June 11th, 2010
05:45 AM ET
13 years ago

President attended fundraiser during Gulf memorial service

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/11/art.bobama.0611r.gi.jpg caption ="President Obama was en route to a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer in California during a May 25 memorial service for the workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, according to his official schedule."](CNN) - According his official schedule, President Obama did not attend the May 25 memorial service in Jackson, Mississippi for the workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion because he was en route to a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, in San Francisco.

At Thursday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked why Obama did not attend the service. The president's spokesman answered, "I'd have to look at the schedule. I don't know the answer."

CNN examined the president's schedule for that day, and according to it, the president left the White House at 2:55 p.m. EST en route to Andrews Air Force Base for the cross-country flight to the San Francisco fundraiser.

A Jackson source in possession of the memorial service program told CNN that the service began at 2:00 pm EST and lasted "more than an hour and a half" - putting the president in transit to the fundraiser during the second half of the memorial service.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    All about the money

    June 11, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. TCM

    Obama's void of any ressemblance of being an American. He tries to be "cool," and hip....but, when the chips are down, he runs and hides behind the liberal media...and cannot man up and face tough times. Running to Boxer's fundraiser, instead of showing representation at the memorial service again shows he has no business being in the white house...remember when, while campaigning...he refused to visit the wounded troops overseas because no photo op was allowed? He's a bigger disaster than the oil spill.

    June 11, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Cindy from Middle GA

    This is just dismal... What happened to "Change you can believe in"?

    June 11, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Martha

    I understand that these are tough times for the people of Louisiana since this BP incident. All over America we can feel their pain. However, if you are going to make a big deal about where President Obama is and for not attending the memorial service for those 11 who perished, then are you also going to expect our President to attend every soldier who has died in the line of duty around the world.

    June 11, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. GOP is bad for America

    He already met with the families of those killed. If I had a loved one who died in a tragedy such as the oil rig explosion I would be very happy if my President met with my family OR attended the funeral. I would not expect both.

    June 11, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. gt

    thats his problem... he spends more time raising money than working to ,,, the gulf coast is hurting and all obama can do is get his picture taken then run to raise money with a bunch or rich donars,,,,very sad

    June 11, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Jane

    Imagine that –raise a few $$ then go pray for the dead.

    June 11, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. Rich in PA

    Thanks, CNN, for this breaking news.

    June 11, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. blake

    said it once I'll say it again...this preisdent cares only for himself...his motto " I, Me, Mine"

    June 11, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. mh

    his priorities are very screwed up. He is a horrible leader. He can kiss the White House goodbye in 2012!

    June 11, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. Mark

    This is a bit of a stretch, don't you think ? CNN looks at two facts – Obama did not attend the event, and he got on a plane during the later part of the time period when the event occurred – and concludes that one of these things caused the other.

    This is not necessarily so. Anything else he may have done that day may have constituted a reason why he could not attend the memorial service.

    CNN is the fairest major news source and should be above this sort of reactionary embellishment to make a story seem provocative when it's really a whole lot of nothing.

    June 11, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  12. John in Brooklyn

    Another nonissue that the anti-Obama members of the press are creating, not reporting.

    How many other workplace accident victims' funerals has been attended by presidents? For example, I don't recall either Obama or Bush attending the funerals of the coal miners who died in the tragedies in West Virginia.

    The notion that these oils workers somehow sacrificed their lives in the interest of their country (thus warrenting a presidential appearance) is incredibly disrespectful to the thousands of men and women who have died in the line of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan....BOTH of which are STILL active wars.

    June 11, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Georgia, Joe

    Has anyone thought of the fact that the President attending an event changes its tone very dramatically.? Maybe the families had a plan for this memorial service that didn't include creating a media event.

    June 11, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. JonDie

    It isn't a president job to attend funerals for workers killed in industrial accidents.

    June 11, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. t22

    What a surprise, politics trumps action every time in this White House.

    June 11, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. R

    What difference does it make didnt he invited them to the whitehouse the other day.

    June 11, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. co citizen

    The President has met with the families of the deceased oil workers. This meeting I am sure was more comforting to the families than the President sitting on a pew at a memorial service. What more do people want from this man?

    June 11, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Why don;t you people at CNN give the Amercian people a break...Talk about nit picking !!! I don't feel it is Pres Obama's responsibilityt to attend every funeral..I feel if he choosed not to attend that should be the end of it and there should not be any questions asked..The Pres has the right to make his schedule..Funny , how nobody every questioned any of the so called decisions made by the prev WH...I guess if they did, maybe we could have avoided 2 unnecessary wars, and an economic downfall only the worst since the great depression..So CNN, why dont; guys start covering soem real news, and the the gossip magazines handle the rest ..Now thats change I look forward to seeing !!!

    June 11, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Anonymous

    I guess you also forgot to mention that Pres Obama had all the families come to the WH for a personal meeting which to me is alot more private .. Bush never had not one Katrina survior at the WH now did he ???..But I digress !!!!

    June 11, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. jp,michigan

    POLITICIAN FIRST, THEN IF THERE TME A PRESIDENT. What a joke and why are people surprised of the actions of our ROCK STAR President?

    June 11, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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