President Barack Obama has slammed Republican candidates for president several times this week while on an overseas trip. In 2008, however, Obama and his campaign attacked President George W. Bush for a perceived criticism delivered from abroad.
In a press conference in Anatalya, Turkey on Monday, Obama slammed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his opposition to resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S., particularly Muslims, in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. Obama did not name Cruz directly, but it was clear who he meant when he singled out to leaders who “come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution.” (Cruz responded by daring Obama to “come back and insult me to my face,” not just overseas.)
Then, on Wednesday, speaking to reporters in the Philippines, Obama attacked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had earlier said that a ban on new Syrian refugees should apply to all, including children (“How are we going to care for these folks?”). Obama attacked Christie’s policy–again, without naming the goevrnor directly: “At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three year old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”
It was not the first time Obama has attacked Republicans while overseas. And yet, in 2008, he and his campaign threw a fit when Bush made a general criticism of “appeasement” in a speech to the Israeli Knesset: “Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” Bush said. “We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”
While it was not clear Bush was referring to Obama–the White House, in fact, denied that he was–the junior Senator from Illinois took great offense. He denounced what he called an “extraordinary politicization of foreign policy.” Others went even further. Then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) said: “This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset … and make this kind of ridiculous statement.” Obama’s future chief of staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), added: “The tradition has always been that when a U.S. President is overseas, partisan politics stops at the water’s edge. President Bush has now taken that principle and turned it on its head: for this White House, partisan politics now begins at the water’s edge, no matter the seriousness and gravity of the occasion. Does the president have no shame?”
But rules, tradition, and decorum do not apply to Barack Obama–nor are any of his political allies criticizing his extraordinary attack on Republicans–on fellow Americans–from abroad. In fact, his left-wing supporters are thrilled to see Obama “destroy” his critics while overseas.
It is yet another sign of President Obama’s hypocrisy–and how few in the media are willing to call him out.