June 1st, 2009
08:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Gibbs declines to give cost for Obamas' NYC trip

(CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday would not disclose the total cost of President and Mrs. Obama's weekend foray to New York City, but said the first couple would have taken a commercial flight to the Big Apple if the Secret Service allowed.

"I think the president, would, could he have, based on the Secret Service, he would have taken the shuttle," Gibbs said. "But I would say that the costs are proportionate with travel for presidents and I would encourage you to look up previous coverage on travel costs because they are analogous."

Some Republicans, including the Republican National Committee, have criticized Obama over the trip, arguing that it was improper for the president to enjoy a weekend of leisure in New York City - which included taking in a Broadway show - as General Motors was prepared to file bankruptcy papers Monday.

Republicans have also questioned the cost to tax-payers for the brief excursion - which included three Gulfstream-size planes to transport the presidet's security detail, staff, and White House reporters.

"If President Obama wants to go to the theater, isn't the presidential box at the Kennedy Center good enough?" RNC Press Secretary Gail Gitcho said Saturday.

Asked in the White House briefing if there was any "precedent for the president and first lady to take an out of town date night..not connected to a…previous planned event," Gibbs responded: "You've got probably more researchers than I do."


Filed under: President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Did everyone forget that Bush spent about 1/3 of his time in office on vacation? I could care less about a few hours ever-so-often to make sure the president is able to spend quality time with his to ensure that he is focused and well rested.

    Not to mention this country is going through a difficult time, and the time to cower back in fear of living life to the fullest is not now. It is good to see this type of image out front; a strong man like the president and his beautiful wife the first lady out and about–living; not simply existing.

    June 1, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Steve

    Wow, just wow...

    Dem's fussing about Bush using tax payer money to go to Texas. Repub's fussing about Obama using tax payer money to go to New York. There's no difference, except the fact that Obama has only been in office 4 months and has spent more money then all the presidents combined on Bail-Outs and Government spending. Everything he does, he flies somewhere to do it. He needs to sign a bill, so he flies to Colorado, or where ever. He tells us, the American people not to waste money, yet he does the exact opposite. The only reason he waited till now to let GM file Bancrupcy was to get all his UAW buddies cushy deals. If we would have left them go under months ago, the UAW would have been screwed and lost millions.

    June 1, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Matt in CT

    Now I'm a Republican, but for crying out loud – you mean the RNC has nothing more to complain about than this? Get a friggin grip!

    June 1, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    DT....where do you get your figures?......MichaelMoore.com or MoveOn.org?

    It's a well established fact that Obama's gig was in the $170 million range. Both of Bush's inaugurations were COMBINED around 70 million. You are entitled to your own opinion...BUT NOT YOUR OWN FACTS!

    June 1, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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