Topics: Barack Obama

Obama adviser blames Obamacare website failure for president missing Gettysburg anniversary

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President Obama, who never misses an opportunity to compare himself to President Lincoln, missed a big one Tuesday: the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

The White House took to Twitter to defend the president from the idea that he "snubbed" the event, with senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer saying on Twitter the "snub" was due to a scheduling conflict.

“It didn’t work schedule-wise,” Pfeiffer said in response to the National Journal’s Ron Fournier and the New York Times’ Jonathan Martin, who were discussing the snub.

When Fournier specifically asked what was on the president’s schedule that would keep him from such a historic occasion, Pfeiffer remarked: “Oh, I don't know, there's this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the [Democratic] Party.”

Not to be outdone, Obama's former speechwriter Jon Favreau tweeted that Obama "has honored Lincoln, his legacy, and veterans of the Civil War dozens and dozens of times since taking office."

So missing this incredibly historic event is totally acceptable?

Actually, the president was meeting with a bipartisan group of senators on Iran during the ceremony commemorating Lincoln's Nov. 19, 1863, speech dedicating a national cemetery on the Civil War battlefield. He was scheduled to speak later at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting in Washington.

Obama often has linked himself to the nation's 16th president. He used his fellow Illinoisian's bible for his inaugural swearing-in and encouraged comparisons between his administration and Lincoln's "team of rivals" cabinet.

Now, perhaps Obama really is dealing with the Obamacare website, as Pfeiffer said. And Iran is no small threat. But for a president who took time out of his day to interrupt a press conference over a local trial in Florida, it seems odd that he couldn't spare the time to commemorate one of the most important speeches in American history.

Bonus: The number one Twitter suggestion as to why Obama won't attend the anniversary? Golf.

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