Fox News' Sean Hannity is currently visiting the Texas border and criticizing President Obama for not doing so during the developing humanitarian crisis. But in 2012, when President Obama visited regions devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Hannity lashed out at the president for his "photo-op" trip.
On July 9, President Obama visited Texas, meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) and local officials to discuss the administration's response to the crisis and called on Congress to approve billions in emergency aid funding for the region. But Obama chose not to visit the Texas border with Mexico to view the developing refugee crisis, in which thousands of children are fleeing violence in Central America. At a news conference he explained: "There is nothing taking place down there that I'm not intimately aware of and briefed on. This isn't theater. This is a problem. I'm not interested in photo ops. I'm interested in solving the problem."
Conservatives attacked Obama for his comments, often falsely suggesting that he had expressed a broad aversion to doing photo-ops in general.
In response, Hannity, who is touring the border with Perry in preparation for a special edition of his Fox News program, tweeted asking "shouldn't the president be down here too?" He also tweeted photos showing himself traveling with Texas Highway Patrol gunships on the Rio Grande, which look for drug cartels along the border, and posing with the Governor and several guns:
Glad to be on the border with @GovernorPerry but shouldn't the president be down here too?-- Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 10, 2014
With Gov Perry pic.twitter.com/oLaxlpwgp8-- Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 10, 2014
Texas border patrol pic.twitter.com/QxFCn0GccK-- Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 10, 2014
Based on past precedent, if Obama had actually toured the border, Hannity would have criticized him for that as well.
After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which slammed 900 miles on the east coast with widespread destruction and caused roughly $50 billion in damages, Hannity attacked Obama for visiting the devastated New Jersey region, saying on the November 1, 2012 edition of Hannity that "the president -- he got his photo-op yesterday and he just took off."
In fact, the president met with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for several hours to discuss relief efforts and assess the storm damage, and additionally met with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate and locals impacted by Sandy. Christie, who is a Republican, praised the president for working with his administration closely over several days to get needed resources to the state.
Hannity also criticized the president in 2012 for not coming "to New York at all" in Sandy's wake. But Hannity's own program had reported two days earlier that while Obama had "wanted to come [to New York] and visit the damage," the mayor of New York City had asked him to "go to New Jersey and represent the country," while they focused on recovery.