June 21st, 2010
02:14 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama deserves a round of golf, White House says

'I don't think that there is a person in this country that doesn't think that their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind,' White House spokesman Bill Burton said Monday.

'I don't think that there is a person in this country that doesn't think that their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind,' White House spokesman Bill Burton said Monday.

(CNN) - The White House is beating back Republican charges that President Barack Obama is taking too many breaks during the ongoing oil disaster off the Gulf coast.

"I don't think that there is a person in this country that doesn't think that their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind," White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters Monday.

The comments came a day after Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele issued a strongly worded statement condemning the president for playing a round of golf Sunday, attending a baseball game Friday, and recently hosting Paul McCartney at the White House.

"Until this problem is fixed, no more golf outings, no more baseball games, no more Beatle concerts, Mr. President," Steele said in the statement. "The stakes are too high for President Obama's lackadaisical approach to both his responsibilities and the challenges we face."

Burton instead suggested the president's BP response has been whole-hearted.

"After a week where the president was taking on the oil spill; got a historic agreement with BP to put aside $20 billion to pay claims; after a day on Friday when he strengthened lobbying and ethics rules in the White House; after going to Ohio to talk about the economy and see the progress that is being made in some of those stimulus projects that are happening around the country; all the different issues that the president is dealing with, I think that a little bit of time to himself on Father's Day weekend probably does us all good as American citizens that our president is taking that time," said Burton.

Filed under: Michael Steele • Popular Posts • President Obama • RNC
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. Geoz

    He should go clear brush in Texas for a few weeks....
    because that is ok with the GOP.

    June 21, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Rick

    Hmmm lets not forget that President Bush spent more time in Crawford Tx than he did in Wa.

    June 21, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Michael tampa

    Michael Steele doesn't even have creditabiltiy with republicans, give me a break. Nothing wrong with decompressing when you are dealing with alot of stress. Guess what you will make better decisions after than if you don't manage your stress.

    June 21, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. leonardo

    What is wrong with Michael Steele? What does he have to say about GWB who took countless vacations at Crawford?
    Disgusting double standards. So what if Obama takes a couple of hours to play golf or whatever. The media(you included CNN) is equally or even more disgusting in playing up these kind of comments. What kind of country have we become, that nasty personal comments and the publicity that accompanies them are the rule rather than the exception?

    June 21, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. cecilia Azu

    Michael Steele is jealous of Obama and what he has been able to accomplish in these United States of America. Why not let the man do his God given duty as the leader of the free world, Michael?????

    June 21, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. KDS Irvine, CA

    I have nothing against the president wanting to clear his mind seeing how he has the hardest job in the world. But President Obama has played more golf in the year and half he's been in office than any other president in recent times. George W. Bush played something like 12 rounds of golf in his 8 year presidency and made sure no cameras were present. He didn't want to send the wrong message while our troops are over seas. President Obama has played over 25 rounds of golf so far and everyone knows about it.

    That is pretty arrogant considering the problems we are facing. If the president wants to clear his mind, then go to camp david. That's why it was created.

    June 21, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Ron

    Maybe Obama should have gone to a strip club instead! Steele is such an idiot. I go to the golf course to clear my head, too.

    June 21, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. conniesz

    The president is always on call – even if he is playing a little golf. I don't honestly believe that denying himself a little recreation will do anything towards getting that leak plugged. The fact is, Obama is not an oil engineer – he doesn't know how to plug the hole. He can ask brilliant people to collaborate and come up with a solution – but it is very doubtful that he can come up with such a solution on his own. He needs to stay sharp, and as the old saying goes:

    "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" – all work and no play numbs the mind of a president too.

    June 21, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. LightsOut

    Well.. he can't hide his head in the sand out in Crawford.

    June 21, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Norm

    Aren't politics wonderful! Attention Rebuplicans.... focus on the issues! Why don't you help find solutions to the problems instead of sitting on the side-lines (or worse, getting in the way) and complaining about how the other guys aren't doing it right.

    I hope that the American people will keep this king of crap in mind when voting in November.

    June 21, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Jim

    So its OK for the President to play golf, have concerts and other activities to "clear his head" but it is not OK for the BP CEO to go on a Yacht. The hypocrisy is disgusting. President "Find Fault With Everyone I Feel Like" is as arrogant as Hugo Chavez, Ackmandeniwhatever, and the North Korean communist with the bad haircut. This president has played more golf in a year and half than W did in 8 years. The more facts that are exposed about this president and his administration show how offensive this group is. He is not a president about all the peeple; just the ones he wants, like the 12 million illegals he wants to give amnesty to so he can get re-elected. If people are truly honest, they would admit this president gets a pass on most things by a bias media; if W was golfing while the gulf was under oil, he would be crucified.

    June 21, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Angus McDugan

    Also, if for no other reason, Obama should not be golfing, going to baseball games, having concerts, or anything of that nature until the leak in the gulf is corrected. Please give the illusion to the people affected that you do not take this lightly!!!!

    You actions speak louder than words. You can take a break, just don't do it so publicly to show respect for those affected!!!!

    Dang Obama, Why do I have to tell you this. Please put that big Harvard degree to work.

    June 21, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. William

    Get of life, Mr. Steele.

    The Republicans will try anything to discredit the President – He works and is on call 24-7 – I think the man can have a little down time.

    June 21, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. Jerry - Florida

    I am a life-long Democrat, but Mr. Steele is 300% correct. President NObama is campaigning full time, playing full time, entertaining full time and paying little or delayed attention to the issues affecting this once great country. Oops! I forgot. What the h___, it's all on the taxpayer's dime.

