President Barack Obama told NBC News on Sunday that he regrets the “optics” of going golfing just minutes after making a speech about the beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS terrorists.
“I’ve got to ask. During that vacation, you made the statement on Foley. You went and golfed. Do you want that back?” asked NBC News’ Chuck Todd.
“You know, it is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation because you’re followed everywhere,” said Obama. “There’s always going to be some tough news somewhere….I should have anticipated the optics.”
Obama said he held back tears after speaking with the parents of the beheaded.
Obama added, “Part of this job is the theater of it.”
Democrats have expressed outrage over Obama’s two-week luxury vacation to Martha’s Vineyard during several crises, including looting and rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, and the beheading of an American journalist.
CBS News’ Mark Knoller says Obama has played 186 rounds of golf thus far while in office.