August 19th, 2011
11:32 AM ET

Obama's working vacation

President Obama joined Michelle and the girls for their third annual trip to Martha's Vineyard but it hasn't come without criticism as some say he should stay home to juggle a bad economy, mounting pressure on Syria. But White House aides point out that while he might be away from the White House, he's never away from his job. CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian explains.

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soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. John

    He obviously needs a vacation so good luck to him.
    I am tired of hearing about his "working vacation". There isn't a CEO or business owner I know who are always on working vacations and they do not take half as many days off as this guy.

    August 19, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • mgc florida

      He has taken less than half of GWB and his father at the same time in their presidencies, 61 days in 2.5 years. Did you have a problem with the bushes or is it just him?

      August 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
      • jean2009

        With John it is just Obama...he has impaired memory when it comes to the Bush's vacations...and their permanent campaigns. Bush spent 69 days at the Crawford Ranch the first year of his presidency, that does not include time at Camp David or Kennebunkport.

        I laughed at that idiot Herman Cain saying he would have died on "Obamacare"...he must be a prime exhibit of a multi-millionaire who is obviously clueless about where ,or how, to buy a good health insurance policy. After all he can no longer be denied a policy (for health reasons) by any insurance company, so he and any other millionaire should be able to afford the best policies available.

        The only problem is Cain is a minimum wage employer who doesn't want to help provide health coverage for his employees...and it is that greed which is killing him.

        August 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Jean, did you defend President Bush when he was on a working vacation? No, I am sure you did not. You cried like all the other hate filled Liberals, carrying signs saying 'Shoot Bush', 'Impeach Bush'. The chickens have come home to roost.

        August 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
      • Howard

        It's almost laughable how people like mgc use Bush's behavior as a justification for Obama's ... while at the same time severely criticizing Bush for his behavior.

        August 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
      • jean2009

        @Jay & Howard....I can remember the CNN news person reporting from the Crawford Ranch. There they would stand next to that dilapidated shed and field of rusting farm equipment, and we would wonder when Bush was going to come out and pick up the trash around Jeter's place.

        I don't think there is any law that says the president even has to live in the White House, it is just customary that they do as the White House is equipped to do the job. John Adams took a 7 month vacation to his home...of course travel wasn't by Air Force One. Theodore Roosevelt was the first to use the term "working vacation" when he spent time at Oyster Bay. So a vacation is not anything unusual...just another case of people whining about naught.

        August 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Howard


      August 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ Howard ...I'm retired.....the question HOWARD is do you work, or is this your job? You can't say it is your day off since that must be every day from the consistency of your posts.

        Everyone with a lick of sense knows every president (even GWB) works 24/7 and 365. President Obama's is not a vacation just a change of scenery, so his daughters can enjoy some fresh air, the beach and some sunshine. Why is it I didn't hear you complaining when GWB took considerable time on vacation? Did you whine when his father went to Kennebunkport?

        @Sally check: "The African American Heritage Trail of Martha's Vineyard"

        August 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ Howard....I ditto Old Salt's comments.

        August 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  2. joan

    Everyone deserves a vacation. We need downtime to clear our thoughts and re-generate. Gosh you guys are so
    bitter. That kind of hatred and thinking is going to get out of the frying pan into the fire. All Presidents take vacation they are human just like us. So please stop the ingnorance and lets us focus and pray for these guys. We face serious time and problems that ALL of us needs to work together to fix.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • maikl

      What about people who trust Obama for change and job and Yes we can. Obama not talk about it. No more YES WE CAN, and we got change,that we wish it never happens. Many people don't have a dollar, but He go for 10 day and people pay for it.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
      • patty

        And He's not the only president that has taken a vacation and you know that and by the way he needs one after havening like you in this country.

        August 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
      • jean2009

        @maiki You definitely are not going to find a job sitting all day at your computer typing nonsense. You have to go out and apply for a job.

        August 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • Howard

        Jean ... you are obviously blindly devoted Obama cheer leaders. No matter how often, or how badly Obama screws up, we can always count on your knee jerk defense of the Obama's. Your lockstep remarks have become so predictable, they have zero credibility. I guess when Obama finally goes down, you'll find some other guru to slobber over. Next time, if you're going to provide blind loyalty to someone, make sure it's someone who deserves it, instead of a self-serving, lying snake, like Barack Obama.

