Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took up a common conservative refrain against the president today, attacking Obama for supposedly vacationing too much. “I would think you could kind of suck it up for four years particularly when the American people are out of work,” Romney said Obama’s outings in an interview with Cincinnati, Ohio conservative radio host Bill Cunningham.
The attack, which is dredged up every few months on conservative blogs and talk radio, is cute, but not particularly honest. As of August of last year, when Obama’s vacations briefly dominated the news cycle, George W. Bush had taken almost three times as many vacation days as Obama, and Ronald Reagan had taken almost double the days at similar points in their terms.
But the tact is especially odd coming from Romney, who is no stranger to taking leaves while in office. In 2006, his last year as governor of Massachusetts, Romney spent 212 days out of state — more than four days each week, on average — preparing for a presidential run. And Romney owns several multi-million-dollar homes in vacation spots, which one assumes he uses on occasion. (Romney’s California beach home even has its own lawyer.)
This vacation hypocrisy is nothing new for Romney, though, who attacked Obama last year for going to tony Martha’s Vineyard — even though it turned out Romney would be on the island on the very same day.
More importantly, in this day and age, no president is ever out of communication, no matter where in the world they go. So any discussion of Obama’s vacationing is mere distraction and a weak attempt to make a scandal out of nothing. Being president of the United States is a tough job and any occupant of the Oval Office, of either party, deserves some time away.