In an era of political tension, vacation habits become headline news.
Former President Donald Trump has lambasted current President Joe Biden for his vacationing patterns, claiming they are excessive and idle.
Amidst a backdrop of political scrutiny, Trump's pointed criticism came during an exclusive interview with Breitbart News at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. The former president accused his successor of dismantling effective policies, particularly at the border. He suggested President Biden's time would have been better spent maintaining the strategies he, Trump, had put in place.
The conversation took a personal turn when Trump mocked Biden's physical capabilities, using humor to underscore his point about the current president's lack of engagement during his vacation periods. Former President Trump contrasted this by highlighting his own habits while in office, asserting he continuously worked, even when his leisure activities, such as golf, were involved. According to Trump, those golf games were far from frivolous, as they often included playing with influential figures, including heads of state and lawmakers.
Trump underscored the perceived gravity of his claim by recalling his experiences hosting international leaders at Mar-a-Lago. The late ex-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping were among the world leaders he entertained at the so-called "Southern White House." Such meetings, he implied, were in stark contrast to what he describes as Biden's inaccessibility while on vacation.
Trump alluded to the operational tempo of his Mar-a-Lago resort during his presidency, saying:
This is really the Southern White House. I have meetings left, right, and all day. Even if I’m playing golf, I’m always playing golf with somebody who is important like heads of countries, senators, et cetera. But it’s all work.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) has provided figures that paint a stark picture of President Biden's vacation days. In 2023 alone, Biden reportedly spent 138 days on vacation, equating to 37% of the year. Throughout his term thus far, the RNC claims he has been away from the White House for 417 days, or 39% of his presidency.
These numbers have drawn scrutiny compared to the vacation days taken by Trump and other predecessors. Trump took 132 days, while former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush took 38 and 100 days, respectively. The New York Post has noted that Biden has surpassed the vacation time of these three former presidents combined.
At the time of this report, President Biden is vacationing in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. This vacation spot has become a focal point for Trump's critique. The former president expressed frustration about Biden's alleged reluctance to engage in duties while away, claiming that those seeking to contact Biden are told he is unavailable and that a return call might take weeks.
Former President Trump's tenure at Mar-a-Lago was marked by frequent hosting of international figures. His ability to blend leisure with diplomacy became a hallmark of his presidency, as he sought to use the resort for informal but critical discussions on global affairs. The practice of hosting leaders at Mar-a-Lago was indicative of Trump's approach to politics—often unconventional but with a focus on direct, personal engagement.
The comparison of vacation days between Trump and Biden is telling of their contrasting styles. While Trump claims to have woven work seamlessly into his leisure time, Biden's approach has been characterized by the RNC and Trump as more detached. The underlying concern in Trump's comments is a question of leadership presence and availability, which he suggests is lacking in Biden's approach.
In a quip that captures his critique, Trump remarked on Biden's vacation activities, or lack thereof: "If Biden only would have gone to that beach he goes to so much and just sat there trying to lift the chair, which weighs about three ounces."
Former President Donald Trump's criticisms of President Joe Biden's vacation practices bring to light a debate over presidential work ethics and availability.