Bloomberg says Obama should be golfing every weekend
March 10th, 2013
12:35 PM ET
10 years ago

Bloomberg says Obama should be golfing every weekend

(CNN) – Many GOP critics say President Barack Obama should halt his golf games as the federal government weathers mandatory spending cuts, but one former Republican is taking the opposite tack, suggesting Obama golf more.

But there's one important caveat to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's advice: The foursomes can't be made up only of friends.

"I find it fascinating, people criticize him for taking people to dinner - he should be doing that every night. They criticize him for going and playing golf with people who he's got to deal with. He should be doing that every weekend. You always can work better with somebody that you have a chance to build a social relationship with," Bloomberg - who ran as a Republican in 2002 but later switched his party to "independent" - said on CBS's "Face the Nation." Bloomberg endorsed Obama in 2012's presidential campaign.

His remarks come as some Republicans cry foul over the expense of Obama's golf games in a time of government austerity - though the president has yet to play a round since the automatic spending cuts took effect March 1. Some in the GOP have chafed at the symbolism of the White House canceling tours, arguing the money spent on Secret Service protection for a presidential golf outing would be better spent on keeping the White House open to the public.

"The president will use up more Secret Service time guarding him while he golfs than it would take to keep the White House tours open all year," Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, said Friday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, submitted legislation which would make it illegal for Obama to use federal funds for commuting to and from golf outings until the White House resumes tours. Reopening the White House for tours would only cost "one or two golf trips less" for Obama, he argued.

By Bloomberg's estimation, the cost of Obama's golf trips would be well worth it for taxpayers if they result in important compromises on the nation's toughest issues. Yet for that to happen, Obama would have to invite his opponents for a round, rather than the usual coterie of friends and staffers with whom he normally tees off.

In 2011, he played a much-hyped round of golf with House Speaker John Boehner and John Kasich, Ohio's Republican governor. But if the budget gridlock currently ailing Washington is any indication, that game didn't yield much in terms of compromise.

It remains to be seen if Obama's latest "charm offensive" will include rounds of golf with his political rivals. Thus far it's been centered on meals: dinner with a dozen Republican senators at a hotel in Washington on Wednesday, and lunch at the White House with Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday. Both meals came at Obama's invitation. Later this week he'll meet with the full GOP contingents in both the House and Senate, along with the Democratic caucuses in both chambers.

The moves reflect a shift for the president, who has been criticized for not cultivating social relationships with members of Congress.

Filed under: Michael Bloomberg • President Obama
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. db

    Tell ya what, Bloomberg, why don't you pay for Obama's golf games so the hard working middle class tax payer isn't burden with that expense. After all, you can afford it. In case you haven't noticed, Mayor, you're one of those filthy rich 1% Democrats!

    March 10, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    We ought to all be daring Obama to go where he is NOT popular........and see just how many people genuinely disagree with him. I don't think he really gets the fact that half the country is opposed to his policies.

    March 10, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. Name lynn

    The media an the news cast is talking about golf, obama is speaking on jobs,, an budget cuts, the people is listen an waiting on the President on whats he going to do.

    March 10, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Name Catmandew

    Bloomberg mayor of New York states the obvious. Except Obama will just squander away any insight that does not agree with his agenda anyway so it will end up being a waste of time and money to continue golf outings!

    March 10, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. freedom

    Why is this man on overdrive with his policies? I am so grateful I don't live in NY.

    March 10, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Martha in CF

    How stupid a demand from the redumblicans.......I believe Bush had taken 250 days of vacation compared to Obama's 84 in the same time frame....The redumblicans need to lay off and quit their whining on what this President does. Maybe the House should be in session longer than the time frame that they have allotted. They just need to shut up-and get their own work done....I say congress needs a pay cut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Pale Rider

    Put a chip and putt on the white house grounds.

    March 10, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. AmThinker

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

    March 10, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. The REAL TRUTH...

    Newt's juvenile barb at the POTUS on Candy Crowley's program this am about one golf trip would have paid for 16 weeks of WH tours, is tpyical Repuglican. Any chance to take a pot shot at Obama.

    Perhaps Newt and the House Whip should go golfing, that way we wouldn't have to listen to the whining of the Grand Obstructionist Party. Why should Obama have to reach out to them.??? They're the ones who were going to make him a one term President. That worked well didn't it. Pucker up and move those fat bellies up to teh table and try some compromise negotitations.

    My 4-yr old could run DC better than these bozos.

    March 10, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Greenspam

    Republicans – small people with small opinions. Mayor Bloomberg is absolutely right. I think Bloomberg should run for Presidency.

    March 10, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Tommy G

    Obama doesn't meet with people,golfing or otherwise, to build working relationships. He thinks because he is president he can just go out and make speeches and demand that things be done his way. He is the USA's version of Hugo Chavez. He would prefer to get rid of Congress and the Supreme Court and name himself President for Life. I doubt5 this snake can change his skin at this stage. I tend to think this is all more scheming and conniving for political gain. That has been the Obama SOP for 4 years. He is hoping to take back the House in 2014 so he can jam more Progressive/Socialist/Communist philosophy down our throats. Or as he calls it, fundamentally transforming America.

    March 10, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. BeverlyNC

    Boehner golfs every weekend and spends plenty of time in a tanning bed. Absolutely nothing has been accomplished in the Republican Majority House – who is the body responsible for the creation of a budget (remember the Congressional Budget Office or CBO?) Boehner has failed at one of his major leadership tasks.
    Absolutely nothing has been accomplished in the Senate because Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has filibustered 387 bills – like for jobs, veteran benefits, all economic recovery measures, all infrastructure projects, everything to prioritize education and done it with total glee thinking it would hurt President Obama.
    All Republican obstructionism has done is hurt the very People they took an oath to Serve and the open hatred of everything Obama has instead destroyed the Republican Party from within and left it with no platform, no solutions, and no leadership. Worse, it has left the American People not trusting anything the Republican Party says or does.

