Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Taking a page from the Democrats, the GOP goes after Obama on golf

By Garance Franke-Ruta
"Now watch this drive."

Liberal movie-maker Michael Moore immortalized George W. Bush's 2002 golf-course comment in his 2004 film "Fahrenheit 9/11," in one of the most memorable examples of the cottage industry of mocking Bush for his ill-timed vacations and golf outings.

Indeed, the politics of golf were such that Bush said he gave up the sport because of how it looked.

"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said in a 2008 interview with Politico, recalling his first term. He gave up the sport, he said, after the August 2003 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, which took place while he was playing golf in central Texas.

Now Republicans are taking a page from the Democratic playbook and going after President Obama's time on the green with a new Web site that asks, "Play Golf of Save the Gulf?"

"Which 5 of the President's leisure activities or missteps during this environmental disaster have made you the most angry?" the site asks.

One of the 10 given options: "Obama went golfing ten times since the explosion in the Gulf."

Sounds familiar.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  |  July 12, 2010; 5:39 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rand Paul defends tea party as 'mainstream'
Next: Kagan vote postponed one week


While I have no doubt that the golf course at Bethesda and others around the D.C. area are quite nice, how does sneaking out for an afternoon 18 holes equate to "going on vacations in resort locations costing many thousands of dollars a day"?

For those who regurgitate the Rove/Fox spin and think there was something noble about Bush vacationing in Crawford at his compound, I think the larger issue here is number of days off from work, not where they spend it.

Posted by: pcpatterson | July 14, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

According to Republikooks, the only people who should be allowed to golf are rich executives and GOP-voting PGA professionals (Tiger Woods is allowed to golf only because they are scared of him).

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 14, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I find this amusing. Liberals compare Bush going to his own house in Crawford Texas, to Obama going on vacations in resort locations costing many thousands of dollars a day? Only a liberal looney could make such a comparison!

How many of you would compare your spending a week at home in your own house to spending a week in a vacation resort?

Only a rabid Republican would call a 1500+ acre ranch compound with a 4000 sqft house, a helicopter hanger a river and a creek a "home"!

Please, if you're going to indict Obama for spending, let's get a little perspective. Don't pretend that Bush's "home" is a cozy little shack.

Posted by: lurkittyfb | July 14, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Geez, sounds like we have a room full of brainiacs berating the POTUS for playing golf, among other things.
Everyone, and especially any President, with the stresses of the office, deserves downtime. He, or any other President, is a servant of the people, but not a slave. Remember Lincoln freed the slaves!
If you hate this President, you will hate EVERYTHING he does or tries to do. So, go for it - but rather this than a Republican who never quite knows where he stands.

Posted by: butlerc1 | July 14, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

False equivalencies are GOP SOP. Such as, "They blocked Bush's judicial appointments, too." These assertions rarely hold up under scrutiny, but what do they care? As Rove preached, the truth is what they'll believe. Never mind that obstructing and keeping the base in a constant state of outrage has been the strategy since before Jan 20 09.

Hard to know what we've done to deserve such mean-spirited, small-minded leadership. But it's the White People's Party, and there's a lot of anxiety out there about no longer being on the top rung.

Posted by: nc1123 | July 14, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Pretty soon wapo will wise up. Providing storage space for looney tunes to vent/pretend to represent public opinion is NOT a good business decision.

Posts that say 'I hate Obama' don't make the statement true. Instead, they reek of desperation and the crudest attempts at manipulating public opinion.

Posted by: smartgirl312 | July 14, 2010 3:40 AM | Report abuse

Do the math and Obama averages 22 days of downtime a year compared to Bush who averaged 61 days a year at the ranch or 122 days a year of downtime if you include Camp David.

Yeah, Bush spent 61 days a year in his own house. Obama spends the 22 days a year at a luxury resort.

I wonder which of these vacations a majority of Americans are taking? The vacation in their own house or the the vacation at the $4000 a day Hawian resort!

