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. tomlasusa

    Poor decision, Mr. President.

    June 11, 2010 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. Jim in St. Johns, FL

    No surprises here. The Gulf of Mexico is an inconvienence for Obama, gets in the way of his radical social agenda. That's OK Barry, you still have your jack booted thugs in Congress, the administration and media to do the dirty work for you.

    June 11, 2010 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He's the President NOT the neglectful party responsible for the blow-up of the rig all because they didn't want to spend $500k to ensure the safety of those that died.

    These people did not work for the President, they worked for BP. If anyone should've been there it should've been BP CEO Hayward, even at the risk of having the mourners stone him to death!

    Part of what his fellow Party members expect of him is for him to show up and raise funds and rally the crowd around {D} candidates. It goes with the job.

    What's the President suppossed to do, show up at EVERY freaking funeral around the country? Lay off already, you're wearing out my last good nerve!

    June 11, 2010 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  4. Mark

    Just tells you what he is and is not really concerned about. No argument to be made about that. Unfortunately, candidate Obama and President Obama are the same; all words and no action. He has not come close to doing what he promised to get elected. The only meaningful things he passed in Congress was the healthcare bill and that had most Americans pitted against it. But he did what he wanted to do; not what the majority of American wanted him to do. He is still all words. Well, actions speak louder than words.

    June 11, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  5. thor

    The headline of this story says it all !!!!

    June 11, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  6. mj

    His priorities are so misplaced. How sad that "Fund Raising" is more important than attending the Memorial Service to show support for the families who lost loved ones. Nice to know he isn't blowing taxpayer money as he has accused so many others of. All the millions spent to entertain his family with celebrities at the Big House is a great example of how this tough economy is influencing his personal life style. Good to know he is not spending his children's' college fund by going to Las Vegas. What a hypocrite!

    June 11, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  7. Angus McDugan

    I'm so ashamed of our president. It's so sad that he has taken this country down so far so quickly. I'm embarrassed in many ways that America is associated with this man.

    He is all about himself and will sell you snake oil to make you fall in love with him just so he can get what he wants from you.

    Obama lovers, Wake up and come out from under his spell. You are being used and lead around like sheep.

    June 11, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  8. The only Sane one on here

    if this doesnt drive you up a wall nothing will. It takes a disgusting kind of person to skip out on a memorial service to raise money for one of his liberal democratic buddies. This shows where his priorities are. This is one of the most sickening things I have seen this man do. He has shamed the presidential position. WHAT A MORON.

    June 11, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  9. Campaigner

    Shows where the real concerns are. Getting a another liberal hack back in office.

    June 11, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |

    And just how many funerals of the Katrina victims did Bush atttend? How many families of the Katrina victims did Bush invite to the White House? I will never forget Barbara Bush being interviewed at a shelter in Houston several weeks after Katrina hit: "These people have a bed and three meals a day at this shelter. They're getting more than they ever had in New Orleans".

    June 11, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  11. Mark

    Wow! Unbelievable. Talke about really being out of touch.

    June 11, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. ben san roda

    Wrong priorities - politics as usual.

    June 11, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  13. Shawn - GA

    Always about politics with this man, people do not matter unless they can be stepped on or exploited.

    June 11, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  14. all the news that's fit to omit

    There really is nothing more to add to this factual story.

    Gibbs knew where Obambi was and what he was doing, but like the Sestak and Romanoff scandals all of a sudden he becomes Sgt. Schultz where he "knows nothing".

    He is the campaigner in chief and NOTHING ELSE, he should have ran for the head of the DNC so he can just ruin that party, now he's ruining the country.

    If this were a certain segment of society, he would have attended and spoke (from the teleprompter of course).....

    Manchurian candidate and now president – Whoomp there he is.

    June 11, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  15. doug

    No credibility for the Administration anymore, it only is getting worse. All politics all the time is his rage in Washington, give him another vacation so he can escape his responsibilities. Can anybody on Capitol Hill say IMPEACHMENT?

    June 11, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  16. deb0155

    And this is our leader – someone who represents the people of the United States?! It seems to me that the only people he represents are him, his family, friends and all of his henchmen in Washington!

    And not only did he not go to the Gulf Memorial Service – he didn't think it was important enough to stay in Washington and go to Arlington Cemetery!

    But, yes, indeed – he does very much like saying "I am the President." Well, Mr. President, do your job and represent the people – not "your special interests!"

    June 11, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. Big George in Big D

    Ah – the constant campaigner! Is this a surprise to anyone? Not to me.

    June 11, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. Slick William

    The true difference between a LEADER and a POLITICIAN. Leaders take charge in a time of crisis, politicians spin in a time of crisis!

    June 11, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. MAMA

    And why is this important enough to post on a news bulletin? This is the main reason why 24-hour cable news networks has sent REAL journalism to the grave! I regret having studied it in college now!

    June 11, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  20. T'SAH from Virginia

    AND THE POINT OF THIS STORY IS???????????????????????

    President Obama talked to the family of each victim – is that enough??? I wish I had President Obama call me when a member of my family died!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will never happen unless it's a "worldwide tragedy!!! Come on now – he cannot attend EVERY disaster that takes place in this country – MY POINT EXACTLY!!!!!!

    June 11, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  21. Anonymous

    He has to put his "Fundraiser in Chief" duties above all other smaller duties. I don't even think that he had time to go to Arlington on Memorial Day. We can't expect him to be everywhere, especially with so much campaigning he needs to do.

    June 11, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  22. Marie MD

    Before the ring wing nutsos start on the President. Remember that he cannot be everywhere at all times. He already cancelled travel to Australia and Indonesia to stay close to the Gulf disaster and has traveled to the area twice.
    He can't more the WH to the Gulf Coast but we know that he is paying attention to what is going on.
    Then again, we have MS "barber" who has yet to join the governors and the President when he has been in the area and who would rather go to a picnic in Central Parl NY than with the rest of the governors.

    June 11, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. jenn, philadelphia

    It's interesting that the press has finally decided to point out that the President is the same old say one thing and do another politician as all the others. It would have been nice if they had done this kind of reporting during the election instead carrying the "hope and change" banner Obama wanted them to.

    June 11, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. hal

    Are we suppose to be surprised by this?

    June 11, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. k


    In case you didn't listen to one of the father's that met with the President and the comfort, time and understanding received during their meeting. Isn't it better that the President left early, if he did, than to have a media rushing to him at the end. You have no idea what it is like to lose a loved one when the media gets involved. My husband was a police officer, shot in the line of duty, and believe me it is difficult. Stop critizing the President for his every move and put your thoughts and prayers to the families of the fallen oil worker.


    June 11, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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