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President Obama Plays Golf After Making Somber Statement On Beheaded American Journalist James Foley

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- From talk radio to Twitter to the front page of the papers, President Barack Obama has taken flak for hitting the golf course on Wednesday.

President Obama raised eyebrows after making a somber statement over the brutal killing of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants.

Obama called Foley's death "an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world."

"The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless," Obama said. "When people harm Americans anywhere we do what's necessary to see that justice is done and we act against ISIL, standing alongside others."

Shortly after delivering his remarks from Martha's Vineyard, he engaged in his favorite pastime -- a game of golf with friends, including former professional basketball star Alonzo Mourning.

Obama discusses murder of journalist James Foley
President Barack Obama makes a statement at Martha's Vineyard, on the beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Domestic and international eruptions have intruded on his two-week vacation on the Vineyard, creating an awkward juxtaposition of sober public appearances and island diversions.

Images of President Obama smiling while Foley's family grieved made for a harsh headline in the New York Daily News that read 'Bam's Golf War,' and drew a variety of reactions from the city and the suburbs.

"He just doesn't care. he's an uncaring man," Jacqueline Reynolds told CBS 2's Tony Aiello.

"I think he gave his condolences. He did what he was supposed to do. I don't think he should always drop his life for society," Coney Island resident Dana Gilliam said.

At Pace University, Political Scientist Christopher Malone said that perception is reality for politicians.

"Something like this sort of reinforces the sense that maybe he is a little aloof, maybe he is a little isolated. I think that sort of narrative really is starting to take a toll six years into his presidency," Malone said.

The President's team stepped up on Thursday to show that the administration is engaged. Defense Secretary Hagel and Attorney General Holder promised justice for the Foley family.

While The Defense Secretary and Attorney General spoke, President Obama was once again playing golf.

The President did call Foley's parents on Wednesday to express his sadness and solidarity.

Foley was Catholic and CBS News has confirmed that his parents received a condolence call from Pope Francis as well.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or  redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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