        August 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
      • Old Salt

        First, NO U.S. president EVER gets a vacation. They are on duty 24/7. Second, have you noticed that all those folks screaming every time the president takes a "vacation" did say a word about that godlbricker W and all the time he spent on vacation? Third, Obama could take ten minutes off to run across the street and pull a child from in front of a bus, and the lying GOP/TPers would complain. All of Obama's shortcomings in office can be traced to Republican intransigence. People who supported W simply have no moral right to compain about ANYONE in the Oal Office.

        August 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  3. maikl

    I hope he take permanent vacation. Country will be much better w/out Him.He is the worse president ever. Just kva-kva-kva and nothing else.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • patty

      why because you"re jealous and dumb yes I said it.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • sam

      If you are going to call the guy out....get your english right. First sentence should have takes not take in it, I wil forgive that error..however your bad grammar continues...worst not worse.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
      • maikl

        SAM.It just misprint mistake , but I'm sure you Obama's lovers understand what i mean. You cannot point one thing Obama did good for country. Just like small communist agitator He now how kva-kva-kva.

        August 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • helterskelter

      At least he knows how to speak in complete sentences?

      August 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  4. Don

    I love the way this is now a "Working" Vacation. How many expensive "Working" vacations does this President need? Bush took a lot of vacations as well but the media didn't see them as "Working" at the time. so I don't know where this new term came from.
    This President has no right to take time to rest when this country has been left in shambles by him. there are way too many people out there that can't afford food let alone a vacation because of him. He wanted this job to fix the country's woes left by the previous administration but has failed the American people too many times and can only finger point instead of leading. i have never seen a President of the United States blame more and do so little. I am very disappointed in this President and expect less and less from him every day he is in office. While he is sunning himself in Marthas Vineyard people are out of work. he just doesn't seem to care at all.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Howard

      It's almost laughable how people like Don use Bush's behavior as a justification for Obama's ... while at the same time severely criticizing Bush for his behavior.

      August 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
      • Don

        Howard, sorry you missed the point. Keep laughing while others are out of work because of this President. I hope your not one of them.

        August 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  5. mona2010

    Obama does need a vacation... whats the difference if he comes back to washington now or later, unemployement still will be the same, the economy will not change etc., etc.......he and congress need to regenerate themselves....and who will always be his SUPPORT SYSTEM, HIS FAMILY....FAMILIES ARE FOREVER.....His daughters and wife must be having a field day watching him still on the job, even though he's on vacation, watching him deteriate before their eyes, trying to solve the problems of the country... we're so used to everything being a quick fix situation, we tend to forget on who will be there to pick up the pieces, HIS FAMILY....SO EVERYONE CHILL OUT....GO OUT AND LOOK FOR A JOB!!!!!!

    August 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  6. patty

    President John Adams spent 8 months on vacation; George Bush spent around 246 or 248 days on vacation around this same time in his first term as president so what else do you'll have to say ,but we all know that you'll will come up with something else.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  7. JonesyPHD

    At the same points in their presidencies:

    Reagan: 112 vacation days (economy in the tank, fighting the cold war)
    GW Bush: 180 vacation days (economy tanking, fighting a 2 front war on terror)
    Obama: 61 vacation days (economy in the tank)

    So...who's are the hypocrites in this argument

    August 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  8. Mireille

    Where were all those outraged Republicans when President Bush took off for a vacation right after the 911 attack?

    Where were all those outraged Republicans when President Bush spent all the surplus we had accumulated during the
    Clinton years and this within 3 months of taking the Presidency.

    President Obama has faced extremely unusual situations since he took office. He is level headed and well thought. We ought to give him credit for all he has tried to do for our Country.

    Just listening to all the recent comments of the present GOP candidates, thank God any of them is not leading our Country!

