Your first reaction was likely “you have to be kidding me?!?!”
To hear Maria Bartiromo in all seriousness attack President Joe Biden for having the audacity to have spent five weekends since his inauguration nine weeks ago traveling back to his family home in Delaware — a place that is a whole 109 miles by car from Washington DC and less than a two-hour drive — one would have to recalibrate one’s outrage meter to ignore the behavior of the prior president and his habit of jetting off to one of his own golf resorts at every available opportunity.
Yet there was Bartiromo, the host of Fox News‘s Sunday Morning Futures, asking Eric Trump, Donald’s middle son, about his reaction to this hyped-up “scandal” of actual minuscule proportions.
“It’s worth noting that Biden spent this weekend in Delaware,” Bartiromo stated with a voice dripping in manufactured controversy. “His fifth trip since becoming president. That’s his sixth weekend away from the White House. We’re not even a 100 days in, your reaction to this new adminstration, Eric?” the Fox News host asked her clearly uncomfortable guest.
The sheer amount of hypocrisy necessary to set up a question like this to the son of a man whose frequent trips to his own resorts cost American taxpayers around $145 million according to the tally at Trumpgolfcount.com — and funneled many of those dollars back into his own personal fortune through his company — is astounding.
Eric Trump scrambled to come up with a response that avoided any mention of his dad’s notoriously lazy weekend schedules during his term and tried to move the topic to the newly renewed fear-mongering over a wave of refugees at the nation’s southern border.
“I don’t even know where to begin, First of all, Maria, as you know it’s heartbreaking to us,” Eric began. “I saw how much time and effort my father put into the job. I mean Biden saying ‘you know, well I’m not going to go down there because I don’t wanna incovenience the Secret Service….You know how many times my father went down to the border?…My father had the issue fixed,” he claimed.
Many people wouldn’t consider that wasteful spending on a total of only 80 miles of new border wall constructed during Donald Trump’s four years in office or his campaign trips to the region as having fixed the immigration and refugee problem that our country faces, but Eric was unusually wise in changing the topic from criticism of how Biden spends his weekends considering the opening such a strategy would give to his father’s own critics who would laugh at Eric’s estimation of the time and effort Donald put into his presidency.
To give you an idea of how much more time Donald Trump spent much further away from the White House than the short hops home to Delaware that Biden has taken, take a look at this summary of the former president’s trips to his own properties published by The Washington Post back in January and its accompanying graphic.
“Trump has visited a Trump Organization property on 428 days of his presidency, or one visit every 3.4 days. That means that he has visited on about two days of every week of his presidency,” Philip Bump wrote in the newpaper.
“Normally, those two days are weekend days. It was common for him to head to his golf club in Sterling, Va., on warmer weekends when he was in Washington. He visited that club on 106 days, probably playing golf on 103 of them. It was the property to which he paid the most visits.”
“He was president for 418 weekend days. He visited one of his properties on 240 of those days, or on 57 percent of them.”
“Trump probably played 261 rounds of golf as president. This is just an estimate because, unlike Obama, his team often wouldn’t report whether he was playing golf at his properties. If accurate, though, that’s a round every 5.6 days. By contrast, Obama played 333 rounds of golf — over twice as many years. That’s about once every 8.8 days,” The Washington Post calculates.
What is it that they say about people who live in glass houses?
You can watch Eric Trump’s appearance on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo in the video clip below.
Original reporting by Philip Bump at The Washington Post.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.