders, and that might be unfair, but it is the reality.
GARRETT: The President has another wrinkle, of course. He's cocooning himself in his own brand name, staying, as was mentioned, at his own golf course and resort. Now, other American presidents have vacationed here in New Jersey. Grant Buchanan and Garfield, our 11th president James K. Polk, in case you're curious, was notorious for his work ethic, taking off only 27 days from his four-year presidency. Charlie?