Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is accusing President Obama of "hiding from his job" and "trivializing the presidency" after taking time to appear on ESPN to tout his March Madness picks. 

Gingrich told The Washington Times that "Obama picking basketball teams may come to rival Jimmy Carter scheduling the tennis courts in the White House as a symbol of failing at big stuff and trivializing the presidency." 

The likely 2012 presidential hopeful piled on Thursday, tweeting, "Something sad about Pres. hiding from his job behind NCAA picks. We need a commander in chief not a spectator in chief." 

The White House defended Obama's ESPN appearance Wednesday, saying the president is capable of juggling more than one issue at a time. 

"There are crises all the time, for every president," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.