Obama says his ‘responsibilities’ prevented him from helping out Wisc. Democrats

Meagan Clark Contributor
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President Barack Obama said Monday he didn’t visit Wisconsin before last Tuesday’s recall election because he has “a lot of responsibilities,” but those responsibilities haven’t kept him from his 99th round of golf and 11 vacations as president, or from record-breaking fundraising.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s crushing defeat of Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has led to speculation in both parties that Wisconsin, which Obama won in 2008, is up for grabs. Obama’s absence infuriated some Walker opponents.

Just four days before the recall, Obama fundraised in Minnesota and Illinois, but skipped over neighboring Wisconsin — where the Democratic gubernatorial candidate was down in the polls.

“The truth of the matter is that as president of the United States, I’ve got a lot of responsibilities,” Obama said Monday.

Those responsibilities haven’t kept him from attending 160 re-election fundraisers as of Tuesday, according to a tally by CBS News reporter Mark Knoller. In 2009 Obama became the first president in 35 years to visit every electoral battleground state within his first year in the White House.

In between that record-breaking number of fundraisers, Obama has managed to take 11 vacations during his time as president.

The first family kicked off August 2009 with two vacations — the first at Martha’s Vineyard and the second at Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon. The family spent Christmas 2009 in Hawaii, an annual tradition.

In May 2010, the Obama family took a four-day vacation in Chicago. Two months later, the family took a trip to Mount Desert Island, Maine.

One month later, in August, the family returned to Martha’s Vineyard. In the same month, Obama spent his 49th birthday alone for a weekend getaway in Chicago. Later in the same month, August 2010, the first family went to Panama City Beach, Fla.

The family spent Christmas 2010 and an extended Christmas vacation in 2011 in Hawaii. They again vacationed at Martha’s Vineyard the summer of 2011.

Obama played his 99th game of golf as president on Monday, June 4. (RALPH NADER: Obama ‘abandoned’ Wisconsin, ‘betraying the working people of this country’)

The support Obama did manage to lend Barrett was under 120 characters on Twitter. “It’s Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I’m standing by Tom Barrett. He’d make an outstanding governor. -bo,” he wrote.

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