Tags: 2014 Midterm Elections | Barack Obama | Iraq in Crisis | Israel | Obama | fundraisers | golf

Criticism Mounts as Obama Continues Fundraisers, Golf Amid Crises

Image: Criticism Mounts as Obama Continues Fundraisers, Golf Amid Crises President Barack Obama, left, laughs after Ahmad Rashad made a putt Saturday on the first green at the Farm Neck Golf Club on Martha's Vineyard. (Matthew Healey/Pool/EPA/Landov)

By Andrea Billups   |   Monday, 11 Aug 2014 12:29 PM

The criticism of President Barack Obama as tone-deaf and near-absent is rising as the commander in chief continues his vacation and campaign fundraising — even as international crises continue to deepen.

The political optics are poor for Obama, who is vacationing on upscale Martha's Vineyard where's he's been photographed golfing, and as he continues to attend high-dollar fundraisers, seen as crucial for congressional Democrats in tight midterm elections, USA Today reports.

Republicans are outraged by the president's seeming disconnect and have called on him to cancel a private-home fundraiser in Tisbury, Mass., on Monday that is set to raise funds for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

"Our country's foreign policy is in shambles. We are facing so many security crises, yet President Obama's instinct is to head to Martha's Vineyard to fundraise for Democrats," Republicans said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Obama has attended 40 fundraisers this year — nine in California — with 10 big-money events last month, far exceeding former Republican President George W. Bush, but coming nowhere close to popular Democrat Bill Clinton.

Even with his popularity waning and many candidates distancing themselves from Obama's policies, Democratic leaders say the party counts on him as a big draw at fundraisers that can raise up to a million dollars, the Journal noted.

"Along with our energized grass-roots supporters, the president is a big reason we have consistently out-raised House Republicans, despite being in the minority" in Congress, Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who heads House campaign fundraising efforts, said.

The White House was quick to say that the president is prepared, even with his busy slate of vacation and political activities.

"The president will be traveling to Massachusetts with an array of communications equipment and national-security advisers and others to ensure that he has the capacity to make the kinds of decisions that are required for the commander in chief," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

"And if there's a need for the president to return to the White House, it's not a long flight from Martha's Vineyard back to Washington, D.C."

The Republican backlash against his agenda continued, however, as radical Islamic terrorists advanced in Iraq and as a new prime minister steps forward to lead there, NBC News reported.

"There have always been questions about Obama's priorities, but it seems there is no domestic or international crisis that will keep Obama from what he enjoys most — fundraising," Kirsten Kukowski, Republican National Committee press secretary, told the Journal.

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