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
12 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. Mark

    Any decent person can see through the GOP. This complaint from them is one of the most ignorant things I've heard them say. The GOP are pathetic, desperate and childish. By bring up this pointless point, they show just how immature they really are. I'm close to leaving this country forever, but then, I can't get away from idiot humans, they are everywhere.

    March 16, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Sue

    The GOP should use this as an opportunity to creat a great attack ad-instead of "where's Waldo", it can be called "Where's Obama". They can show videos of the Middle East, Japan, deficit/debt, gas prices, unemployment figures, grocery store prices, etc.-–with each video accompanied by a picture of Obama golfing, shooting hoops, partying at the White House, picking his brackets, yucking it up, etc.-–and each picture witht the caption "Where's Obama"?---Did you all hear the latest news? Obama is leaving this week for another vacation to Brazil--errrr...I mean work trip to Brazil. Of course, Michelle and the rest of the family will be going along to see the sites.

    March 16, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. OH YEAH?

    I do believe the President is allowed some "down time". Perhaps the GOP should look at their "down time" calendar...and then...foscus on "more important issues" such as the economy...NOT abortion and gay marriage. Abortion and gay marriage has no bearing whatsoever on the economy of the US.

    March 16, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    I would like for all rethugs in congress and out of congress to STFU!!! Like the man can't have a moment of down time? Why done you follow boner to his favorite pub or all his golf trips! Didn't the shrub almost choke on a pretzel (of all things) watching a football or basketball game? I guess he can take down time as long as he doesn't choke?????
    "prius" should stick his head out of his behind and undo the damage that steele did to their party. Where were you morons when the shrubs was clearing that ever present brush on his Texas farm or all the time he spent on his bicycle running around DC? Give me a freakin' break!!! Get a life.

    March 16, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Dorkus Maximus

    This is so typical. I'm sure there were some Democrats who raised similar objections whenever GW Bush threw out an opening pitch, or went for a ride on a Segway, or cleared the ever-growing brush from his ranch. Only difference between then and now is that Bush, who seemed always to be going on vacation, just gave the Dems. more opportunities to criticize him than stick-to-the-job Obama gives the Republicans.

    March 16, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. th

    The GOP are all a bunch of hypocrits. Everyone needs some down time. President Obama has dealt with more than Bush ever did. Mostly because Bush and his cronies got us into the mess the US is in.

    March 16, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. ja

    relax boys and girls, less pass a spending bill instead of baggering the prez, backoff

    March 16, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Peggy - TX

    Translation: How dare President Obama show up on ESPN and enter into genuine discussions about one of his favorite pastimes as it just makes that much more difficult for the GOP war machine to portray President Obama as not being one of us.

    Although I do not care much for sports, I am fine with having a President that shows he can handle the pressures of office by having some outside interest while demonstrating that he does not delegate the serious responsibilities of governing.

    Former President Bush showed he had outside interest as well and the lying GOP machine did not criticize that nor the manner in which Bush seem to have delegated all responsibilities by letting Evil-doer former VP Cheney run the show and run the economy into the ground, enter the US into wars under falsified pretense, and help make money for his rich cronies.

    March 16, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Derick

    Yeah, the president should be focused on other important domestic issues. Like vacationing in Crawford, TX.

    March 16, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. MOT

    Republicans: in the words of one of their own, VP Agnew, "nattering nabobs of negativism."

    March 16, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Shinea

    We don't need to know what he thinks about sports or what he does on his day off. HE SHOULDN'T"T HAVE A DAY OFF! He has what may be the most important job in the world and he can't stay focused for 4 years? Why bother to take on the job?

    March 16, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. winky

    All these Republicans do is complain and press alarm bells instead of working with the Democrats in Congress. Obama is one of the most hard working Presidents we have ever had. Give the guys a break!

    March 16, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. obama victim

    c'mon...it's hoops...it's not like an ally has a natural diaster..or their is a war in the mid-east threatening our ally Israel......no wait.....

    March 16, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. NVa Native

    The GOP who are trying to insert the governement between you and your doctor think the President should focus?!
    Predictable childish nonsense from the GOP parasites.
    The last GOP President couldn't read from a teleprompter to present a speech he was familiar with, so now the GOP thinks every President is as challeneged as the last. No surprise the GOP has such low expectations

    March 16, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Ryan

    I guess it would have been better if he'd taken a record number of vacation days in his first 6 months rather than 20 mins out of his schedule.

    March 16, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. David in Seattle

    Don't the Republicans have anything better to do than complain about the President on ESPN? I thought they were going to get us all jobs.

    March 16, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Come on republicans. This is slightly petty.

    March 16, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. carol

    You have to be kidding? What's wrong with a tiny bit of happy time in a very unhappy world? The President, just like evereyone else, needs a little break now and then. These people need to get a grip.

    March 16, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. rocky

    The RNC aka red neck clansman is so critical to judge pres Obama when they cannot find a electable canidate for 2012.

    March 16, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Realistic

    The GOP and the RNC are unable to walk and chew gum at the same time. When Bush was on vacation during the wars was he told by the RNC and the GOp to stay in the WH? I hope people see the GOP and the RNC for what they really are, idiots. If these idiots want to pick a fight, atleast pick a fight that does not make you look so small and dim-witted. Yes the budget is important but the president can take a few hours or minutes or even a day to do something else, he does not have to stay in the oval office 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, idiots.

    March 16, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. Jill

    Hey Republicans – WHERE ARE THE JOBS! Today you are voting on defunding NPR but WHERE ARE THE JOBS!

    March 16, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Jill

    Second thought – GOP doesn't have any beef ... WHERE's the BEEF?

    March 16, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Paul

    Why would anyone take GOP criticism seriously. They have no credibility when it come to natural disasters.

    March 16, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. GrogInOhio

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

    Where? Somewhere like de-funding NPR or Planned Parenthood? Or redefining rape? Same places the House Republicans have been focusing their attention instead of the purported laser-like focus on jobs?

    March 16, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. TonyTee

    Get over it GOP. It takes 20 minutes to fill out a pool and I enjoy Obama taking part. Why don't you acknowledge you guys sitting on your hands for a couple years, attempting to block all legislation, is a bigger hindrance to anything getting done in DC than Obama filling out a bracket. Bush can vacation for 50% of his presidency and you guys didn't have anything to say. Go do some work!

    March 16, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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