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | July 13, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I find this amusing. Liberals compare Bush going to his own house in Crawford Texas, to Obama going on vacations in resort locations costing many thousands of dollars a day? Only a liberal looney could make such a comparison!

How many of you would compare your spending a week at home in your own house to spending a week in a vacation resort?

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | July 13, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Eisenhower golfed. Kennedy golfed. Most other presidents golfed too, going back to Teddy Roosevelt. As long as they do it when there is no national emergency, I have no problem with it.

But what I do have a problem with is Obama serving FOREIGN NATIONALS HERE ILLEGALLY.

Obama took an oath to defend and protect our country. Three Arizona counties the size of the entire State of Delaware were seized by Mexican nationals and completely taken over.

But what does Obama do about it? He CEDES those counties, warning U.S. citizens to stay out of them. Then files a frivolous lawsuit against those he is supposed to protect, thereby abetting the ENEMY!

Obama also turned a blind eye to the destruction of the City of Maywood, California.

See what California's Congressman Tom McClintock has to say:

Posted by: tncdel | July 13, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

This POTUS is seen as disconnected. He is taking too many vacations and playing too much golf. He is jetting around to too many places to campaign. He should get down to work, and work hard for the USA. He seems lazy although all his speeches tell us he "won't rest until", you fill in the rest. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

Posted by: joanz3 | July 13, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I am by no means a fan of POTUS or his policies, but I do think there are more legitimate criticisms of him than emulating tactics used against previous administrations.

I think we can do better.

Anyone who thinks that the job of POTUS shouldn't allow for leisure/vacation activities is a few sandwhiches short of a picnic. Let alone the fact that for some reason people think that the golf course is some information cone of silence that cuts you off from the rest of the world. Last time I checked POTUS had a Blackberry (and an army of staffers to keep him informed).

Ever since Eisenhower we've somehow tried to equate playing golf with Presidential-asleep-at-the-wheel. Kennedy kept his golfing on the down-low(well, to be fair, he kept ALOT of things on the down-low) because he saw how Eisenhower's golfing was used, etc.

The last thing I want the GOP to start/continue to do is use the same lame, whiney skull-duggery the dems used during the last administration to try and score points. This administration is rife with legitimate deficiencies that can and should be pointed out-the out-of-control deficit spending being the main one.

Posted by: ithardin | July 13, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I challenge ANYONE to provide any proof that the Messiah 12 time in any 80 day period of his life. Then you take a hard look at the number of vacations, short trips, picnics, parties, photo ops during the same period of time and then compare it to his time as POTUS.

Here is a guy and his wife... that were more than willing to MOOCH off his friends in Chicago when it came to attending get parties and now as POTUS.

It is as if he is wanting to get all that he can from the American Taxpayer while in the White House.

So the pattern of his social life UP UNTIL he became POTUS indicates that he DID NOT golf, picnic, vacation, party as much as he does now.

As a matter of fact... it appears that he WANTS to be HIS FAIR SHARE of mooching off the Taxpayer.

MO is out telling everyone to Vacation in the Gulf... yet she and the Messiah are going into MAINE..

Just like the TOXIC VEGETABLE she grew on the White House Lawn and gave to the soup kitchens because the White House Family WERE TOO GOOD to eat the veggies.


Posted by: miller515501 | July 13, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Whine, whine, whine! What a bunch of crybabies! The so-called "experts" and engineers are having a difficult enough time trying to figure out what to do about the situation in the Gulf. Obama is doing all that is humanly possible based on existing knowledge of the situation. It's too bad he can't wave a magic wand or kiss our boo-boos to make all our problems go away!

Posted by: Artisan1 | July 13, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama could care less about the environmental, economic or social issues the oil spill is causing. He got his $20B slush fund being administered by his political appointee.

Obama needs to stay on the golf course and leave our country alone.

Impeach Obama.

