Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, absolutely tore into President Barack Obama on Sunday for allegedly letting his golfing hobby interfere with the duties of his office.
“I don’t know whether you can’t see reality from the fairway,” Romney told Fox News host Chris Wallace, “but the president has not seen the reality internationally.”
Obama has been repeatedly assailed by critics for taking his summer vacation as various crises around the world emerged earlier this year. Obama took particular heat in August for golfing immediately after giving a passionate speech about the beheading of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Romney suggested Sunday that Obama was too distracted by golf to properly deal with the rise of the jihadist militants.
“The president has not been engaged. The idea that we have a group known as ISIS, or ISIL, that we’ve known about for almost a year. Where members of Congress have said to the president, ‘Prepare for this,'” Romney said. “Yet the president was, I don’t know, too busy on the golf course to pick up the phone and meet with the leaders around the world.”
Later in the interview, Romney quipped, “He should spend less time on the golf course and more time thinking about ISIS.”
For his part, Obama discussed the golfing controversy in his own interview Sunday. Obama told NBC News’ Chuck Todd that he should have “anticipated the optics” that came with relaxing so soon after discussing Foley’s death.
“It is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation because you’re followed everywhere,” Obama said. “Because the possibility of a jarring contrast, given the world’s news, … is going to be there.”
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