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Obama admits that playing golf after denouncing beheading of American journalist looked bad

Photo: AP Photo

Barack Obama at the wheel of a golf cart at Vineyard Golf Club in Martha's Vineyard.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama took heavy criticism when he went golfing last month during his vacation just minutes after denouncing the militants who had beheaded an American journalist.

So would the president want a second chance and do things differently?

Obama tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that there always will be tough news somewhere, but that he "should've anticipated the optics" of immediately going to play golf.

He went golfing on Martha's Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast after delivering that statement in which he said he'd just gotten off the phone with journalist James Foley's parents.

But Obama says the more important question is whether he's getting the policies right and whether he's protecting the American people. On that score, he says he thinks he's done a very good job.

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