Posted by: JCM-51 | July 12, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Look, wherever the guy goes, he's got a small army of staff with him able to update him on crucial events on a moment's notice. This is just stupid and more political game playing that both parties think is what they're supposed to be doing instead of doing the work of the people. Whoever the president is at any given time, he has the weight of the free world on his shoulders. Give the guy a break.

Posted by: RGee1 | July 12, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama sure golfs a lot.

Posted by: ObamasArizonaLawsuitWillBeTheDownfallOfTheDemocratsInNovember2010 | July 12, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Bush gave up the sport, he said, after the August 2003 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, which took place while he was playing golf in central Texas.

Baghdad, Iraq was the scene of a war of discretion -- not choice -- made by Bush which before he left office had cost American moms some 4500 sons and daughters. Bush CHOSE to fight a war.

The Gulf oil spill/leak/disaster was caused by BP, TransOcean and Halliburton (Dick Cheney's former employer) and the vaunted "unregulated, free market" private sector who partied hearty ("sex, drugs and rock for jocks!") with the Interior Dept employees (during the Bush administration). Their decision to play fast and loose with the regulations cost 12 BP workers on Deepwater Horizon their lives not to mention those who died in Texas City.

President Obama and his team have been trying to clean up one more eff-up from the Bush administration.

The Republicans have nothing new to offer, so they spend their days whining. And WaPo deems it so important that they assign an ace reporter to cover the YouTube story and its subsequent tweets.

No wonder we complain about the sorry state of journalism.

Posted by: jade_7243 | July 12, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I wish Obama would stay on the golf course, then at least he wouldn't be doing any more damage to this country!

Posted by: elby | July 12, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

A new cap has been placed on the gushing well. Right now, I'm not seeing any oil leaking out...Fore!

Posted by: TruthHurts2 | July 12, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the republican crime syndicate finally came up with a hard-hitting solution for the problems they have created these last 40 years.

Does this mean John Boner is giving up golf?

Posted by: BigTrees | July 12, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey folks our braindead Golfer in Chief Incompetent Barack Hussein Obama thought that Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod told him to go play golf not clean up the Gulf
Oil Spill! So Obama did it! And The GOP says,"Spill Baby Spill!" Oh well Obama can
always get a job as Tiger Woods caddie after our Golfer in Chief Barack Obama is thrown out of the White House by the fed up
with Obama voters!

Posted by: carleen09 | July 12, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"Ask not what we are doing for the country....."

The official 2010 slogan for the Republicans.

Posted by: kishorgala | July 12, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama is playing golf.......

.......all the while the Republicans are saving the nation, the world and the Universe! They have been. For the past ten years at a minimum!

Posted by: kishorgala | July 12, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The President is making sensible, cautious moves to protect what little is left of the Gulf.
Exactly what is the GOP doing to help other than whining or posturing? But that's all they seem top be good at - that and creating sound bites to fool more of their suckers.
How many actual things have the GOP membership done to help in the Gulf - or elsewhere for that matter?

Posted by: pjohn2 | July 12, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Michael Smirchonish wrote an op-ed on this very subject on July 4th for the Philly Inquirer titled 'Presidential Downtime is Par for the Course.' In this article, he speaks to Mark Knoller, a White House correspondent for CBS news who has kept meticulous records on the wherabouts of the US presidents for 2 decades.

Here is what Knoller's numbers say per the article:

Consider a bit of information from Knoller's records. As of last week, Obama had played 39 rounds of golf and taken 33 vacation days during his 17 months in office.

By comparison, George W. Bush spent all or part of 490 days at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, over his eight years in office. Not to mention the 487 days he spent at Camp David, according to Knoller.

Read more:

Do the math and Obama averages 22 days of downtime a year compared to Bush who averaged 61 days a year at the ranch or 122 days a year of downtime if you include Camp David.

GOP propaganda vs. reality, once again.

Posted by: VAreader | July 12, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama imposes new freeze on deepwater drilling...


Yeah, but Obama is obviously still working diligently, on putting more Americans in the Gulf OUT OF WORK!

Posted by: theaz | July 12, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company