President Donald Trump on Monday lashed out against those criticizing his decision to play golf over the weekend by blaming his predecessor Barack Obama for failing to defeat Islamic State forces and accusing his 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden of having a "poor work ethic."
After footage emerged over the weekend of Trump golfing even as the nation's Covid-19 death toll neared 100,000 people, critics of the president pounced at the opportunity to denounce the decision and highlight his ongoing mismanagement of the pandemic crisis and indifference to its victims.
Trump’s decision to go golfing while 100,000 Americans have died has a very Louis XVI vibe to it. https://t.co/MXY96C3VhB
— Sanho Tree (@SanhoTree) May 24, 2020
"The Fake & Totally Corrupt News makes it sound like a mortal sin [to play golf]," Trump tweeted Monday. "I knew this would happen! What they don't say is that it was my first golf in almost 3 months." Trump called journalists who reported on his trip to the links as "truly deranged" people who are "sick with hatred and dishonesty" aimed at him personally.
Deflecting the criticisms he widely faced, Trump in his Monday morning tweets took aim at Obama and "Sleepy Joe" Biden.
....Hawaii in a big, fully loaded 747, to play. What did that do to the so-called Carbon Footprint? He also played moments after the brutal killing by ISIS of a wonderful young man. Totally inappropriate - and it was me who shattered 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. I was left a MESS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2020
Independent journalist Judd Legum said sarcastically that the entire thread was a "poignant Memorial Day tribute by President Trump."
On Saturday night, Biden's campaign released a new campaign ad targeting Trump's golf game:
Nearly 100,000 lives have been lost, and tens of millions are out of work.
Meanwhile, the president spent his day golfing. pic.twitter.com/H1BVNtgVjA
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 24, 2020
The golfing-while-president controversy is nothing new, of course, as the New York Times noted on Sunday:
Golfing during a crisis has always proved problematic for presidents. Dwight D. Eisenhower was criticized for playing after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik. George W. Bush gave up golfing during the Iraq war to avoid looking insensitive to the troops and their families. Barack Obama was excoriated for golfing after an American was beheaded by terrorists in the Middle East.
Among those who regularly assailed Mr. Obama for golfing was Mr. Trump—by one count, 27 times. "Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf," Mr. Trump wrote in 2014.
As anti-war critics have stated throughout Trump's tenure as commander-in-chief, the president's "bankrupt" foreign policy—including his assault on ISIS forces in the Middle East and Africa—has been marred by callousness and cruelty that sacrificed untold numbers of civilians in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere to U.S. bombardment and massacre.