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. John Herzog

    This is the equivalent of telling your kids to ONLY study in high school, in order to get ahead in the future. Do not attend any extra curricular activities, or go to the soda shop.......only in this way will you honor your family with your future achievements. The GOP is absolutely, unequivocally going off of the deep end....I stopped buying their lies after Reagan left office.

    March 16, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    so what else is new? I'm sure in the time the president spent picking his brackets he could have solved all the crisis not only in the US but the world as a whole. The GOP needs to focus on why they ran on a platform to create jobs and so far have done little to do so.

    March 16, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Drew

    I am so tired of their crap. If President Obama defecated diamonds they would call it "Old Coal".

    March 16, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. E1atoM

    GET A LIFE people! How about all those times when Du[m]bya was clearing brush in Crawford while 2 very bloody, deadly wars were going on?
    Where was Pluribus[sic] and his ilk then? P-leeeze!!

    March 16, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Tony in Maine

    The GOP has no clue how to govern, so they have to stir the bottom of the pot so people will think they are relevant. Boehner and McConnell should run away together.

    March 16, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. A.J. Allegra

    Wow, the Republican party is really grasping at straws on this one. The man appears for a few minutes at an event that a large percentage of the country considers fun and important, and Republicans bash him for showing essentially that he is up with the times, a regular guy (which is all anyone ever pushed about that jackhole GW Bush), and to quote the Republican Idiot poster boy Bill O'Reilly 'knows football' (or, in this case obviously, basketball TOO!). But they do have a point. I suppose a good qualification for a president would be someone who leaves their job early, gets a reality show, makes dozens of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes about political issues she clearly has no idea about, and then says she'll run for president if no one else in her party will. I hope to god they push Palin for 2012. Obama would have such a field day debating that moron.

    March 16, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Mike

    Chairman Reince Priebus should learn how to multi-task. Does he really spend his every waking hour thinking of partisan jabs. Even Repubs have fun; I don't think 5 or 10 minutes worth of fun by the POTUS will make a differene in the economy, budget or anything else. Have some fun Priebus and find something worth commenting on.

    March 16, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Greg in Arkansas

    If the GOP were really concerned "over the budget & other pressing issues" they would have made 'some' progress by now unstead of all the posturing they have been doing these last few months.
    If I were POTUS, I would take a break too.....after all, they can't even agree among themselves about what to do, much less, present some meaningful legislation for his signature.

    March 16, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Dave

    That's right. The President shouldn't sleep, eat or bathe until the budget crisis is solved. How dare he have even a moment to act like a normal person and talk about anything other than the topic the Republicans want him to talk about. Shut up already. If it's that important to the Repubs, then do something about it but in the meantime shut up with all of your crying about how he's not doing this or that. The guy has done more in two years than Bush did in eight.

    March 16, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. sandra

    Slow news day? Maybe JAPAN would help with some substance for a story.

    March 16, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Proud member of "Globesl Zero"

    Really? I don't think they have a leg to stand on now..."watch this drive".

    March 16, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. 26_third_street

    Obamaa impresses me as being one of two things. He is either an enemy of the U.S. or the job of president of the U.S. is simply beyond him.

    March 16, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Kumar

    Why are Republicans wasting time tweeting when we voted for them to fix the economy and bring us jobs?

    See, we can all play that game.

    March 16, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Julie C

    Cracks me up, the hypocrisy. So when Bush was sending opening game pitches during the Iraq war...that's okay? GOP...you are all immature morons desparately pushing your anti-Obama agenda. Where are the jobs your promised...huh? Those tax breaks that the wealthy have had for 10 years taking hold yet?

    March 16, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. mosi

    And the RNC also have a lot of times on their hands, to make a big deal out of this.

    March 16, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. hrh40

    It's obvious CNN doesn't care that our President doesn't care about doing his job. Unless his job is golf, basketball, and fun in Rio ...

    Poor Kansas; they just got the kiss of death.

    March 16, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Ann

    Listen up you "stuff shirts," stop displaying your jealousy all over the place. All of you wish you had Barack Obama's "cool" persona and his modern edge. This is 2011 in the 21st century not the olden days of politics. Before the 2008 election, none of you old backward Republicans had a clue about the use of social media or modern American society. As John McCain disclosed during the election and he did not even know how to turn on a computer let alone use one. These are modern times and the younger generation of voters and other people who are of the times, cannot relate to the GOP's yearning for the "good ole days" Forget 2012 you guys because all of you have alot of catching up to do. Hopefully sometime in the future you Republicans will have an idea of what the modern electorate responds to.

    March 16, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Get A Grip

    Everything going on that needs a President's attention and 'Zero' is fixated on basketball.....See folks, this is what you get when you vote for Community Organizer.

    Gee, I'm so glad that our Community Organizer was able to squeeze in an ESPN appearance before jetting off to Rio this Sunday.

    March 16, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Terri

    Are these people for real? It was like a one minute segment. Shut up, fools.

    March 16, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. T

    Get Over it GOP!

    March 16, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Sama Mondeh

    The Head of the Republican National Committee needs to get a life! Pick on the President for more serious transgressions than picking teams to win the basketball tournament. Maybe he can spend his time talking to his party to quit blocking funding for poor and middle-class families in America. But again, being a union busting conservative from Wisconsin, what does anybody expect from him?

    March 16, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. seebofubar

    When you have no idea how to do your job, in order to convince your self that you have some worth, most pepole will find something to do to keep themselve buisy.

    March 16, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. sick of republicans.....made a mistake voting for them this time...never again

    whats the big deal?...he took like just half hour to make his picks....the republicans basically dont like anything that he does

    March 16, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Dave

    "How can Obama go to the bathroom when there is the budget and other pressing issues?"
    "How can Obama breathe when there is the budget and other pressing issues?"

    ...you get the idea. It's easy being a Republican, I guess, turn yourbrain off and let thoughts that aren't properly thought out just rip.

    March 16, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. Robin

    How would Republicans know what is important? They were elected last year on a campaign of jobs. WHERE ARE ALL THE FREAKING JOBS?

    March 16, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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