Republicans pounce on Obama ‘getaway’ vacation

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
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No sooner had President Obama left for a 10-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday night than Republicans began a fresh series of attacks on his handling of the economy, including a new website mocking him for vacationing while the economy worsens.

The White House has described the president’s trip as a working-vacation. He is scheduled to unveil a new jobs plan after Labor Day, in what will be his eighth major speech on the economy. The National Economic Council will meet with the president on his new jobs program next week. Counter-terrorism chief John Brennan is also traveling with Obama to work on national security issues.

But Republicans pounced on the opportunity to claim the president is running away from the country’s economic woes — woes that have left Obama with an unenviable 39 percent approval rating.

The Republican National Committee rolled out a website, Obamagetaway.com, where users can email tongue-in-cheek postcards from the Commander-in-Chief with quips like: “Wishing you happy job hunting from Martha’s Vineyard.”

Speaking on Fox News last night, former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin accused Obama of sticking his head in the sand.

“[H]e promised to not rest until every American who wanted a job got that job,” Palin said. “And yet there he goes, jetting off to tickle his toes in the sand of Martha’s Vineyard and probably burying his head in the proverbial sand, ignoring the fact that 14 million Americans cannot find a job, that 40-plus million Americans are relying on food stamps to make ends meet.”

And GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman tweeted out yesterday: “[W]ith the jobs crisis this country faces, President Obama should be calling Congress back to DC, not going on a 10 day vacation.”

But while Republicans can ding Obama’s timing, they can’t accuse him of being lazy. (Obama: I have it tougher than Abe Lincoln)

According to CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller, who has kept track of presidential vacation time, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office.

At the same time in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch, and Ronald Reagan had taken 112 vacation days. Bill Clinton took the fewest days off: just 28.