Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King questioned President Barack Obama’s decision to allow his daughters Sasha and Malia to vacation in the Bahamas for spring break this week during a Wednesday radio appearance.
King said that the president allowing Sasha and Malia to vacation in a luxurious Bahamian resort, Atlantis, is “the wrong image to be coming out of the White House,” especially when the administration is trying to make sequestration painful for ordinary Americans. Breitbart News broke the original story on Monday.
A caller who identified herself as Carla asked King:
I have a couple of things to say. First of all, my son is a Marine. He’s in TBS, Training Basic School for officers, and they have a celebration at the end of their graduation where the families can come and celebrate their success and kind of experience what they’ve been doing. Part of that is called “Warrior Day,” where the families can come and they can either run the gauntlet or the endurance course, you know, eat the food, there’s tours and it’s kind of a party atmosphere. That has been cancelled, completely cancelled, wiped off, because of sequestration, which I could understand especially if they’re counting bullets but nonetheless, when I see the First Lady [sic] and the beautiful girls going off to the Bahamas waving goodbye to us, it’s really hard to stomach. When we’re tightening our belts, either all of us should do it or none of us should do it. This, I am pretty tolerant, I always have been, I usually shut my mouth. This is not acceptable.
Carla, you’re on point and on the mark all the way through. We have some intense, especially interior, debates on how we’re going to get some resources back into the Defense side of this. In the end, whatever minor changes we’re able to make didn’t affect this in that way. You’re right on the president. He needs to show some austerity himself. Instead he seemed to want to tell America how bad it was going to be. There was a memo that was leaked out of the USDA that essentially came from the White House and essentially said this: “Do not let the pain of sequestration be less than that that is predicted by the president.” And so, we’ve got the president doing these things. He sent the daughters [sic – one daughter] to spring break in Mexico a year ago. That was at our expense, too. And now to the Bahamas at one of the most expensive places there. That is the wrong image to be coming out of the White House.”
Several in the left-wing media jumped on King’s comments immediately, taking them out of context to disparage him.
The far left-wing ThinkProgress appears to have been first out the gate to criticize King. While ThinkProgress posts audio of King’s and the radio show caller’s remarks on the subject, the actual article selectively edits both of them. While quoting what it presents as a full transcript of King’s comments in response to caller Carla’s question, ThinkProgress cut both King’s and the caller’s references to sequestration.
Follow-up stories in the Huffington Post and on MSNBC.com similarly did not include any of King’s or the caller Carla’s remarks on sequestration from the segment. MSNBC.com did not include the sequestration context of the segment at all, while the Huffington Post made one mention of it.