Demands for a CNN boycott trended on social media Monday after the news outlet highlighted President Joe Biden's frequent trips away from the White House.
What did CNN report?
Biden has taken dozens of trips to his home in Delaware or Camp David and has surpassed his predecessor, Donald Trump, in time spent away from the White House.
Some 21 months into his term, Biden has made 55 visits to Delaware, totaling some or all of 174 days as of Sunday, according to a CNN analysis of presidential schedules and a tally kept by Mark Knoller, the longtime unofficial statistician of the White House press corps. In addition, Biden has made 19 visits, or all or part of 64 days, to the Camp David presidential retreat in rural Maryland.
He has now surpassed even the getaway time of former President Donald Trump, so often criticized by Democrats for his regular departures from the White House to stay at one of his personal homes. At this point in his tenure, Trump had spent about 135 days at either his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, or his home at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump also had spent 23 days at Camp David.
In fact, according to CNN, if Biden continues on his current time-away pace through two terms, he "would far surpass" former Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan in time away.
Bush spent nearly 500 days at his Texas ranch, while Reagan spent nearly a year at his California ranch.
What was the reaction?
Liberals and Biden's supporters were not happy that CNN is shedding negative light on Biden by drawing a comparison to Trump.
Not only did critics call for a boycott of CNN, but they used the opportunity to bash Trump and defend Biden, arguing that Biden spends his time away from the White House working.
- "This is why after watching CNN exclusively for as long as I can remember. I switched to MSNBC is August, deleted the CNN app from my phone and deleted the Sirius station from my favorites. CNN = Cee ya Not Never," one person said.
- "Boycott CNN #BoycottCNN They have become the new Faux new," another person said.
- "The health and safety of American democracy is at stake yet someone at @CNN thought this was actual news. Shame," another person complained.
- "Boy - a great example why I don't watch @CNN anymore - I know even when President Biden is spending weekends in Delaware only a short distance from the WH - he is working. He's not playing golf or having non stop rallys (sic)," another person excused.
- "I’ve been a diehard viewer of #CNN for many years. I switched to @MSNBC a month ago. #boycottcnn," another person said.
- "This is your daily reminder that CNN is owned by Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner. It is FoxNews Light. #BoycottCNN," one person said.
- "Disgusting. Grateful I haven’t watched @CNN in weeks. Deleted my app too. #BoycottCNN," another person said.
What did WH say?
Deputy press secretary Andrew Bates defended Biden's frequent time away from Washington, D.C.
“President Biden is deeply proud of his roots and his family and it has been a staple of his time in public life to never lose touch with either," Bates said.
"Presidents of the United States are constantly on the job, regardless of their location — whether they’re on a state visit overseas or just 100 miles from the White House for a short trip to Wilmington, DE," he added. "And as all Americans can agree, it’s important for leaders to avoid becoming ensconced in Washington, DC."