President Barack Obama told NBC News host Chuck Todd on Sunday that he should have anticipated the negative response after he made the statement on journalist James Foley’s death and then went golfing.
“You know, it is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation, because you’re followed everywhere,” Obama told “Meet the Press.”
“The possibility of a jarring contrast with the world’s news — there’s always going to be some tough news somewhere — is gonna be there,” he said, noting that he was saddened by the news that the American journalist was beheaded by the Sunni jihadist group ISIS.
“Part of what I want is a vacation from the press,” he added.
“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, I should have anticipated the optics. That’s part of the job,” he said.
“I think everybody who knows me, including the press, understands that you take this stuff in,” he continued. “But part of this job is also the theater. It’s not something that always comes naturally to me. But it matters, and I’m mindful of that.”
The president plans to deliver a major address Wednesday outlining his plans to “hunt down” terrorists “wherever they are.”
Image screenshot: YouTube