Thursday, July 31, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 55 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Some say Romney's poke at Obama's golf is old news

By Charles Babington

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:50 p.m. HST, Dec 08, 2011

WASHINGTON >> Ah, Christmas traditions: colored lights, mistletoe and criticisms of a president's vacation plans.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is hammering President Barack Obama for playing golf and planning his usual family Christmas in Hawaii. Obama should spend more time fixing the economy, says Romney, who is using the issue to raise money.

For some Democrats and Republicans, it's a tired tactic. Every president spends time away from Washington and engages in weekend recreation or relaxation, they note. Former aides to Obama's predecessor, Republican George W. Bush, say all presidents have a right to such pastimes.

"Presidencies wear people out," Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said earlier this year.  "And they just simply deserve a break, especially a president with a couple little kids."

Another former Bush aide, Tony Fratto, defended Obama in 2009, the president's first year in office.

"There should be no criticism of presidents making occasional personal travel," Fratto said. Presidents are also "husbands and fathers, and the pace and pressure of the job are incredible."

Fleischer and Fratto are familiar with the subject. Bush spent 490 days as president at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and 487 days at Camp David — one-third of his eight-year presidency, according to record-keeper Mark Knoller of CBS News. Like Obama and other presidents, Bush noted that he worked during much of the time he spent outside the White House.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, said in an Iowa telephone conference call this week that in some respects, Obama's "idea of a 'hands-on' approach to the economy is getting a grip on his golf club."

"He's going off for 17 days in Hawaii. He'll be playing a lot of golf," Romney said.

He used similar language in a new fundraising letter that asks for $18 — one for each hole on a golf course.

Obama recently announced plans to spend Christmas in his native Hawaii, a family tradition. It soon appeared likely the trip would be shortened because of Congress's struggle to pass important tax and spending legislation.

"We are going to stay here as long as it takes to make sure that the American people's taxes don't go up on January 1st," Obama told reporters Thursday. If Congress fails to meet its deadline, he said, "maybe we'll have a white Christmas here in Washington."

Obama spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, "I don't remember Gov. Romney having a hard time or complaining about this president's predecessor taking his family on vacation — spending, I believe, far more time on vacation than this president."

Other presidents, including Dwight Eisenhower, were sometimes accused of devoting too much time to golf. Bush had at least one controversial moment involving the sport.

