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Rep. Coble: Obamas Use Air Force One as 'Personal Toy'

By Andrea Billups   |  

A North Carolina congressman criticized President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on the House floor Thursday for using government-funded aircraft as their personal toys, the Hill reported.

"I'm not suggesting . . . that we compromise safety or security," said Rep. Howard Coble, an 82-year-old Republican who represents his state's 6th Congressional District. "But the first family, it seems to me, treats Air Force One and related aircraft as their personal toys — a very expensive toy, I might add."

Even as Coble's tart remarks got shot down by Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a California Republican who was presiding over the House chamber, he continued to challenge the Obama family's use of Air Force One and other aircraft.

"I will admit . . . that Air Force One belongs to President Obama and his wife, but Air Force One also belongs to you and me, and to every taxpayer in America," Coble said.

"I simply ask the president and his wife to exercise more prudence and discipline regarding their aircraft activities. When the wheels of Air Force One are up, the meter is on, and I'm talking about a heap of taxpayer dollars," Coble said.

The cost of using Air Force One is $179,750 per hour, the New York Times reported in a May story questioning presidential travel time and expenses, particularly in a time of sequester cutbacks and as the president symbolically cut his own salary by $20,000.



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A North Carolina congressman criticized President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on the House floor Thursday for using government-funded aircraft as their personal toys.
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