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. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    No one is comparing the President to GWB. Perhaps you're mistaken. And neither are we mentioning GWB's name as a diversion. First and foremost, every time the GOP attack the President, they're scrutinizing him and judging him on his leadership and policies that are geared toward fixing GWB's PROBLEMS that they all contributed to. let's face it, the GOP has no credibility and no grounds for scrutinizing, judging or evaluating the way the President is going about cleaning up their mess. And Yes, GWB had a lot of flaws but so are the people in congress who supported him and implemented all of his failed, ineffective and disastrous policies. The GOP ought to look in the mirror before they cast judgment.

    March 11, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. onepercenter

    I think he ought to play golf every day! At least that way he won't be governing!

    March 11, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Rudy NYC


    It's better to have a president doing his job rather than playing golf. George W. Bush spent 42 percent of his first 8 months in office on vacation. Then 9/11 happened. When I vote for a president I want him giving us his A game, not spending a huge amount of his time on the golf course.
    George W. Bush even had a name for it. He called them "working vacations". He said that he was working, but just not doing it in DC at the White House. He spent lots of time in Crawford, Camp David, and dad's place up in Kennebunkport, NH.

    March 11, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Thomas

    Atually avalanche, comparing bush to Obama is like comparing brain cancer to an all expenses paid vacation in the tropics. bush nearly killed us, as brain cancer has a habit of doing. But Obama is on track to be in the near great category of presidents.

    $75,000 Membership at All Male Golf Club, $160,000 on golf junkets... John Boehner spends a lot of time and money on his Golfing image , Golf Digest magazine featured John Boehner in 2005.

    March 11, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Hehehahahehehaha. For the past four years the GOPT have said to the American people, stay away from President Obama and the White House because "he's a socialist and he's bad for America." Hehehaha. Now what's the GOP's beef with the President today??? Hehehaha. There beef with the President is that he needs to cancel his gulf outings so more funds can be available for the American people to tour the White House. Hehehehehehehehehehehehhahahahahahahhahaha!

    March 11, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. Nietodarwin

    I'd like to see them cancel, forever, the stupid National Prayer Breakfast. I already wrote the President and told him that he should not be attending a stupid religious event in his official capacity as president. (Otherwise, I support him) Today's GOP is not even really the GOP, the GOP members of the House are mentally ill, they are enemies to our country, just like the Taliban. They are the Talibangelicals. Does anybody even remember the real GOP? Remember President Eisenhower, who built our highway infrastructure, who was a proud SUPPORTER of Planned Parenthood.

    March 11, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. AmericanGr8

    Every weekend, President needs to put one head of republican troll on T and using wood, swing it to as far as he can. that should yield min 400 yards. that is what he has been doing since 2009 while taking care of average american people. I love it. Looks like republican loves it. who is next head? lets pick, looser of last election Mr. Ryan Troll.

    March 11, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    Perhaps if the President wasn't President, you and your kids would be in Iraq. O' my bad. Perhaps you would have done like the draft-dodging onepercenter Mitt Romney and buy your way out of the war straight to Monte Carlo or the French Riviera.

    March 11, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @ Nietodarwin

    Talibangelicals? Hehe, that's funny! I love it!

    And yes, President Eisenhower did a lot of great things for this country. I cannot forget how he dispatched the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to protect the "Little Rock Nine" and ensure that Jim Crow was no longer the law of the land in America.

    March 11, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. demogoat

    Hell, everyone knows to be good you need to play twice a week and sneak out twice a week. I am sure Boehner is putting in the extra practice to cut his handy crap.

    March 11, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    If Pres. Obama played golf every weekend, then we could heat every home in Midwest with all of the hot air from the right wing.

    March 11, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. swampsniper

    It's fine with me, do they have golf courses in Venezuela?

    March 11, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    So what's goanna be the GOPT's next beef with the President? Perhaps they're going to complain that he need to spend more time in the Oval Office, and less time helping his kids with their home work.

    March 11, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. AK Sean

    I disagree with golf as the game of choice. He needs to be playing team sports more often. Golf is too individualistic and elitist. He needs to play blue collar, working men's games in which he needs to lean on others as much as he can expect them to lean on him to win games.

    March 11, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. bannister

    Blah blah blah – Sorry but liberal Republican Michael Bloomberg of New York City does NOT represent the GOP!

    As a conservative / libertarian, I don't think Obama should be golfing AT ALL! I think he should be WORKING EVERY SINGLE DAY!