    August 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • jean2009

      Amen to the last.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  9. sam

    Why does no one bring up the fact that the entire house is on vacation? And they are on vacation for a month! one brings up this fact.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  10. Tony donell

    The GOP is making noise about Obama should be back in Washington working on economy. I think congress including these GOP critics should be in Washington working on the economy. And what hypocrits, where was their complaints when Bush went on vacation!
    These guys Dems & GOP need to stop playing games and DO something! Cause what they are doing is not helping us. And some of us Americans don't have jobs to take vacation from. Don't have your healthcare. Don't get pensions like you do. And we have to do something to get paid, unlike you.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Howard

      It's almost laughable how people like Tony donell use Bush's behavior as a justification for Obama's ... while at the same time severely criticizing Bush for his behavior.

      August 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  11. mona2010

    i do have a job.. this is my day off, so its up to me what i want to do... so i'll sit back and comment...jealous....u must not have a family, tooooooo baaaaaaad....

    August 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • jean2009

      Thank you for your comment and for posting on your day off. Enjoy the day.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Typical hate filed Liberal comment.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
      • jean2009

        @Jay....yes....liberal and proud, and we know who has the hate filled comments.

        August 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  12. Blackman in America

    WHY on earth is he not entitled to a vacation? Even if this President walked on water it wouldn't be good enouph for all this white HATERS. WTFevea!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • sally

      He's entitled to a vacation but how many a year ? and why on a white man's island ? Martha s vineyard is a vacation spot
      for the rich white folk.who fly private jets and have big yachts and vacation homes those he wants to tax..but he wants to vacation with them ?

      August 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
      • mona2010

        he is part white, its also part of his cultural background...his mom was white and his dad Afro-American...i guess he chose the area because it reminds him of his birth place, hawaii.. where he can relax...i guess in hawaii people really don't pay attention what ethnic group he hangs out hawaii he hangs out on the military base where there's a beach there.. so give him a break until he gets back to washintong, then everyone can have a piece of him...

        August 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  13. Free Man

    Poor baby... Martha's Vineyard??? Must be a victim of the Tea Party... Obama had NO idea that this might come with the "job". At least someone has a job...

    August 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  14. darrell

    To black America: Obama is only half black. He does not care about you. He spends no time with you or on your issues. He grew surrounded by powerful white people and that is what he is also.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  15. darrell


    August 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  16. Mike Beck

    I'm not surprised by this. Obama sux, totally useless pos. Thankfully, he'll be out in a year!

    August 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  17. USN ret

    Of all the people in this country and of all the people in politics, is it any wonder that only a few aspire to be the President of the United States. Look at all the bitterness he must put up with. It's all about ME ME ME now.

    President Kennedy must be turning over in his grave. Well, President Obama deserves his vacation, he deserves it far more than Congress does.
    Cut my Military Retirement and Social Security. My Wife and I have planned for our future, we live like king and queen compared to the multitudes of poverty stricken in our beloved country. We make a little over 100k and I scoff at the upper 3 %. of the rich. Bring on a new focus and push Congresses back to the wall. Make them earn their Salary and Health Benefits.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  18. sally

    You've got to remember most of the black voted for him because he is black..they didn't care whether he had experience or if he was qualified ...he was black and so were they ! He's vacationing on a white man's island....while the blacks stand in the unemployment line.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • jean2009

      Granted a lot of white people live on Martha's Vineyard but it does have a black history.
      "The African American Heritage Trail of Martha's Vineyard"

      August 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
      • MissMo

        I would like you to prove your statement that "most blacks" voted for Obama because he was "black." That's just like me saying most whites voted against Obama because he was "black." I think African American/Hispanic/Lower Middle Class Caucasians people are educated enough to know the GOP policies do not meet our interest. Especially when the GOP refuse to raise taxes on the rich but want to drastically cut programs that help the less fortunate or people who live check to check or deep in debt. Or maybe we saw, like many others White or "Black" RIch or Poor, G.W. tank our economy and spend trillions on unfounded wars. I'm tired of everyone putting...Political Party over the People of the US. The GOP has trashed Obama since day one, they have been campaigning for the 2012 election since 2008...he didn't have a fight chance to "change Washington" because the GOP can't spell "compromise!"

        August 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
      • maikl

        To JEAN 2009. You talk about racism. You are #1 racist. Your stupid comments show that you hate white people,maybe because you looser and hate everybody. Even you don't have any good credit to give Obama,therefore you just bla-bla-bla- like your president.

