The right-wing media have used President Obama's speech at Walt Disney World as an opportunity to attack him, despite the fact that previous presidents, including Ronald Reagan, have given speeches at Disney parks while in office.
Right-Wing Media Accuse Obama Of "Ruin[ing] Families' Vacations" With Speech
Fox Nation: "Obama's Selfish Disney World Speech Ruins Families' Vacations." From Fox Nation:
[Fox Nation, 1/19/12]
Human Events Quotes GOP Operative Alleging "Major Disruption For Thousands Of Families" Due To Speech, Criticizing "Optics" Of "Literally Shutting Down 'Main Street USA.' " From a Human Events article:
Jason Recher, who served as assistant to President George W. Bush and was his trip director in addition to being a senior advisor to the McCain-Palin '08 presidential campaign, said that though all sides of the political spectrum can agree that Disney World should not be polarized and that tourism should be vigorously promoted, the optics of Obama's Disney World event may step on his message, which Recher said was a cardinal sin of political event staging.
"The White House is literally shutting down 'Main Street USA' -- including dozens of vibrant shops, restaurants and attractions," Recher told HUMAN EVENTS. "[Obama's] job-killing policies have already shut down many real Main Streets across our country, so I guess it makes sense."
Recher said Obama's event will send the "message that visuals are more important than vacations and vocations" and, while acknowledging the U.S. Secret Service is the best in the world at what they do, they "will cause a major disruption for thousands of families from around the country and world who have scrimped and saved to make this moment special for their families." [Human Events, 1/19/12]
IBD's Malcolm: Disney Tourists "Are Just Plum Out Of Luck, Like Grumpy." From an Investor's Business Daily blog post by Andrew Malcolm:
Hey, Mr. President! You've just destroyed the Keystone XL pipeline project and thousands of new union jobs. What are you gonna do now?
"I'm going to Disney World."
No, it's not another Obama vacation. He's flying Air Force One down to Orlando this morning on business.
His people say the Democrat has some new ideas on how to increase tourism to Florida and probably the entire 57 states. Naturally, this requires another Obama speech.
And what better place for a campaigning president to go lecture needlessly on improving tourism than the iconic institution that figured it all out decades ago, Walt Disney Resorts?
But here's the problem with Obama going to Disney's Main Street: They have to halt all tourism there for him to be seen encouraging more tourism, close the whole place down to tourists for much of the day while he's there and before. Even Disney employees are being barred.
So, Main Street won't look anything like the photo above. And the thousands of existing tourists who expected to spend a valuable vacation day strolling the old-fashioned shops for fudge and Mickey ears, riding the steam-powered cars and horse-drawn streetcars and getting a photo with the real Snow White today are just plum out of luck, like Grumpy. [Investor's Business Daily, 1/19/12]
Previous Presidents Have Given Speeches At At Disney Theme Parks
Disney: Obama Is Fourth Sitting President To Visit A Disney Theme Park. From a Disney Parks blog entry:
President Barack Obama is making Disney history today by becoming the fourth sitting president to ever visit a Disney theme park.
In November 1978, President Jimmy Carter became the first sitting president to visit a Disney park when he attended the opening session of the 26th World Congress of the International Chamber of Commerce meeting at Magic Kingdom.
President Ronald Reagan made two visits to Epcot during his presidency. The first took place March 8, 1983, where he appeared at the park to address international students who would work at World Showcase. The President returned in 1985 to hold his second-term inaugural celebration at Epcot, which included a parade around World Showcase.
President George H.W. Bush also visited Epcot, where he presided over the first Points of Light ceremony honoring volunteers for their service work, at the America Gardens Theatre in 1991. [Disney Parks Blog, 1/19/12]
Nixon Spoke At Disney Resort. From Central Florida News 13:
It's well known that President Richard Nixon famously declared he was "not a crook" at Walt Disney World in 1973, but that was during a convention at Disney's Contemporary Resort, not inside the Magic Kingdom.
Nixon proclaimed his innocence amid the infamous Watergate scandal, which eventually led to his regisnation as president. [Central Florida News 13, 1/19/12]