5, August 2017
US President Donald Trump has gone on a 17-day holiday to one of his golf resorts near New York. Trump arrived at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey on Friday for his extended break. The Trump National Golf Club occupies 535 acres of rambling countryside in central New Jersey, 45 minutes away from New York City.
The president, who had repeatedly criticized his predecessor, Barack Obama, for taking too many vacation days to play golf and even vowed during his election campaign not to go on vacation if he became president, left the White House in complete shambles.
This is his first long absence from the White House since he became president. The White House said the president’s stay at his golf resort would be a “working vacation”. “The President will continue to work over the next two weeks,” said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters. The White House’s faulty cooling and heating systems were cited as one of the reasons for the president’s untimely leave.
Trump criticized Obama in 2011 for playing golf and then heading to a 10-day vacation. “Nice work ethic,” Trump tweeted back then. “Pres. Obama is about to embark on a 17 day vacation in his ‘native’ Hawaii, putting Secret Service away from families on Christmas. Aloha!,” Trump tweeted on another occasion. Not only did Trump criticize Obama for his vacations, he routinely told supporters he would never take time off if he were elected because he would be swamped with work.
“I would not be a president who took vacations,” he said in 2015. “I would not be a president that takes time off.” Despite his comments, Trump has taken considerably more time off than Obama in their respective first seven months in office.
According to a Washington Post tally, by the end of August Trump will have spent all or part of 53 days at leisure during his presidency, compared with 15 days for Obama through August 2009. Trump, who is grappling with a Russia scandal, has been the target of extraordinary leaks from government officials since he took the helm.
Trump has also failed to win any major legislative scores in his first seven months in office, and is at odds with several Republican lawmakers on multiple fronts. Trump’s popularity is at an all-time low, as well. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found that only 33 percent of American voters approve of his performance in office, while 61 percent were against him. This marks Trump’s lowest approval and highest disapproval number since elected. ‘If you are not happy, leave!’
Vicente Fox, Mexico’s former president, who is an outspoken critic of Trump, has questioned the reason for his extended vacation, saying he should leave office if he is unhappy. “[L]eaving on vacation, huh? What for? If you’re not happy with your job, just leave. After all, it was never for you,” the former Mexican president tweeted.
The tweet by Fox seems to be in reference to a former tweet by Trump in which he stated his aversion to vacations. “What’s the point [of vacation]? If you’re not enjoying your work, you’re in the wrong job,” Trump had tweeted back in 2012.