This coming Friday, President Trump is going to get away from the White House and start a 17-day vacation at his private golf resort in New Jersey, according to the Associated Press.
Although the news conflicts with past statements Trump has made about playing golf and having time off, Presidents typically take their vacations in August and the Friday trip marks Trump’s first official vacation since being inaugurated. The White House insists it will be a “working vacation.” As the AP points out, the trip could have something to do with the fact that the White House’s heating and cooling system is being replaced.
“The president is going to continue to work,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters Thursday night. “The staff and the president are moving out, because I don’t think any of you would like to be in the West Wing in an August D.C. summer day when it’s over 100 degrees with no air conditioning,”
But Trump “first official vacation” comes after he’s already spent quite a lot of time away from the White House on the taxpayer’s dollar when compared to previous presidents. As CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller points out, Trump has already spent the equivalent of two weeks at the New Jersey golf club, and that’s not even mentioning all the time he’s spent at Mar-a-Lago.
Pres Trump's time away from WH:
-7 visits to Mar-a-Lago (all or part of 25 days)
-4 to NJ golf club (14 days)
-1 to Camp David (2 days) pic.twitter.com/U0qsj8uvxp
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 4, 2017
But as uneventful as a presidential vacation is, Trump’s past comments about then-President Obama’s penchant for golf and taking periodic breaks from the White House are undeniably hypocritical. In 2011, Trump slammed Obama’s “work ethic” for taking in a game of golf before a 10-day getaway to Martha’s Vineyard.
@BarackObama played golf yesterday. Now he heads to a 10 day vacation in Martha's Vineyard. Nice work ethic.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2011
Probably the most blatant example that’s hard to square with his current “work ethic” is a 2015 comment Trump made where he said, “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.”
All this being said, presidents deserve time off. It could even be argued that it’s essential. But as CNN’s Chris Cillizza points out, Trump invites the criticism on himself.
For Trump, attacking Obama on vacationing was the equivalent of crushing a hanging curveball deep into the left field stands. It was there. So he swung at it. Hard. Again and again.
Featured image via Flickr