Kill joys: GOP slams Obama over Leno appearance, NCAA

McClatchy NewspapersMarch 19, 2009 

WASHINGTON — Looks like Republicans just don't want President Obama to have fun.

"He flies off to Los Angeles tonight to appear on the Jay Leno show," protested Senate Assistant Minority Leader Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. Obama is to appear on the "Tonight Show" Thursday, which Leno hosts. Obama has been in California since Wednesday. Among his activities have been a town hall meeting in Costa Mesa and a tour of an electric car plant.

"My suggestion is that he come back, since he's taken full responsibility (and) get his people together," Kyl advised at a news conference where Republicans discussed the economy and the furor over bonuses paid to officials of the bailed-out American International Group..

The GOP didn't stop there.

"He even has time to fill out his NCAA basketball bracket," said Senate GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., though he quickly added that was "a healthy thing to do in my opinion," since Obama picked Tennessee and Memphis as early winners.

Alexander, though, wasn't about to let Obama off that easy.

The senator cited comments from Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who was quoted as saying, "Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets."

"I think that's what we'd like to say," Alexander explained. Obama picked Duke rival North Carolina to win the NCAA tournament.

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