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. SLC

    The president took what, 10 minutes tops, out of his schedule? Are Republicans so desperate and shallow they they want to nitpick everything he does? Get a life.

    March 16, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Charlie in Maine

    Hey GOP don't you have your ahnds-ful breaking unions and denying the American dream to millions of middle and lower middle class children, without taking time out of your schedule to remind us that Barack Obama likes basketball. Get the heck over yourselves you knuckle dragging morons you!

    March 16, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. KF in Austin

    Goodness gracious. You want a "regular guy" in the White House, right? A guy that connects with the people? Well regular guys are allowed to have a good time. Regular guys fill our March Madness brackets. Republicans are continually reaching new lows with their ridiculous public criticisms like this.

    March 16, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. alpha_nu_916

    gimme a break.
    the last president spent 6 months of the year in wranglers while looking at cattle in texas. is 2 minutes on espn the end all? somehow all these other politicians can spend hours upon hours on the talking head shows telling us how they're going to fix the nation instead of actually doing.

    March 16, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Name js jensen beach fl

    These comments just make republicans look lame. People need down time to remain effective.

    March 16, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. ozrocco

    Old, fuddy duddy, wacko religious freak Republicans! Is there no end to your abilities to make fools of yourselves? The guy takes about 90 seconds off from being President to keep his hand in at just being a person and you try to make some political points off him. Amazingly, it's the Republican Party through it's puerile, impotent attacks are making Obama a sympathetic figure. Oh,by the way, I AM a Republican. At least for the moment but I don't think I'll make it to the next election.

    March 16, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Marcus

    'The GOP's beef? The president should be focusing his attention elsewhere.'
    NOOOOO!!!! SAY IT'S NOT SO!!!!
    Perhaps if he just flied away to a ranch that he owns somewhere and from there decided what to do with the whole pack of problems he has to deal with in a daily basis, like his predecessor usually did...
    And yes, I am bringing GWBush on the table to illustrate the double-standard of the GOP on this issue.

    March 16, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. buckup

    >>> The GOP's beef? The president should be focusing his attention elsewhere. <<<
    He also has family time, eats, sleeps, and uses the restroom. AND maybe a crossword puzzle.

    March 16, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Amazing

    Why is ok for the Speaker of the House to go golfing during the budget discussions and not one Republican say anything? This is nothing more than political posturing. The president is a well known basketball junkie and this is his release valve. By the way, I have no objections to the Speaker golfing or the President talking about his picks on ESPN. These guys do have high pressure jobs and should be allowed some time to decompress occassionally. I just wish the RNC would stop with the hypocritical political posturing.

    March 16, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. teache

    Oh brother. He could do pretty much anything and the GOP would complain about it.

    He's right about Kansas, too.

    March 16, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Steve in Denver

    What a bunch of crybabies. Your guy spent more than a quarter of his presidency on vacation. Do none of the GOP watch sports? Or is this more of newt's do as I say, not as I do crap?

    March 16, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Fred Evil

    Hysterical, the Pres. should focus more on important things, but the GOP, whose 'landslide' brought them in to fix the job situation, haven't done ANYTHING about those jobs, have they? How many jobs-oriented bills have they passed?

    March 16, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Duck Fallas

    Geez, these guys won't even let the President Reince his Priebus.

    March 16, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. tad

    i can seriously understand getting caught up in the ncaa brackets(we all do). what i am having a very hard time with is his trip to rio. we are BROKE people BROKE!!!!! how much wiill the short trip to rio cost us tax payers. what is wron with taking in the sights here. we are talking millions for him to vacation – MILLIONS. millions WE DO NOT HAVE. can't the president see this. this is completely sending the wrong picture. stop spending tax payer dollars on vacations and other silly projects. AS A TAX PAYER, THIS HURTS.

    March 16, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Balls McGhee

    Such a waste of time arguing about this. before any comments get made, think about your life and how you would like it if your boss told you you had to work all night and all weekend. Any president, regardless of party affiliation deserves some fun time. its not like he physically needs to lift the rubble off the ground in Japan himself or process tax forms. the president has a staff and that is what they are supposed to do. I remember when the GOP didnt like dems making fun of Bush for taking vacations and golfing, which he did a lot. Lets not turn politics into reality TV nonsense.

    March 16, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Newter the GOTP

    The Republicans' criticisms of the President are getting predictable and downright boring. Get some new material.

    March 16, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. KLK

    So they're mad that the Pres. has the ability to multi-task?

    March 16, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Jum

    So he's not allowed ANY fun? I guess Reince Priebus works 24/7 and takes no time at all away from work.

    March 16, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Pretzel Logic

    More bloviating from the rabid right. If you are so worried about the budget, Priebus, why is the GOP willing to spend millions of dollars defending prejudice in the form of DOMA?

    March 16, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. jerry

    Nice to see obama took time away from his golf game to do this. But, gosh he does LOOK presidential doesn't he? Well like when he was flying around in his airforce one while still a senator...the one with the obama hope and change logo...

    March 16, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. XWngLady

    OMG...Republicans are disturbed! Earlier, when Pres. Obama was being brutally honest about the state of our economic affairs, they criticized him for being a "Gloomy Gus" and 'scaring all of the investors/business people'...Now that the economy is back on stable footing and the President is trying to keep things upbeat (IN ADDITION TO ALL THAT HE HAS ALREADY DONE to get the economy back on track while Republicans did SQUAT to help), they criticize him for that....Make up your mind GOP. You're making my head spin.

    March 16, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Derrick

    So, the GOP thinks the President should spend 24 hrs a day, solving the worlds problems. Get a life you morons!!!!

    March 16, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. Jess

    I think it's good that he is out in the open doing what most Americans are doing right now – working hard, helping others, and filling out their bracket.

    March 16, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Indy

    GOP where are the JOBS !!!!!!

    March 16, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. keeth in cali

    And what are the GOP focusing on? Certainly NOT jobs and NOT spending. Hypocrites.

    March 16, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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