Mitt Romney said on Thursday that President Barack Obama is partially to blame for a recent scandal over excessive spending at the General Services Administration because he takes "elaborate vacations."First of all, the only thing that's unusual about President Obama's vacation time is that he takes so little of it: Compare Obama's 61 days of vacation through last summer to George W. Bush's 180 days through the same point in his presidency. There's nothing any more elaborate about it than any other presidential vacation. Maybe Mitt Romney is trying to suggest Obama is a foreigner for vacationing in Hawaii, but last I checked, Hawaii is part of America, no matter what Cokie Roberts says.
"I think the example starts at the top," Romney told National Review Online in an interview published Friday. "People have to see that the president is not taking elaborate vacations and spending in a way that is inconsistent with the state of the overall economy and the state of the American family."
Secondly, Mitt Romney really isn't the right guy to be criticizing other people's vacation plans. This is, after all, the same guy who spent 212 days out of state in his final year as governor of Massachusetts. Sure, maybe he doesn't consider the days that he was preparing his presidential campaign to be true "vacation days," but whatever he calls them, he wasn't on the job he was hired to do. And given that he spent $35 million on his 2008 campaign, I'd say that's one hell of an elaborate vacation.
And speaking of elaborate vacations, isn't this the same Mitt Romney who hired a lobbyist to get approval for a car elevator at his beachfront vacation home in La Jolla? And isn't this the same Mitt Romney who rented a guest house and created a business so his wife could take participate in the equestrian sport of dressage? (They lost $77,000 on the business in 2010, by the way.)
We also mustn't forget his $10 million vacation home in New Hampshire or the $3.92 million ski chalet Romney sold in 2009. And I haven't even mentioned the elaborate contraption Romney built for his family dog in that now infamous road trip to Montreal in 1983.
When you compare all that to President Obama taking one-third as much vacation as George W. Bush did, it's clear that this yet another whack-a-doodle attempt by Mitt Romney to attack one of his rivals for something that he believes is a personal weakness. Romney's the one with the elaborate lifestyle here, not President Obama—at least not compared to any other president.
And by the way, it's worth noting that just two months ago, Governor Dog-on-Car attacked President Obama for allegedly discouraging Las Vegas tourism. Romney said:
Four years ago, candidate Obama came to Nevada, promising to help. But after he was elected, his help was telling people to skip coming here for conventions and meetings.What Obama actually said was this:
You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime. There’s got to be some accountability and some responsibility.So two months ago, Mitt Romney was attacking President Obama for saying "you can't go to Las Vegas on the taxpayers' dime." And today he's blaming President Obama because some GSA officials did the exact opposite of what Obama said—even though Romney himself attacked Obama for saying it.
If that isn't the most inane political attack you've heard from a presidential candidate, then you've already heard the next thing to come out of Mitt Romney's mouth.