Obama takes flak for ESPN appearance
President Obama takes a turn at a CBS microphone during a 2010 Georgetown/Duke basketball game (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
March 16th, 2011
03:06 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama takes flak for ESPN appearance

(CNN) – Republicans are taking aim at President Obama Wednesday for appearing on an ESPN segment to reveal his bracket picks for the NCAA Basketball tournament.

The GOP's beef?  The president should be focusing his attention elsewhere.

"How can @BarackObama say he is leading when puts his NCAA bracket over the budget & other pressing issues?" tweeted Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Tuesday.

Appearing in a brief segment Wednesday, Obama, as he has in past years, unveiled his bracket picks, ultimately choosing Kansas, Duke, Ohio State, Pitt for his final four.   Before revealing the picks, the president did urge viewers to go to usaid.gov to donate to charities that are assisting in the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan.

Still, RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said the White House should "explain why filming an ESPN special on the NCAA tournament should be a priority on his public schedule."

For the record, Obama is picking Kansas to go all the way.

"Kansas has more firepower," he said.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. john

    Can't this guy find any work to do? If this was Bush, the lib media would tar and feather him! Liberalism is truly a mental disorder!

    March 16, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. kr

    Lighten up you Republicans. All work and no play make one dull. Pres. Obama is doing his job and doing it well. Like everyone he deserves a little R&R.

    March 16, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    SO. (I'm using then and now former VP Dick Cheney's answer to a complaint and the GOP said nothing). SO.

    March 16, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Ryan

    I'm sure it took all of about 5 minutes. Pathetic republican quip. Typical.

    March 16, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. seriously???

    Totally expected criticism... yawn. I'd really like to see what your 16 hour work day looks like, Reince. It better be solid packed with meetings on how to get your committee out of debt, if not, then you have zero room to speak as usual. Any other Republicans working so hard on jobs they can't take an hour to out of their day? Didn't think so.

    March 16, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Diane P

    So silly, the GOP is pathetic. Why aren't they voting to defund NPR, PBS & Planned Parenthood??

    March 16, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. mrBistre

    How can Reince Priebus say he is contributing anything what so ever to this country if he his harping on the president over this petty, petulant and immature garbage rather than concentrating on the budget and other pressing issues.

    Do these people not understand that any legitimate issues they may have with the administration are diminished by their idiotic impulse to complain about EVERYTHING having ANYTHING to do with the president. What's next? complaining that the first lady is promoting breast feeding and trying to fight childhood obesity... oh wait... too late.

    March 16, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Timus, Powder Springs, GA

    Republicans only make themselves look bad when they gripe about such things. There's not many things more American than the NCAA tournament and the President used the forum to encourage American's to help out Japan as well. Seems reasonable to me. I'm sure Kukowsk isn't pacing around her living-room mumbling budget, budget, budget either!! Hypocrite!!

    March 16, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. mike

    the repubs hate anything that Obama does that lets him relate as one of the guys because that blows apart there argument that he is not in touch with the average american its all about painting him as something that he is not from not being an american citizen and so on and so on

    March 16, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Obviously the GOP has time to know he was on ESPN- why aren't they fcused on the country? I'll bet most of the Congress will be out somewhere celebrating St Patrick's day.

    March 16, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. BostonBlackie

    This guy makes Jimmy Carter look competent! I resent him because he "hoodwinked " everyone with his command of vocabulary and his penchant for promising all things to all peolple. Thus far he has been vapid,almost disinterested in his job.He is the Elmer Gantry of politics,the Jimmy Swaggert of BS!Can 2012 be far away!

    March 16, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Chris Willett

    I'll begin taking the Republican Party seriously again when it can elevate and rally around candidates of more substance and character than Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich. As flawed as the Democrats can sometimes be, it at least appears that they have functioning brains some of the time.

    "Git your gov'ment hands offa mah medicare!"

    March 16, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. S. In California

    And where would George be? Oh that's right on his ranch at taxpayers expense doing nothing while our 401(k)'s sank and our jobs went overseas. So shut up. He's having some fun and why not? Go Mr. President!

    March 16, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. kelsey's grammar

    How petty of the GOP. Don't they recall Bush saying the "hunt for Bin Laden won't end until he's caught, now watch this golf swing?"

    March 16, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. JIm

    Thank goodness we have a president that can actually multi-task, and thank goodness we have a Republican leadership that continues to be bewildered by such an astounding feat. Tomorrow, President Obama will be walking and chewing gum at the same time, and no doubt some bubblehead from the right will fein astonishment and righteous indignation that he do such a thing while the economy struggles and tsunamis strike. Idiots.

    March 16, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Seenu Subbu

    To those Republicans, I say, "Go get a life". Or better, go FAQ yourselves.

    March 16, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    The ConservaFascists are a bunch of haters. Instead of sweating everything the President does, they need to focus on creating JOBS!!!!

    March 16, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    President Obama would take criticism from the Taliban if he cured cancer.....all the jobs he just deatroyed!I'm sure they are equally critical of Michele Bachmann and the other Republican ilk that spend all their time grandstanding around the country, instead of performing their job of representing the people of their states that were tricked into voting for them!

    March 16, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Gavin

    So What? I'm doing my brackets while at my job too? So is everyone around me including the director. Get over yourselves. That's all you got on this guy?

    March 16, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Jay Tee

    Oh come on and stop crying. This man can take some time off his job to do what he likes. He's not a machine or a robot like you dumb republincans trying to make him out to be. Him picking the NCAA winners is not going to hurt the economy.

    March 16, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Biggge

    Are you kidding me, now we have to shut down March Madness.....Every guy in America does a final four bracket, should Obama be speading gloom and doom like the smart guys in the Stockmarket.. Should we all stop being a fan of March Madness, I new you Repub's were negative about Education but this is going to far.. Obama get your bracket on....

    March 16, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Dan

    I agree President Obama should not have any free time, he should be creating JOBS like the republicans campaigned on.
    They have put their noses to the grindstone and have put social issues ahead of jobs and the economy, along with tax cuts. For the rich so they can create jobs in China or India. I hope when the stupid wake up, the neocons have a place to hide.

    March 16, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Brad

    I was waiting for this one. These re-thug-lican nutjobs are getting disgusting. The only good thing to come out of all of this is the country is starting to see them for what they really are. I don't think there will be anymore 'landslide" elections for their party in the future.

    March 16, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    If anything makes the GOPers whine and cry like babies, it's a sure bet President Obama is mentioned somewhere in the mix of their endless tirades.

    March 16, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. No tea, coffee only

    RNC: please shut up and worry about those JOBS you all campaigned on, passing a budget, and keep doing such wonderful things like wiping out Sesame Street, eliminating workers' rights, pulling the plug on low income and seniors health programs, butting into our personal lives in our bedrooms, and trying to raise money to televise the clown convention/Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader segment you thugs pass off as a debate.
    Worry more about what you bring to the table (or don't in the R's case) and less about what the other side is doing.

    March 16, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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