        August 19, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
      • jean2009

        I never said most blacks voted for President Obama...since I am white and I voted for President Obama plus I will proudly vote for him again. Sally said "most blacks voted for Obama."

        Unless you are in the voting booth how would anyone know how another votes?

        I was providing her a reference source that supports that there is a heritage of black families living on Martha's Vineyard.

        As for maiki poor soul I don't think he can read very well...

        August 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ maiki....I am white. Your comments make no sense.

        August 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  19. Anitasmart

    How nice, Brack Hussein Obama, occupant of the Oval Office can enjoy a vacation with millions of others, only difference, the millions are not on vacation, but out of work! Should the Occupant of the Oval Office be putting his brain to work and not wait unti Sept. to come up with a plan to help create work? He might be enjoying his vacation time, but I bet you millions of theres aren't! Unlike the Occupant of the Oval Office, they would rather be working....

    August 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  20. Anitasmart

    How nice, Brack Hussein Obama, occupant of the Oval Office can enjoy a vacation with millions of others, only difference, the millions are not on vacation, but out of work! Should the Occupant of the Oval Office be putting his brain to work and not wait unti Sept. to come up with a plan to help create work? He might be enjoying his vacation time, but I bet you millions of others aren't! Unlike the Occupant of the Oval Office, they would rather be working....

    August 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  21. Grandmadia

    I am disgusted the way many politician and citizens hold such disrespect for the President of your country.I quess I was brought up to respect people even if I didn't agree with them.You get on Pres. Obamas case for everything , his short holiday and everything he does or says. But what about all the MONEY that is being spent by those trying to take his place.that could probably put a big dent in the debt you have.ther is still over a year til the election your debt could use all the money they spend. What about all the big BUSES they all travel around in,the money they spend on gas/diesel you would think in these tough times that they are on the President about maybe they should think before they speak oh I forgot they are Republican they aren't concerned about the little guy because they all have too much money.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • NoGovtBondage

      Respect is earned....not demanded or expected – we are still waiting for Obama to grow into the position of leader of the USA....all we have seen so far is class warfare and a lot of careless, in your face spending... I sure do not respect Barack Obama.....he is a LOSER....and will be a one termer, just like he said might be.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
      • jean2009

        He has earned respect just for putting up with your racist disrespectful crap. The class warfare has been on your part not his. He couldn't possibly equal the wasteful spending done by GWB.

        August 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  22. NoGovtBondage

    Flying two jets, one for Michelle, our Material Girl, and one for our fearless leader – off to Martha’s Vineyard – all I can see in my mind’s eye is Barry and Michelle – flipping us the bird as they fly off into the sunset…..

    Elitists, big spenders, not one of matter how many hot dogs and ice cream cones Obama shoves down his throat.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • jean2009

      I doubt if that is going to top the 77 round trips to and from the Crawford Ranch at $226,072 a pop one way.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  23. NoGovtBondage

    Why does Barack Obama need ONE BILLION DOLLARS and a Hollywood movie to be released days before election – to keep his job? Shouldn't a sitting President be re-elected – based on his job performance and the satisfaction from the taxpayers?

    August 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • jean2009

      I assumed someone would make a movie about the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. Didn't you?

      No one has said it is solely about the president although he will be part of the story. I take that it upsets you that George W. Bush gave up on capturing bin Laden and someone else got the job done. I give a great deal of respect to the Seals who did their job, and a great deal of respect to the perseverance of the President, and his team in going back and restarting the search and for getting bin Laden. Wasn't that the original reason for two wars....or have you forget?

      If the President raises $1 Billion that is what people who support him feel his being re-elected is worth.
      So, that would be the satisfaction factor of taxpayers....and hopefully not the Teapotty's corporations.

      As for your "elitist" I take it you are against anyone who has worked hard, studied hard and acquired a good education, and a good job? As opposed to someone who was born with a silver spoon in their the last sap who held the office. Personally, I think you are a whining petty racist moron.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
      • James knollwood

        Jean, your ignorance is showing. Exactly when did Bush call off the search for Bin Laden? Please don't say stupid things.

