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. cbr

    The President should play golf if he chooses to do so. He is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are not paying his golf fees. The size of the motorcade is dictated by the Secret Service. How quickly people forget about the number of trips that George Bush took to his ranch during his presidency. Where were the Republicans then?

    If we could just stop nit-picking constantly and started working together we might get something done. Every little thing that the President does in viewed through a microscope. Republicans think he has ulterior motives or that his overtures to them are suspect. Paranoia will destroy you and the REpublicans are very paranoid about everything. They only know how to be totally negative and the rest of us have to listen to them.

    March 10, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. hornetbut

    why is news ..because this multi miliionare has new people up his butt 24/7..the rest of us dont give crap what he says..

    March 10, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Name Catmandew

    Yes that's right when he had a democrat congress he got a healthcare bill passed mind you that close to 60% of the people did not want that healthcare bill passed! It just got shoved down our throats. He also got a poorly designed stimulus bill passed that put us further in the hole! And the whole time blamed it all on anybody but the man in charge himself!

    March 10, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. Rob

    @ Rick McDaniel Obama won more than 50% of the votes so you are in the minority. 51% is greater than 48% 51>48 got it yet

    March 10, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Rob

    Republicans are a bunch of complainers and liars. If he is at the White House he needs to get out when he get out he's campaigning well he is out with the people and its working this party is done

    March 10, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Wes

    He does golf every weekend.

    March 10, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. sadlyperturbed

    It amazes me how many Republicans whine (yes whine) about Obama playing golf or eating dinner out. They didn't whine at all when GWB took the most vacation days of any President in history. They are hypocrites.

    March 10, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. marty

    When President Obama plays golf he should take a tip from Dick Cheney and delcare that he is in an "undisclosed" location. Mr Cheney got his kicks by secretly shooting little birds kept in cages until the 'big hunter' arrived and the gates were opened. I would offer that playing a round of golf is much more humane and on a 'par' with bike riding, Mr Bush's recreational choice.

    March 10, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  9. lower power

    . exactly right.. keep Obama out of the WH, away from his teleprompters and out of the public eye. I'm so sick of seeing him, I could vomit for year.

    March 10, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. s

    Obama can pay for his golfing with his own money and Bloomberg can go on a diet!!!

    March 10, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. Mark

    What's the next complaint from the GOP...he uses too much toilet paper in the bathroom? It's sad. The election is over. You lost. For all the bruhaha over the deficit they supported a candidate who's main economic plan was to add another $1/2T to the deficit with a monster tax cut. I guess they won't be satisfied until the country collapses because it is so top heavy. Then they'll be able to do away with SS and Medicare and return us to the 1920's.

    March 10, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. JEP

    Let CEO's that are richly rewarded with tax dollars pay for his trips.

    March 10, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. Nightshade

    At least he hasn't twiddled his thumbs, like Binky the wonder chimp. There's 8 years no one will ever get a replay of.

    March 10, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. POst

    Shutup Bloomberg. Nobody cares what you have to say.

    March 10, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  15. Matt

    If this was George W. Bush his golf habits would be criticized in a Michael Moore "documentary."

    March 10, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  16. sjlucas

    Wouldn't it be great if the GOP had something actually substantive to say? The fact is, they like to complain about the President's golf hobby because they think it hides the fact that they can't seem to get their job done (i.e. pass a budget). I heard a long time ago, you know somebody is losing the policy debate when they spend most of their time talking about the process as opposed to the policy. Seems to me, the GOP has nothing to say about policy at all.

    March 10, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. jim smell

    The more Obama is spending time golfing, the less time he is screwing up the county.

    March 10, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. Frank

    Bloomberg is just helping Obama become and even better crony capitalist than him self. Maybe these two control freaks can golf together and share notes on how to control more things.

    March 10, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  19. Bulldog

    So much for lunch. A snake is a snake, no matter how they smile.

    March 10, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  20. BrightStar

    Obama really doesn't want to do the political things necessary to gain some cooperation. It's quite apparent that he holds little regard for those in power in the Republican Party.

    March 10, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  21. da

    Obama should be golfing more since it's the only thing he's good at.

    Someone forgot to tell him that amateur hour shouldn't be used for leading a country.

    March 10, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  22. da

    Wikipedia definition of leadership:

    Leadership is "organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal".

    Obama gets a big fat zero

    March 10, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  23. ted

    The GOP hypocritical wackos are at it again, criticizing Obama for playing golf. Where were you when Bush spent 900 days at the ranch, rather than in Washington DOING HIS JOB. Cut it out. How about some solutions to the problems rather than the tired criticism of Obama. You Republicans are out of step and out of touch with reality.

    March 10, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  24. jschmidt

    He may as well play more golf because his policies have failed and he doesn't know what he is doing. He;s a menace to the economy. Cut his czars, cut his travel budget, and half his staff. He can get rid of his official liar carney.

    March 10, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. nilla

    Can someone enlighten me – are these golf courses actually charging the President to play there?

    March 10, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
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