Speaking to journalists from a golf course in August 2002, Bush sternly condemned world terrorism. Then, in a transition that seemed jarring, he said, "watch this drive," and hit his tee shot.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 55 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
realist3463 wrote:
on December 8,2011 | 07:05AM
9ronboz wrote:
nice! i can do business as usual.
on December 8,2011 | 07:16AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
It's not skipping a vacation, it's coming home for the holidays.
on December 8,2011 | 07:27AM
AhiPoke wrote:
Home??? Are you kidding. Hawaii hasn't been his "home" for decades. His real home is Chicago where he developed many of his radical ideas. BTW, I voted for him only to be disappointed to see he lied his way into the Whitehouse. If he continues along the direction he's been on since he got elected, he'll go down as one of the most divisive, worst presidents in our country's history.
on December 8,2011 | 08:06AM
OldDiver wrote:
Huh? Kids who live on the mainland commonly say they are coming home for the holidays. Gotta hand it to you using the sneaky old Republican line "I voted for him" and then trash talk him. Very amusing.
on December 8,2011 | 08:39AM
kailuabred wrote:
Right. And the republican party of "no" are the defenders of the great american dream.
on December 8,2011 | 09:41AM
fishguy wrote:
No, that title is securely held by Bush the Second. A 5 year old President can't take that title away from him.
on December 8,2011 | 10:55AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
I guess the voters in Hawaii must have elected him into the U.S. Senate before he ran for President according to so many die hard Dems. I used to have liberal leanings until 2008. Flush, flush after taking a dump. Career politicians are similar to diapers, they are filled with the same stuff and require frequent replacement.
on December 8,2011 | 12:05PM
KeithHaugen wrote:
Divisive? You're talking about GWBush, I assume. His home was in CT and he was, according to my friends in TX, a "carpetbagger" and the "Great Divider."
on December 8,2011 | 12:49PM
jrboi96786 wrote:
can you back that up, because we're not sure what you are talking about. worst president in the country's history, really? just because you disagree with him doesn't mean the rest of the country feels the same. i know that he hasn't been the president like he promised but who is perfect? we look at president Lincoln as one of the greatest president in our history but during his time, the whole country went to war against each other. if you look at him as a potential "worst" president in our history, well i'm expecting that you look at Bush Jr. as a new low. he made most of his promises happened as far as i'm concern; healthcare, war in iraq, war in afghanistan, don't ask don't tell, etc... then you are claiming that you voted for him last election. what are exactly you saw from him that gave you an orgasm to vote for him, then get disappointed now? because you are not making any sense... i think you need to speak for yourself! i don't care if you don't like him or his policies but don't sit there and tell people that you voted for him and now that his presidency is full of disappointments and that he lied his way into it.
on December 8,2011 | 09:10PM
Vivgie wrote:
Let's publish the names of all the Congress people who go home for Christmas and don't work over the Xmas holidays. Then we'll see who's serious about saving the tax payers.
on December 8,2011 | 07:28AM
cojef wrote:
The picture speaks for his distaste for Aloha shirts while having shaved ice a local product. He doesn't know how to relax and get into with it. He hasn't learned how to lay back. His daugthers gonna miss his not coming to Hawaii, cuz the Congress is doing their thing of doing nothing to the extent of dramatizing their importance by having to stay in session until the last minute. You goota pay if you don't accomplish anything throughout the year. Wear an Aloha Shirt and maybe you can get re-elected.
on December 8,2011 | 07:28AM
Poipounder808 wrote:
Put down the crack pipe...
on December 8,2011 | 08:02AM
elvisdiddy808 wrote:
I get what you are saying but the picture doesn't mean he has a distaste for Aloha shirts. Really, how many locals you know dress up in an Aloha Shirt to go get shave ice?
on December 8,2011 | 08:10AM
BO0o07 wrote:
I know a few born and raised locals sixty to seventy years old that don't wear Aloha shirts and probably don't even have one in their closet.
on December 8,2011 | 09:31AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Aloha shirts were too cheesey for the APEC attendees?
on December 8,2011 | 12:09PM
lee1957 wrote:
Never seen aloha attire golf shirts.
on December 8,2011 | 11:00AM
NITRO08 wrote:
I'm born and raised in hawaii I don't wear aloha shirts. What's your problem this is America wear what you feel like wearing.
on December 8,2011 | 03:00PM
ya_think wrote:
One of the few things he's gotten right. Please if you take another vacation go to Chi town.
on December 8,2011 | 07:48AM
Ronin006 wrote:
The headline says Obama will SKIP his Hawaii vacation; the story says he will DELAY his vacation. There is a big difference between SKIP and DELAY. I believe he will do what he did last year. He will send his wife, kids, dog and friends on one taxpayer-paid flight on December 17 as scheduled and he will follow a day or two later on another taxpayer-paid flight, and then he will tell us how we all have to tighten our belts during these tough economic times.
on December 8,2011 | 07:56AM
jrboi96786 wrote:
its good being a president right? us americans, when things isn't doing well for us, we tend to envy the president. but when things are ok, we just keep pouring money on the president as if he's a royalty. we created this kind of government! we got cocky and we feel like our president should have everything that the rest of the world leader doesn't have. every presidents, democrats or republicans have shared its benefits. i mean if you are gonna pound on obama, pound on the other presidents too! like the article said, bush jr. have spent 1/3 of his era on vacations. this is the only time obama is asking for his own time with his family away from his work. if the rest of the government shall take their vacations while our country is in peril, i think obama deserved it more than any of this hypocrites because he has done more good to this country. stop using that tax-payer this, tax-payer that... because i'm pretty sure he paid more taxes than you did. he probably paid more taxes that those billionaire around our country. so just stop it!
