Obama Says He ‘Should’ve Anticipated the Optics’ of Golfing After Foley Beheading

Obama Golf Appearances
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This Aug. 20, 2014 file photo shows President Barack Obama smiling at the wheel of a golf cart during golfing at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Obama took heavy criticism for his golfing that day just minutes after denouncing the militants who had beheaded an American journalist James Foley.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama says he “should have anticipated the optics” of laughing on the golf course in Martha’s Vineyard shortly after giving a statement on the beheading of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS/ISIL terrorists.

“It is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation because you’re followed everywhere. And part of what I’d love is a vacation from the press,” Obama told NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd on Sunday.

Obama said a “jarring contrast” is always possible, because “there’s always going to be some tough news somewhere, it’s going to be there. But there’s no doubt that after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going through after the statement that I made, that I should’ve anticipated the optics.”

Obama said he thinks everybody who knows him, including the press, understands that he cares deeply about the “serious business” that comes before him:

“But part of this  job is also the theater of it,” even if it doesn’t come naturally to him. “But it matters,” he said. “And I’m mindful of that. So the important thing is, in addition to that, is am I getting the policies right? Am I protecting the American people? Am I doing what’s necessary?”

Although there are days when he doesn’t get enough sleep, Obama told Todd he actually feels “energized” by “the opportunities that we’ve got,” both domestic and foreign.

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