President Obama is facing widespread backlash for his decision to deliver a speech touting his fiscal policies on Monday while three miles away, Navy Yard was under siege by a gunman who slaughtered 12 people in Washington’s deadliest day since September 11, 2001.
The move was baffling to Obama’s critics and supporters alike. In the midst of the confusion and bloodshed that unfolded Monday, TV networks cut away from the drama to hear Obama address the massacre only briefly before quickly pivoting to an attack on Republicans in Congress.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd blasted Obama’s decision in a piece published Wednesday.
In this photo taken Monday, September 16, 2013, President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington
‘He could have posted his original remarks on the White House Web site and replaced them with a cri de coeur on gun control, or comfort for the shaken city,’ she wrote. ‘The 12 who died were, after all, under his aegis as workers in a federal building.’
‘But, jarringly, the president went ahead with his political attack, briefly addressing the slaughter before moving on to jab Republicans over the corporate tax rate and resistance to Obamacare.’
Calling the move ‘out of joint,’ Dowd declared: ‘The man who connected so electrically and facilely in 2008, causing Americans to overlook his thin résumé, cannot seem to connect anymore.’
MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ host Joe Scarborough offered an even more scathing review.
‘On the day while people were hiding, while people were bleeding, while people were dying, while the nation was locked in on this – he’s talking about harsh partisanship and Republicans wanting to hurt people,’ Scarborough said of Obama.