    March 11, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. 20 Mike-Mike

    Actually he should be on the course full time-as a caddy.

    March 11, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. 20 Mike-Mike

    Nobody listens to Nanny Bloomberg now. He's getting close to regulating the amount of air you breathe daily.

    March 11, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Have you heard about the GOPT's latest shameless scheme??? Well, after 138 of them voted against the VAWA – Violence Against Women Act, many of them took to their website and took credit for passage of the bill, misleading the American people by trying to appear to be on the right side of history by claiming that they voted for the bill. You can google it. Representatives King of Iowa and Hartzler of Missouri are two of several teapublicans who have done so shamelessly.

    March 11, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    So what's goanna be the GOPT's next beef with the President? Perhaps they're going to complain that he need to spend more time in the Oval Office, and less time helping his kids with their home work.
    The "next beef" began its' roll out late last week and over the weekend. They're questioning the President's sincerity with how he's been trying to reach out to Republicans. Remember that this is coming from the "Party of No", which made it their number one objective to make Pres. Obama a one term president.

    March 11, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Triple A

    I agree, the BHO should golf every day... For every day on the golf course = one less day he is destroying our contry.

    March 11, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    You stated that the President should not be playing golf and he should be working every day.

    Well, please tell me how many U.S. Presidents have worked every day? O' and by the way, how many days has the GOPT actually worked in the past four years??? Furthermore, even if the President was to work 365 days a year, does that mean that the GOPT obstructionist won't fillibuster every legislation introduced even when they include teapublican ideas and proposald???

    March 11, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Alex

    So how many more votes to repeal ACA before the end of Obama's presidency? Eventually, the GOP is going to have to pull their collective head out of the echo chamber and realize that the American people have wanted the healthcare system reformed for nearly 20 years, that Obama won the first time around (in part) because he campaigned to reform the healthcare system, and that although few think the reform is perfect or ideal, Romney lost (in part) because he wanted to scrap ACA but had no plan on what to do instead. The pre-ACA form of healthcare was absolutely unsustainable: rising at 3 time the rate of inflation, kicking paying people off of plans when they got sick, making it extremely difficult for people to buy "affordable" health insurance on their own, medical bills forcing people into bankruptcy, uninsured becoming a huge financial drag on the system due to emergency room care – these things all had a vastly negative effect on our economy. Sure, the ACA hasn't fixed it yet, but everybody with half a brain could recognize that the "free market" was making things worse, not better.

    March 11, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. golf

    I doubt the tea party would let anyone golf with the President at this point.

    Personally I don't mind his golfing. The man has a lot of pressure in his life. GWB went to Texas and took more vacay than Obama and ended up with 879 days on vacation in eight years. I'm sure when in Texas he also worked as president, but... the above is Knoller's count anyhow. Resting the mind matters.

    March 11, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    bannister wrote:

    As a conservative / libertarian, I don't think Obama should be golfing AT ALL! I think he should be WORKING EVERY SINGLE DAY!
    Every single day? Are you sure about that? How does that fit into your "Christian" values. Even the God Almighty commanded that one day out of the week should be set aside for Him.

    March 11, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Jason in Pittsburgh

    What is wrong with the people in this country? BOTH sides are filled with blind people. It is ridiculous to think that a nation as bankrupt as ours would spend one penny to have people go on leisurely tours of the White House. National Parks? Close them down. Museums? Do they really need to be open every day? Anything that is not a necessity should be closed for as long as it takes to get our debt under control. "But my family can't go on the camping trips we love!" So what? Find something else to do. You are an American with a brain. Get creative with your family vacation this year, or the next few years. We are unbelievably selfish in this country, and it starts with our leaders. $85 a plate meal to discuss how we can "fix" the spending cut issue? Seriously? It should have been Top Ramen and water for all of them, and it should be until they can actually pass a budget (something that hasn't happened under Obama, even with the House and Senate belonging to him). The Republicans act like 85 billion dollars out a 3+ trillion dollar budget is a great victory. Laughable, especially when one realizes that we won't actually spend $85 billion less than we did last year, we will increase spending $85 billion less than we had planned. What a joke, and everyone in this forum needs to wake up and see that Obama, W. Bush, Pelosi, Boehner, and the rest of them are NOT INTERESTED IN SOLVING THE PROBLEM! They only want to position their own sides into winning elections, so they can waste your money on what THEY deem worthy. **Stepping off of my soap box**

    March 11, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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