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. Meki60

    Okay, at least it keeps Obama from running all over the nation on campaign trips and wearingout AF1.

    March 10, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  2. Disgusted

    Of course he should. He works way too hard!

    March 10, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  3. John

    I think he should golf more. He's obviously better at that than at running the country.

    March 10, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We have elected all of these members of Congress and the president to work full time. I don't want them to golf which takes a day or more. Basketball can take an hour or two. After basketball, they can relax and talk. I don't how well that can be done on the golf course since they have to concentrate over the shot to take.

    March 10, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. JD in KC

    IMO POTUS has demonstrated his lack of management skills. Having never managed anything of note, he has not learned the skill sets that are needed to gain trust and most importantly, be well acquainted with the art of active listening. In other words, he is just another politician with a singular mindset supported by his party. Only now does he speak with the opposition? It has actually become a news event? Clinton knew how to think for himself and was able to overcome the many obstacles place in front of him by the Republicans. There can be no denying that the Republicans hated Clinton as much as they do Obama if not more. Being President is more than preaching to the choir. He needs to recognize that he is President of all the people not just the 52% who voted for him. Hopefully, he will learn this quickly or we will be back to square one again.

    March 10, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. Evergreen

    Wasn't the non-stop campaign part of the Karl Rove strategy when he worked for Bush?

    March 10, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  7. Get a clue

    Norma, wait until 2014 when those taxes kick in to pay for Obamacare and let me know what you think. You do realize the strategy is to bankrupt private insurance and force everyone into a privately run, tax payer funded (irony?) system where you need to be a friend or contributor to Obama to be exempt from the draconian restrictions. Just wait. You'll see. No red meat, mandatory vaccinations for god knows what, mandatory abortions (paid for by tax payers), free healthcare to illegals, the list goes on. If its so good why did Obama exempt himself, his entire family, and congress from it? Hmmmmm

    March 10, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. 3rd P

    He should golf 365 days a year 24 hours a day that way he would do less damage.

    March 10, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. Dan5404

    George Bush was on vacation a huge percentage of the time. More than any president, and far more than Obama. Give the bull a rest, and use your energy for something other than trying to causew the economy to fail with austerity GOP. It is failiong miserably in parts of Europe and it will here, also. Ryan's proposed budget is a laughable piece of GOP propaganda, as usual. They just can't believe Americans don't like their policies. That's why they lost in November.

    March 10, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  10. Scott

    @Rick McDaniel: Actually Rick...51% of the country supports President Obama's agenda while 48@ does not. I just love the way Republicans ignore the facts and love to say they are speaking for the country. What they really mean is...the rest of the country.

    March 10, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. Scott

    @Tommy G: Everything you said sounds so very much like Former President Bush that I had to read it twice before realizing that you were (trying) to make Obama out to be worse than Bush.

    March 10, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  12. just sayin

    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?
    you might want to start by accepting reality. republicans elected by the american people put a stop to what the democrats had done for two years because they did want more of it. obamacare was jammed down our throats on a party line vote, using bribes and every deceit in the book. And for that the american people held the demorcats accountable and threw out of office a record number of them.

    Because they didn't, and don't want to have anything to do with anything our President wants to do.
    if they sahred all the same thoughts and values and ideas well then they'd be called democrats and not republicans. haven't you lefties figured that out yet? did the democrats lay down and do everything george bush wanted? of course not, so why do you expect the republicans to kneel in front of obama, again, a lack of living in reality on your part.

    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.
    the average american works and earns what gets. leftist and democrats think people who do nothing deserve to gain from the blood, sweat and tears of working people. so sorry. but we have family obligations that come first and your desire to take, take, take comes at the expense of my family, my children, my parents. all to support your leftist insanity of free everything for anybody that drags themselves across our unguarded borders.

    life is not fair and government cannot make it so. but what it can accomplish by trying, is assured lower conditions for all of us. why should i or anybody strive to work more only to have the government confiscate it to give to you lazy deadbeat leftists?

