March 16th, 2011
06:08 PM ET

White House responds to Barack-etology gripes

With the world seemingly in crisis, Barack Obama went on ESPN to announce his NCAA tournament picks – and to encourage viewers to visit for a list of charities where they can donate to the people of Japan.

Cue the swift, fierce, and predictable denunciation of the Commander-in-Chief from the Twitterverse, blogosphere, and talk radio.

Rush Limbaugh weighed in, saying "the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down nearly 300 right now.  My guess is that the Street really doesn't like Obama's NCAA bracket."

Reince Priebus of the RNC tweeted, "How can @BarackObama say he is leading when he puts his NCAA bracket over the budget & other pressing issues?"

FOX News blasted in an online editorial, "Obama Fills Out NCAA Bracket But Is Missing In Action on Japan, Libya and the Budget."

The conservative Hot Air blog mocked, "Anxious World Looks To White House And Wonders: Who's Obama Picking For The Final Four?"

When NBC's Mike Viquera questioned Jay Carney in today's regular press briefing if it was "appropriate" for the president to talk basketball and the situation in Japan in the same ESPN segment, Carney said he believed it was.

Here's what the White House spokesman had to say:

There are crises all the time and for every President.  And again, this one is happening halfway around the world, and it is severe and it is important and it is the focus of a great deal of the President’s attention - as are the events in the Middle East; as are the agenda items that he is pursuing to grow the economy and increase jobs in America, make sure we out-innovate, out-build and out-educate the competition in the 21st century.  It’s a hard job that requires a lot. It is also important - one of the things I would note that the President did in that very brief interview on ESPN and ESPN2 was ask Americans, as they were filling out their own brackets, take the time to go to and make donations to a variety of charitable organizations that are organizing donations to help the Japanese in this very serious situation that they find themselves in.  And so, yes, I do think it was appropriate.

Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • The News • Uncategorized • White House

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Kareem Richardson

    Bonnie, no wonder CNN has a reputation as being another left wing, liberal outlet. When you shill for any administration by saying things such as "Cue the swift, fierce, and predictable denunciation of the Commander-in-Chief from the Twitterverse, blogosphere, and talk radio." We know we're not getting fair, objective reporting. Hence the ratings disaster that CNN is. I'll get my news from aggregators like from now on thanks.

    March 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  2. Notfooled

    If he could get 1/4 of the people who fill out their Brackets to donate , yes that would be worth it.

    As for FOX News--How silly. He did a a very brief interview and he is avoiding Libya, Japan and the budget? Where do you think he was when he was not at ESPN?
    You people make me sick. Especially Limbaugh. What have you done for this country but lie, and split the nation in half?

    March 17, 2011 at 3:43 am |
  3. blah

    Considering he's made absolutley NO OTHER AIR TIME for any of the other "more pressing" issues, I count this as a FAIL. No one would fault the guy had he been out there in the public sphere discussing these issues AND done this. But I guess he doesn't have a real solution for any of the other issues and doesn't want to appear the way he did before Egypt's president stepped down.

    March 17, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  4. thibault

    Didn't FDR always read the sports page first for some happy news and in a time of war? Everyone needs distractions and it does not take that long to fill out a bracket.

    March 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  5. Liz Carter in Georgia

    They ARE, and always have been HATERS, HATERS, HATERS! These clowns have never fooled me since day one; hiding their devious, disrespect, hate, jealousy, bigotry, and YES, racism under politics! They think that's the SMART way to go in this day and time; but to us 'old heads', IT AIN'T WORKING! OK? If you didn't care to clown BUSH and all of the sh!t he did to us as a nation, and the world, you shouldn't open your mouths about 'nothin', and nobody that EVER moves into the WHITEHOUSE! Stop the drama cowards!

    March 17, 2011 at 9:17 pm |