        August 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
      • NoGovtBondage

        There you people go again – with the race card – I don't believe my critique of Obama's attitude or lack of performance has anything to do with the color of his skin........although – I will add – that Obama has been getting a free ride – with people like YOU – using his skin color as a shield – it is shameful....

        August 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
      • jean2009

        @James check these links. – Cached

        Plus 2,570,000 other links for the question: Why did Bush shut down bin laden unit.?

        August 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ NoGovBondage...if you can't take facts, and can't take that I spelled out and responded to your question with an answer you can't refute, or you can't take the heat..... then maybe you should go back to Faux.

        August 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  24. James knollwood

    I love it, this President can't do the right thing even by accident. The country is broke and the Obama's take not one, but TWO jets to Martha's Vineyard. Michele couldn't wait 4 hours and fly with her husband. Obama complains about "millionaires and billionaires" every day and then runs off to the most luxurious vacation spots to hang out with those "evil millionaires and billionaires". The Obama's sure have expensive taste, no wonder they spent beyond their means when they were in the private sector. I never see them spend any time around black people or the inner cities, only shaking hands with rich white people. At least Bush vacationed at his own ranch.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  25. mona2010

    more power to you!!!!!!

    August 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  26. mona2010

    i hate to say it but this is the real world, and that man been getting since he stepped into the me one president that people ask for his birth certificate....the birthers been having a field day with him... if u researched or maybe this was taught in school about the Congressional system , senate... maybe if u should go back to when Bush was president and see and how when he started off with a surplus and bush spent it all and then sum, during his eight years, and then it continued when obama came into office... he was still trying to pay off the old bills and it still continued into his term... then the bush tax cuts, hardly bought in any revenues except the revenues that is taken out from our checks, or taxes...with the bush tax cuts, the wealthy was hoarding their profits, and that bill is still in effect until 2012...what u expect me to think, go do your research...

    August 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  27. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Don, maybe the media didn't have to add 'working' to their announcements about BUSHS', nor any other presidents 'vacations', because they didn't feel it necessary, nor were they pressed to HAVE to EXPLAIN, in detail to the 'moo-cow' libs, nor the 'sheep' cons when he took his vacations, where he chose to go, or who he carried with him! That necessity didn't evolve until this President started taking time off! A few loons claimed that 'libs' complained, but frankly we didn't give a rats a** where he went!

    August 20, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  28. Liz Carter in Georgia

    We didn't worry about much he did, after he took us into IRAQ! That was the straw that broke the layman librals back; and the handling of KATRINA was the other one. We only started counting his seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years in retrospect, in comparing them to OBAMAS' time away from the OVAL OFFICE, which you 'cons' are Soooo worried about! Back then and even further back than BUSH, nobody was counting! Nobody was keeping score; nobody cared! It was just 'all good'. GOODY FOR THEM!

    August 20, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  29. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Sally; you must be a member of 'THE DAUGHTERS of THE SOUTH'. We not only voted for him because he was black, we voted for him because he IS intelligent! Oh, we know that your kind is working hard to dismiss that appearance of him in the US and the WORLD, but you all are the ones who are looking stupider and stupider everyday! Running around like chickens with their heads chopped off, trying to find something; just one more thing that could make OBAMA look less than effiecient; non-productive, etc.! RACIST!

    August 20, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  30. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Maikl, you need to go somewhere, sit down and shut up! You are just pathetic! You really don't want none of Jean2009 down in your case! Somebody to me that I needed to do more research into the issues at hand facing our nation today. I'm going to pass that tip on to you. That sure is what you need to do.....MAN! You're one piece of work! LOL

    August 20, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  31. tracyibarra

    It hardly seems like news for Mr. Obama to be buying books.

    August 20, 2011 at 3:03 am |
  32. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I believe most Americans loved, admired and appreciated the Democratic President FDR on both sides of the isle. He OFTEN took vacations. I don't imagine people were hot and bothered about it either! WHY? Because he was PRESIDENT! President of the United States! That's what all Presidents before him and since him have done for centuries with NO question until now! FDR took so many vacations, he was even afforded or assigned another Presidential home right down in Warm Springs, GA; 'The Little Whitehouse'.

    August 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm |