Barack and Michelle Obama didn’t break the bank on their much-publicized date in New York City, Robert Gibbs told the White House press corps yesterday. “I would say the costs are proportionate with other presidents,” Gibbs said, though he declined to name a specific figure. He said the Obamas would have rather taken the shuttle flight from Washington, but Secret Service restrictions prevented it.
The reporter asked if Gibbs knew of any other presidents who’d spent taxpayer money on such dates, but Gibbs demurred, saying the reporter likely had more researchers at his disposal. He needn’t research far. George W. Bush flew to his Crawford ranch repeatedly at the government’s expense, racking up a year’s worth of days there over his presidency.