Numerous media pundits and even some of politics’ biggest players are criticizing President Barack Obama, who they charge should have canceled the rest of his trip to Cuba and Argentina in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Tuesday.
“The advance person who let him do the tango, that person ought to be looking for work on somebody’s – in somebody’s campaign very, very far away,” Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, said during a Morning Joe appearance on Thursday. “That was a tremendous mistake. It’s fine to go to Argentina, you want to do the work, but you’ve got to be careful of these little photo ops and optics. Baseball games and tangos, that’s inconsistent with the seriousness of the day.”
Added Mike Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics to MSNBC, “There’s no doubt that people would like to see a little more stage craft … rather than business as usual.”
Also on Thursday morning, former presidential advisor David Gergen said during an appearance on Anderson Cooper 360, “When you go to a baseball game, it looks a little frivolous. When you’re dancing like that. I even think the hard call, he should have thought about coming back and gathering – people are looking for leadership here,” according to the New York Daily News.
Countered CNN’s Ana Navarro, “I think the entire thing is horrible. It reminded me of when he went golfing right after James Foley’s head was cut off.”
TIME Raw: Obama Addresses Brussels Terror Attacks
Prior to the state dinner, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox News that “It’s outrageous that the president of the United States is not in the situation room right now, planning to destroy ISIS.”
Similarly, Donald Trump wrote of the President on Twitter, “Pres. Obama should leave the baseball game in Cuba immediately & get home to Washington- where a #POTUS, under a serious emergency belongs!”
There were 12 Americans among those injured in the Brussels attacks that killed at least 31. Of his decision to not return stateside, the president said Tuesday, “It’s always a challenge when you have a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, particularly in this age of 24/7 news coverage.”
“You want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation, but the while premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives and as long as we don’t allow that to happen we’re going to be okay.”