Arianna Huffington Scolds Obama for Raising Cash Amid Crises

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 07:27 PM

By John Blosser

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While bombs explode in Gaza, the Ukraine war rumbles on, and border states struggle with a flood of illegal minor immigrants, President Barack Obama was raising funds for the Democratic Party, and even some of his closest supporters are becoming outraged.

Arianna Huffington, founder and owner of the Huffington Post, told Pivot's TakePart Live that Obama should not be out fundraising at a time when so many crises are erupting around the world. 

"I'm just sick of the amount of time these politicians spend fundraising. It just really has destroyed our democracy. That's why they spend so much time with people who can give them money and so little time, actually no time at all, with people who need their help," Huffington told TakePart Live.

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Huffington was willing to give Obama a pass on his upcoming August vacation, telling TakePart Live, "I don't criticize the president at all for going to Martha's Vineyard, having a vacation — recharging and refueling," but she was less forgiving when it comes to his fundraising activities.

Obama's schedule called for a three-day jaunt out west, starting in Seattle, then traveling to the Bay Area home of real estate broker George Marcus in Los Altos Hills for a fundraiser with tickets going for up to $32,400 apiece, Fox News reports, and a Democratic National Committee event in Beverly Hills hosted by Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington, producer and star of the ABC show "Scandal."

The White House did turn down a planned appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. 

NBCBayArea quoted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as saying, "I'm not going to give him advice about how to allocate his time, but he's certainly not spending the kind of time with the people he needs to pass legislation and convince people who have a vote, who were sent here to legislate, of the virtues of whatever position he has." 

Fox noted that Obama has attended 395 fundraisers so far during his presidency — far more than George Bush attended in his time in office.

The GOP released a video called "Fundraiser In Chief," asking, "As tensions heighten and turmoil increases, where is our President?," USA Today reported.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest responded to USA Today, "He's got dedicated phone lines. He has senior advisers who will be accompanying him every step of the way to make sure that he has access to the information and technology necessary to represent American interests in the midst of these challenging international times." 

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