Despite Crises Abroad, Obama Flies Off For Political Fundraisers

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 06:25 PM

 

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Facing dueling foreign policy crises abroad, President Barack Obama is fending off criticism at home as he heads to the West Coast tomorrow for a three-day fundraising swing for Democratic candidates.

At events in Seattle, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, the president will mingle with Hollywood stars and technology moguls. The political events, scheduled weeks ago, come as Obama works to contain a growing conflict in Gaza and the fallout from a crash of a Malaysian passenger jet in Ukraine.

White House officials defended Obama’s decision to stick with his schedule, saying the president travels with a mobile White House that allows him to do his job from the road.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

“If it becomes clear that there’s a need for him to come back to the White House, in order to fulfill those functions, then we’ll make a change in his schedule,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters today. “Right now, it’s not apparent that that’s the case.”

The president has spent much of his time in office balancing a range of foreign policy issues, including simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Republicans criticized Obama last week when attended two fundraisers in New York City on the same day Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was brought down by a missile in eastern Ukraine, and just hours after Israel began its ground assault into Gaza.

“This is what we used to call in the military A-W-O-L,” Arizona Senator John McCain said on Fox News.

Obama will attend events this week at the home of real estate investor George Marcus in Los Altos Hills, California, screenwriter Shonda Rhimes in Los Angeles, and the co-founder and former Costco Wholesale Corp. head Jim Sinegal in the Seattle suburbs.

Previous president have also been criticized for tending to partisan politics during foreign conflicts.

In 2004, President George W. Bush attended a fundraiser in New York City the same night as a terrorist train bombing in Madrid that killed almost 200 people. Two years later, he courted donors in Macon, Georgia the day after North Korea detonated its first nuclear weapon.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

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