Minister: Obama's $50,000-a-Week Vacation a 'Disgrace' in Light of Economy

August 25, 2011 - 4:12 PM

( - A Christian minister led a tiny band of demonstrators front of the White House on a rainy Thursday afternoon to call on President Obama to remember the poor and needy while he is on his $50,000-a-week vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

The Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition and six others – three of whom were children -- brought sleeping bags, garbage cans, old newspapers and tarps and placed the display in front of the White House.

“We set that up, especially this week, because the president has chosen, in these difficult economic times, to spend 10 days in one of the most lavish and exclusive places in the world in Martha’s Vineyard,” Mahoney told

“So while the president is riding the pristine bike trails and sailing around Martha’s Vineyard and eating lobster rolls and exclusive meals, we’re here to say, ‘Mr. President, please do not forget America’s poor and needy,'" said Mahoney.

He further said that Obama’s track record shows “(The president) has completely ignored the poor.”

“On his bus tour he just completed, that $1.1 million bus, he didn’t visit any shelter, he didn’t stop at any food pantry, he didn’t stop in any urban neighborhood,” Mahoney added.

“We actually had several young children, because a week-and-half ago, a study came out that said under this administration and their policies, 20 percent of the youth in America live in poverty," he said. "That’s a staggering number – 1 in 5 young people lives in poverty.”

Mahoney said he is planning another White House event for October. But today’s event, however tiny the turnout, centered on big questions for Obama.

“President Obama talks about shared sacrifice. He lectures the American public about greed and corporate jets and many of these things I wouldn’t disagree with – but then we need to ask, ‘Mr. President, what is your shared sacrifice? What are you doing? What is your family doing to help the poor and needy?’” Mahoney said.

“And certainly taking a $50,000-a-week exclusive vacation in Martha’s Vineyard after we get a downgrading in our bond rating, in one of the worst economic times in history – for him to take such a lavish vacation really sends the wrong message at this time.”

The event was called “The Matthew 25 Project,” Mahoney said, because it is based on Christ's words in Matthew 25:40 where he says, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me."