- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2014

President Obama seemed to take one step forward and two steps back in the admission of wrong-doing department, saying that perhaps his golf game in the near-immediate wake of speaking about beheaded American journalist James Foley wasn’t the smartest idea — but then blaming the press.

Mr. Obama fielded a host of criticism from the American public, including even some of his most politically aligned supporters, for holding a brief vacation-time press conference to speak of Mr. Foley’s beheading at the hands of Islamic State terrorists, and then heading right on to the golf course.

After days of silence while the criticism swirled, he finally addressed the point during an interview with Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on NBC.

“It’s always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation,” Mr. Obama said. “Because you’re followed everywhere. And part of what I’d love is a vacation from the press. But there’s no doubt that after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going throughout, after the statement that I made, that you know, I should’ve anticipated the optics [of golf].”

Mr. Obama also said the he’s going to be more “mindful” of how his actions appear on the national and international stages, CNN reported.

“Optics … it matters. And I’m mindful of that,” he said, CNN reported. At the same time, he criticized the ever-present press on the White House trail.

He also said that “it’s not something that always comes naturally to me,” and Americans were better off judging him on whether his decisions were the best ones for the nation.

“You’re followed everywhere. And the part of what I’d love is the vacation from the press,” he said, adding that it’s true, he sometimes felt “exhausted” at work, CNN reported. “There are days where I’m not getting enough sleep because we’ve got a lot on our plate.”

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