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CNN Has Quite the Take on a President Who's Spent 40% of His Time in Office on Vacation

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

If it seems like President Joe Biden has been on vacation an awful lot lately, that's because he's spent 40 percent of his time in office on vacation. Not only did he spent most of this month on vacation, in Rehoboth Beach and Lake Tahoe, he's going back to vacation later this week as well. That hasn't stopped CNN from celebrating what little the president has accomplished for this month, though.


On Sunday morning, CNN published "Biden spent August trying to escape Washington. But September realities await him." They also tweeted it out from their CNN Politics account. 

There's no mention of the 40 percent figure. Plus, the criticism about Biden having "no comment" about the Maui wildfires is, of course, framed as "Republican backlash."

The piece begins by trying to downplay the absent president's schedule, with an attempt being made later in the article as well:

The end of a presidential summer vacation makes for some abrupt trade-offs. The beach for budget battles. Pilates for politics. Sunshine for special counsels.  

Heading home from Lake Tahoe on Saturday, President Joe Biden exchanged a week of waterfront seclusion for the more workaday realities of running the country from Washington.  

Like many presidents, Biden spent a good portion of August away from the White House, trading the capital’s stifling heat for the beach or the mountains. He rode his bike, he saw a movie in the theater, he took his wife to dinner, he did Pilates with his grandkids.  


Summer vacations are routine for presidents, even those who claim to never take them. In August 2017, then-President Donald Trump spent 17 days at his golf course in New Jersey. President Barack Obama regularly spent two weeks each summer on Martha’s Vineyard.  

With the vacations usually comes criticism. For Biden, the harshest attacks came following the Maui fires. Although he quickly signed an emergency declaration and worked to marshal federal resources, a “no comment” when questioned about the death toll on the beach led to days of Republican backlash. (The White House later said Biden couldn’t hear the question.)  


The piece makes mention of how Biden addressed the press, something he rarely does, to refer to former and potentially future President Donald Trump as a "handsome guy" with regards to his mugshot following an indictment brought against him in Fulton County, Georgia. There's no mention of how the president was loudly booed during his vacation, though.

What the piece admits about Biden's absences just makes such a narrative from CNN even worse:

The work has been following him, of course: a devastating wildfire on Maui, flooding on the West Coast, the presumed death of a Russian mercenary leader, the first Republican primary debate, an unfolding Ukraine spending battle, an uptick in Covid cases, several mass shootings – including one in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday that resulted in multiple fatalities – and the fourth indictment and arrest of his predecessor and most likely rival for the presidency.  

Biden kept abreast of those issues through phone calls, briefings, television news and, in the case of the Hawaii fires, an on-the-ground visit that included around 10 hours of flying time.  

Still, his schedule over the past month tells the story of a president eager to escape DC.  

Of the first 26 days in August, Biden spent only one day entirely at the White House. On eight of the days, Biden headlined official events, including visits to four states selling his economic agenda, a summit at Camp David and the visit to Hawaii to survey fire damage. He also held events at the White House marking his legislative accomplishments.  


In conclusion, even CNN admits that Biden is going on vacation once more later this week.

To say that the tweet was not well received would be putting it politely, given that there's over 1,000 replies taking issue, a majority of the retweets are mocking it, and there's just 186 likes. 

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