    March 10, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  13. Larry L

    @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.
    He has seen the hate of the racists, bigots, and fearful white trash of the red states since the beginning. He's seen the birthers, the NASCAR rednecks who booed the First Lady when she tried to help Wounded Warriors, and the openly racists signs from the Tea Party rallies. His religion is questioned and wingers want to see his college degrees – unable to believe this brilliant man could graduate from Harvard. Don't worry – you've done your job in disrespecting the first African American President. Wear your sheet with pride... but don't stand when the flag goes by...

    March 11, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  14. Metron

    Former Republican? Wow, can't even tell the truth here that Bloomberg is a Marxist Democrat?

    March 11, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  15. Futureman1

    Attention boneheads,, Golf is not an expensive sport...I run my own business and work 50 to 60 hours a week and three times a week I play golf at Twighlight.. 2 or 3 Pm depending on Daylight Savings Times.. My total expense ? Less that $50 a week.. And these are nice courses in Southern California..Plus with an IPhone I can call, text, and email..
    And the best part of it is by getting excersise (I always walk the course) it makes me more productive and happy.. In the old days Kings and Presidents would ride horses, hunt .. So these days they golf.. And judging by my Stock portfolio and real estate all gaining value and unemployment looking better Obama seems to be doing ok.. So tee it up Mr Pres!

    March 11, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  16. Name

    The GOP as usual...full of nonsense.

    I think someone had better complain about Speaker John Boehner playing too much golf, not our president!
    Boehner and his congress take off quite a bit of time from work. Boehner is constantly taking time off playing golf.
    The Rs are huge h y p r o c r I t e s !

    March 11, 2013 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  17. Carl

    Can't they play poker or something in the Whitehouse? That wouldn't cost so much. There is even a bowling alley there. Forget the expensive golf outings. OUR COUNTRY IS BROKE!

    March 11, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  18. Thomas

    Obama spent 26 days on vacation in his first year in office: Reagan 42 ... George W Bush took over 1000 days vacation in his two terms. George W. Bush spent at least $20 million taxpayer dollars just on flights to his ranch in Crawford.

    Enjoy your golf game Mr President .
    Name Catmandew , freedom and truthurts .
    Do you work for Crossroads GPS or FreedomWorks ?

    March 11, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  19. Larry L

    @Rick McDaniel

    We ought to all be daring Obama to go where he is NOT popular.......
    Yet every broadcast from every Republican comes from Fox News. Every interview, every "in depth analysis" and every "profile" of a Republican is done on Fox News. Your entire media outlet is like Pravda of the Soviet Union... "Fair & Balanced"...

    March 11, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  20. Logic N LA

    DB- Hey hard working middle classer. Instead of worry about the cost of Obama playing golf, how about worrying about the cost of a Congressmen's office and staff? How about worrying about the waste in the defense department? One days waste in anyone of those areas would pay for Obama's golf for a year. But I guess FOX didn't talk about that.

    March 11, 2013 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  21. Phil Thomas

    He plays Gof big deal, Bush did as well. Several of you do as well. It's no big deal. BTW How much does the GOP pay to troll message boards, the way some of you post and spew talking points non stop it must be a pretty penny. Let me know who to write at the heritage foundation

    March 11, 2013 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  22. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Obama should be golfing every weekend


    It's ONLY working TAX payers $$$
    Plenty where THAT came from !!!

    March 11, 2013 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  23. Chris

    Boehner golfs twice as much as Obama does. And ever since the GOP regained control of the House, Congress has been spending a third of its time on break. Compared with Republicans, Obama is the hardest working man in politics. And yet the right is constantly pointing fingers at Obama.

    March 11, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  24. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    yep, let the wanna be dictator waste more money and scream the sky is falling, obama is just like chicken little and the boy who screams wolf, all lies.

    March 11, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  25. Marie MD

    @yippeeskip -Go ahead and play don't do much else..
    Seems you have a lot of time to post. Guess who is not working while posting.
    We ALL need to relieve stress and I don't think a few hoursw a weekend is going to hurt our country. The Presiden'ts job is 365/24/7 and he needs to relax.
    The shrub #43 ran every day and he took over 1/3 of his eight years (I shiver thinking about the wasted time) as president to go on vacation or the Camp David.
    The weeper of the house golfs, drinks and smokes every second he can afford and since he is useless that is probably 20 hours of the day while awake.

    March 11, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
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