In what may be the most absurd attack on a sitting president ever, Fox News criticized President Barack Obama for flying on the presidential plane, Air Force One.
Here is the video from Media Matters:
On Fox and Friends, Eric Bolling said, “Let me just do the Air Force One guys, $181, 757 per hour to operate, so I just did a little math. I followed the money a little bit. I did the flight times between the cities. You end up with DC to Iowa, Iowa to Arizona, Arizona to Vegas, et cetera, et cetera back and forth. Eight hours and forty eight minutes, and that comes to about $1.6 million just to fly that airplane around the country. Forget security and the other things that are associated with it, so it’s costing the taxpayer a lot for Mr. Obama to show up at these places.”
Fox News is outraged that President Obama is hitting the road to give speeches that are based on the State Of The Union Address, but they didn’t seem to mind when President George W. Bush used Air Force One to campaign for reelection more than any other president.
On June 16, 2004, CNN reported, “President Bush is using Air Force One for re-election travel more heavily than any predecessor, wringing maximum political mileage from a perk of office paid for by taxpayers. While John Kerry digs into his campaign bank account to charter a plane to roam the country, Bush often travels at no cost to his campaign simply by declaring a trip ‘official’ travel rather than ‘political.’ Even when the White House deems a trip as political, the cost to Bush’s campaign is minimal. In such instances, the campaign must only pay the government the equivalent of a comparable first-class fare for passengers. It’s a minuscule sum, compared to the $56,800-per-hour it costs to run Air Force One.”
In 2012 terms, each one of President Bush’s 77 trips to Crawford, TX on Air Force One cost the taxpayers, over $727,000. President Bush’s trips to his ranch alone cost the taxpayers the equivalent of $55,979,000. This doesn’t include all of the campaign stops that the then president used Air Force One for in 2004.
Presidents have always used Air Force One for political activities. Back in 1984, Ronald Reagan used Air Force One to run for reelection. Obama technically wasn’t campaigning with his post State Of The Union western swing. He hasn’t mentioned his reelection in any of his remarks. The president is using the bully pulpit to rally support for his agenda.
Beyond the hypocrisy, the most absurd part of Fox News’ Air Force One attack on Obama is the fact that they don’t think the president should be flying in the official president aircraft. If President Obama isn’t supposed to use Air Force One, how is he supposed to fly? The President Of The United States can’t fly commercial. President Obama isn’t using Air Force One as his personal taxi to head down to the ranch like George W. Bush did.
Bolling’s attack on the president was Fox News’ latest attempt to delegitimize Obama. White Republican presidents are allowed to abuse Air Force One as a birthright, but the African American president is not allowed to use the presidential jet for official business.
Leave it up to Fox News to launch the dumbest attack on a president ever.
Image: Blogging Los Angeles