President Obama’s decision to take his Earth Day speech from Washington DC to Florida, the home of two Republican presidential candidates, cost taxpayers $850,000 just for the flight of Air Force One. Taxpayer watchdog Judicial Watch revealed that Air Force documents show that was the cost of flying the jumbo jet four hours to Miami. He was then helicoptered twenty minutes to the Florida Everglades for his speech. Other costs, such as security, communications and staff, would no doubt put the cost of Obama’s speech over $1 million.
During his speech, the president did not directly attack Florida’s two Republican presidential candidates: former Governor Jeb Bush or current Senator Marco Rubio. However, Obama did make scathing attacks on those who question climate change. He cited earlier efforts by Republican Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and George H.W. Bush to improve the environment. White House aides said that they hoped the location of this event would put political pressure on Jeb Bush and Rubio. The New York Times reported that White House officials believe that using the muggy backdrop of the Everglades to demand action would force Bush and Rubio to address this issue
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “The irony of using Air Force One for an unnecessary jaunt to discuss global warming shows that taxpayers are being gouged for President Obama’s abuse of the perks of office. Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for his attacks on political opponents.” Tom Fitton hit the nail on the head. Taxpayers should not have to pay for Obama’s partisan efforts to influence the election in 2016. If Obama is really so concerned about climate change, he should consider cutting down on his unnecessary travel expenses before he starts talking about regulating everybody else’s use of fuel.
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Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a national radio show host, and a best-selling author.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.