White House defends Obama’s travel schedule in wake of crises

McClatchy Washington BureauJuly 21, 2014 


President Barack Obama greets people inside of the Charcoal Pit in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, July 17, 2014, before speaking about transportation and infrastructure.


The White House on Monday defended President Barack Obama’s schedule this week --including a three-day trip to the west coast -- amid escalating international and domestic crises.

“When the president travels, he travels with an array of staff and advisers and communications equipment that allows him to do his job from wherever he happens to be,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “And that will be the case this week, when he's traveling later his week.”

Obama often maintains his previously set public schedule even in times of tragedy, usually garnering criticism from Republican and questions from reporters.

Last week, just after a passenger jet was shot down over Ukraine, Obama flew to Delaware to have a burger and fries at the popular Charcoal Pit restaurant and then to New York to attend a pair of private political events.

White House officials did not answer questions about the merits of Obama keeping his schedule for our story last week, but at his daily White House briefing Monday Earnest addressed the issue.

“We want to make sure that the president has everything that he needs to fulfill his responsibilities as the commander in chief,” he said. “And 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. Right now, it's not apparent that that's the case.”

Obama leaves Tuesday morning for a trip to California and Washington. He will return late Thursday.

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