    Someone in the Republican Party, who has the integrity to lead, needs to stand up, gather what is left of their moderates, create a 21st century platform and rid themselves of the extremist wing destined to keep the GOP from winning any major elections for many years.

    Why shouldn't President Obama golf with others who want to restore America? Congress has sent him NO budget, rejected all recovery bills, filibustered everything, and accomplished nothing. The President cannot make Congress do anything- though has tried many times- and their inaction gives him nothing to implement but what he can do to help the nation through leadership abroad to protect us and executive orders to help do what he can for the People.

    If Republicans would actually show up for work and take their oath to serve seriously- we could have been a nation already restored and finding ways to stay ahead in innovation and internal strength for all People.

    March 10, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Tony Zee

    So it only took Obama 4 YEARS to figure out that you can't constantly attack and demonize people you expect to help you get things done??? And all you leftists think this clown is SMART?!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! No wonder the country has gone nowhere but further down the hole over the last 4 years.

    March 10, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. abnguy

    BeberlyNC, even when the president had both houses he could not pass a budget. All of the stuff he is doing leems to keep the recovery slow. I could not imagine how bad off we would be if the president had his way. The House is the only thing keeping the debt under 20 trillion.

    March 10, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. yippeeskip

    Go ahead and play don't do much else..

    March 10, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Badboy

    Actually it is the senate that has failed to produce a budget in 4 years. So actually it is the Dumocrats that are
    halting progress. But hey, why let facts get in the way.

    March 10, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Donna

    Obama needs to cancel all his celebrity outings, all his golf excursions, all his campaign speeches (yes, he is still campaigning) and stay in the Whitehouse and do the job he said he wanted, the job he was elected to do and part of that job is working with the other elected representatives to get things done. He must remember that we do not elect dictators and he is not the first president in our history that needs to work with the other party to get things done.

    March 10, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. awaiting moderation

    He needs to be getting a mock up of what 16 trillion dollars looks like, in one pile, and show it to his voters.

    March 10, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Norma Vessels

    You nay-sayers on here don't remember for for long. When our President had a more Democrat Congress, a lot did get done. They passed a Health Care law .. they passed several Bills that have benefited so many of us ... but, you don't remember, you don't admit it, and you won't ever try to find out what really happened in those few short months before all the Republicans came in a put a complete stop to it. Why? Because they didn't, and don't want to have anything to do with anything our President wants to do. The Republicans have all the money they need, and they don't care if we, the average American, gets anything or not. All you have to do is listen to them with a open mind. You will hear things that will finally penetrate that fog you're living in .. and you will finally realize .. the Republicans in Congress do not care one whit for you.

    March 10, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. nygard1

    He should take a hint from Nixon: Resign and golf full time.

    March 10, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. mountainlady

    The constant sniping from sore loser Republicans is petty and typical. As far as vacations are concerned, George Bush holds the record for vacation time during his eight years. President Obama isn't even close. He takes his family places? Oh how awful of him. He's trying to be a good husband and father... horrible. No decent American would do this. He likes to take time to get away from the unbelievable pressure of the most important CEO job in the world? What a shirker. And golf and dinners are a long standing traditional opportunity for leaders to meet and talk outside of the public spotlight. Let's face it. If President Obama did stay at the White House 24/7 the Republicans would accuse him of being out of touch. Republican whining shouldn't even be covered by the media. It is an American constant.

    March 10, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Yeoomala

    Yet, the congress gives their staff bonuses and they hold up legislation – but Obama is doing what all Presidents before him has done and I don't recall the republicans complaining about it at those times. Guess you can point fingers, only if it is the other guy.

    March 10, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. jnuey

    his trip to miami to golf only cost Americans 1m dollars.. Go ahead and travel and play on our dime and then complain we need hire taxes. He closed the White House because of expenses then spends 1M to go golfing. Just like Obamacare ... we all have to deal with it but Obama and congress are on a different health care plan for their families

    March 10, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. billy davis

    Tommy G: You ever hear this President utter any thing like being POTUS for life or getting rid of Congress? Never, but in the feeble mind of idiots President Obama wants to do everything to harm America. The GOP has said he wants to kill grandma, he was a purple alien, a muslim not born of this land. Since all those things have been proven to be lies. They now complain about his golf outings. As Marsha said. Not a single complaint about Bush's 250 vacation days vs. Obama's 84. They scream about Benghazi yet they don't utter a word about Bush's war of lies in Iraq and the 4K American lives it cost and the $3T dollars it added to the debt.

    Tony: Really, Obama demonized the GOP? When did he call them , liars, a socialist, a communist, not American, the food stamp President, angry that his wife would like our kids to eat healthy? Let's face it he's a black man that racist likes to paint as the bad won who will, rob you, rape you and eat your young. Let's face it this POTUS has been the most disrespected, lied about in our history and sadly the things they attribute to him are absolute lies and dummies like you fall for it hook, line and sinker. Truth always prevail, ask Romney....

    March 10, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. gladr

    People post all the time about when the Dems had control of the Senate and the House...that lasted for all of 4 months when there was a filibuster proof Senate. What is the point of the Senate trying to pass a budget when they know it will be filibustered? That's normal operating procedure for the GOP these days. And what about the budget that's supposed to come from the is a caricature of a budget and mocks the process. Read the articles on Paul Ryan today and see how realistic his budget proposals are. What a farce? Why do the GOP keep letting him anywhere near a budget? He couldn't pass elementary school math on a good day. The budget is supposed to be a compromise between both divisions of Congress. The Repugs don't know the meaning of the word.

    March 10, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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