    Burton is liar and a hypocrite just like the man he's trying to protect.

    On the other hand, what else do you expect from this administration?

    Lies, smoke and mirrors and more lies.

    By trying to parrot the economy and the stimulus, this administration should be embarrassed. Most of the people benefiting from the so-called improved economy are the thousands of people hired by the federal government. Of course President NObama and his lapdogs expect these new federal hires to support his campaigns and his idiotic policies.

    The funniest part is that main stream media gives them all a free pass.

    I can't wait when the time comes and the NObama administration really starts dictating to the main stream media what they can and not air. This day is coming sooner than later.

    If you think this is an exaggeration, consider NObama's buddy in Venezuela, Hugo (the Pig Face Chávez).

    Stay tuned!

    June 21, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Gil

    Interesting comment, Mr. Steele, considering the last Republican president took a month off at a time during a war!

    June 21, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Nick

    Well, if you think there isn't a person in the country that thinks the president shouldn't be golfing... allow me to be the first to raise my hand and prove you wrong. No, the President does not deserve to play golf. What an entitled and insensitive thing to say!

    I suppose that the nation's unemployed should deserve a round of golf, but I'm guessing that isn't in the cards for them. Or, maybe, fisherman in the Gulf would like to take in a ball game.

    Christ almighty, you wonder why the tea party has risen to the level it has. It's true, despite the hype around Obama, everyone in Washington is clueless about what the rest of the country wants.

    That being said... the appropriate response to this situation is for you to tell republicans to STFU about time off for the President. Bush Jr. took more time off than any president in history despite multiple wars, Katrina, etc. It's a disingenous argument from the GOP and everyone knows it, but that doesn't mean people don't agree.

    Here's something that I think more Americans would agree with. "If you don't want to work harder than you've ever worked in your life with no time off, don't ask for our vote."

    What happened to CHANGE? Bush whined about how hard the job was and how he needed time off... don't start that too Obama.

    Seriously, it really isn't hard to beat back this crap. Throw the GOP BS back in their face and then at least pretend to care. My god, the president deserves to golf in the middle of a crisis... and Tony Hayward deserved to attend a yacht race.

    You know Obama is off course when I find myself agreeing with Michael Steele... no more golf, no more ball games until this is resolved.

    June 21, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Marcus P

    Michael Steele is truly an idiot and needs to shut his mouth. Doesn't he know how many times President Obama has been to the gulf region to see this devastation first hand, and he has place immense pressure on BP to accept responsibility for their negligence. I don't care if the President is democratic or republican, this man needs a mini break and playing a round of golf is not going to change things one way or another. Michael Steele, remember, the President is and always will be a mere mortal. What were you doing on father's day? You idiot!

    June 21, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Kristin in CA

    Evryone deserves a "break" – However, the Prez should have CALLED UP the NATIONAL GUARD to CLEAN UP the Mess, BEFORE going golfing – We need ACTION

    June 21, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. rob

    "I don't think that there is a person in this country that doesn't think that their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind," White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters Monday.

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...whew let me catch my breath....ha ha ha ha ha ha.


    June 21, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Sue, Vienna, VA

    I think President Obama would be a basket-case if he DIDN'T take occasional breaks! Any human being that deals with the amount of on-going crises that he does certainly deserves a golf game on Father's Day! He has a strong focus on what's going on with the oil spill, he has competent people who can reach him 24/7, and the fact is, he's NOT running off to Argentina to be with his mistress, or bedding down his aide's wife, as a few republicans have been known to do – one of them leaving S.C. unattended to tend to his soulmate! I believe Mr. Steele has been a little cranky lately. Perhaps, he realizes he's nothing but a puppet of his party!

    June 21, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. TW

    How many times sense Obama has been president has he played golf? Where is all the critizing that Bush took while he was president?EVERY time Bush took a vacation or played golf, it was turned into a natural disaster! As I understand it, Obama has played more golf in his term so far as Bush did in his 8 years! It seems to me that Obama and his wife are using the position as a tax payer funded life of luxury.

    June 21, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Hammerer

    obama needs a little time to clear his mind?
    BP's Hayward did not need to clear his mind at the boat race so why does obama need to play golf, watch basketball, go to baseball games and fly around on tour making campaign speeches?
    He should have known that the job is 24/7.

    June 21, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Augsbee

    Oh please, give me a break, now you want us to congratulate him for doing his job like making sure BP pays us for the damages they caused us???? Come on, don't be ridiculous, it is his duty as President to collect $20 billion PLUS $$$$ from BP.

    Those poor people in Louisiana, wildlife, are not getting a break from the oil spill catastrophe so why should President Obama get one????
    and now they say it is showing up in Florida?????

    As I said before, I think we put the wrong Obama in the White House, Michelle Obama is the one with working experience as an administrator, hands on employee, lawyer, etc...

    Michelle would be the first one to say that it is the responsibility of the administrator, manager to handle a situation from day one and it is the administrator, manager who's responsible to go after the money.
    No need to thank the President for doing his job.

    June 21, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Jennifer

    They're complaing about Obama playing golf when George W. read 96 books in 2006, 51 in 2007 and 40 in 2008. I have a hard enough time finishing a book a month while working but he read almost a book a week while president. A three hour game of golf doesn't look so bad now does it!!!

    June 21, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Jim

    I would like to understand the itinerary of Mr. Steele and others during crisis situations? Are they in the situation 24×7 every day? And if so how successful have they been in those situations? Also given that Senator John McCain is on the senate committee for Energy and Natural Resources – have he and the other members been working 7×24 everyday on this crisis situation? Don't hear much from them.

    June 21, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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