on December 8,2011 | 09:22PM
dashadow wrote:
That should save us millions by not paying his travel expenses.
on December 8,2011 | 08:00AM
butinski wrote:
Barrack, vacation on your own money as the rest of us do.
on December 8,2011 | 08:34AM
copperwire9 wrote:
He does, butinski.
on December 8,2011 | 01:05PM
butinski wrote:
Oh? I guess he pays for transportation on that gov't aircraft. And he pays for all the security. And he pays the landlord in Kailua with a personal check? If he does all that, then he's welcome. If not, don't come.
on December 8,2011 | 01:46PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
That is absolutely not true. Flying Airforce One costs between $58,000 and $68,000 per hour depending upon the cost of oil. The discovery Channel recently ran a report that when he flys another jumbo jet accompanies Airforce One as a back-up. Mufi Hanneman attempted to get the feds to pick up the $220,000 security cost one one of his vacations so that should still be a fairly accurate number. I would estimate an approximate taxpayer cost of around $1.5 million. Its different for the president because he has to be protected at all times and have a truly mobile office.
on December 8,2011 | 04:14PM
jrboi96786 wrote:
wow. got it all figured out huh?
on December 8,2011 | 09:25PM
jrboi96786 wrote:
i'm pretty sure he paid more taxes than you did. he paid more taxes than he makes as a president. if the rest of the government hypocrites shall take their vacation... well as a tax payer, i freaking approved his vacation.
on December 8,2011 | 09:27PM
toomuchpilikia wrote:
He might as well come to Hawaii....There is nothing for him in Washington to do?
on December 8,2011 | 08:45AM
keikamaui wrote:
He'll stay for a few days in D.C. after Michele and the kids fly Air Force 2 to Hawaii at a cost to taxpayers for $200,000 and then he'll fly over here in AF One. Then both planes and others will fly back to Washington. This guy burns our money like jet fuel.
on December 8,2011 | 08:55AM
kailuabred wrote:
Yeah...repooblican presidents NEVER took vacations. Oh, that's right, Bush had taken more days than Obama at this point. Never mind....
on December 8,2011 | 09:44AM
NITRO08 wrote:
what do you expect him to do go online and get a vacation package from EXPEDIA! STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on December 8,2011 | 03:08PM
jrboi96786 wrote:
why don't you complain about billions of dollar we give away to israel for their defense! stop calculating how much the president is spending on air force one because he paid more taxes than he made as a president. he paid more taxes than you and those millionaires/billionaires around the nation... oh wait, they barely pay anything thanks to republican regime, and the fact that there are more wasteful tax-payer's money being spend somewhere else that doesn't benefit you at all.
on December 8,2011 | 09:32PM
entrkn wrote:
The problem I see here is that Obama is falling for a Republican ploy to deny him a well deserved trip home for the holidays.
on December 8,2011 | 09:08AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Not that it's a big thing but I've never seen him in an aloha shirt. His roots are really in Chicago so he's a suit guy. Nothing bad about that but just saying.
on December 8,2011 | 10:08AM
jrboi96786 wrote:
i know a lot of people who was born and raised here in hawaii, whom are hawaiians... thinks that aloha shirt is gay! i'm from here and i think its pretty gay! i know that this doesn't relate to the article but since we are talking about "aloha spirit"... who the hell name Hawaii teams with RAINBOW? REALLY GAY! RAINBOW license plate? gay! GAY! gay! and PINK and RAINBOW driver's license! SO GAY! i was so happy that Obama didn't make those world leader wear aloha shirt during APEC... because its lame and gay.
on December 8,2011 | 09:39PM
Kalli wrote:
But he is not willing to allow the Republicans to tack on a bill that allows the keystone pipeline to be built which would create 20,000 jobs and bring in an oil source from a friendly country Canada, eh? Notice no one has a picture of BHO wearing an Aloha shirt even for a file photo.
on December 8,2011 | 10:10AM
jomama wrote:
aloha has been reduced to a shirt
on December 8,2011 | 10:24AM
allie wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 8,2011 | 10:24AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Did the reporter miss Mr. Romney's comment about how much golf Mr. Boehner plays every week? Or did Mr. Romney conveniently ignore that and he's acually just whining and being hypocritical again?
on December 8,2011 | 10:57AM
hanoz808 wrote:
So can we complain when Romney goes to church?
on December 8,2011 | 11:01AM
lee1957 wrote:
I'm not an Obama fan, never have been, never will be. Mr. President, please tell Mitt to jam it and get on the plane. Romney's stunt is idiotic, and quite frankly, un-presidential.
on December 8,2011 | 11:02AM
JusInsane wrote:
Ummm... What is the Prez doing in the picture? Golfing! What kind of shirt is he wearing? Golf shirt! Whats the problem here???
on December 8,2011 | 11:06AM
silvangold wrote:
would appreciate a comment from the SA on censorship
on December 8,2011 | 11:19AM
Oahuan2 wrote:
Romney is right on about the Vactioner in Chief. The guys takes way too many vacations. But he is a fragile and simple dude and it is probably beter that he be in Hawaii on vacation than in Washington creating his usual mayhem. Hawaii is way too soft on Obama. I noticed todays poll question, does Hawaii think Romney's point was fair or unfair and the majority voted unfair. Get a grip Hawaii, Obama is not Hawaiian. He cut his political teeth in Illinois and he has used every trick known to man to claw his way to the top. Hopefully his tenure in the White House will be short lived and we will not be concerning ourselves about his vacationing habits.
on December 8,2011 | 11:33AM
kispest wrote:
on December 8,2011 | 12:31PM
motoxdad wrote:
and what have one of those characters from the GOP takeover? i could only imagine what any of those republicans would do to this country, they are the biggest group of flip floppers i have ever seen, they don't know if their coming or going.
on December 8,2011 | 09:33PM
suckseed wrote:
This worthless prez needs to take a vaca. The people appreciate that he will take a break from the massive damage he has done to this country. Please Mr. Prez, stay on vacation. We can't afford you anymore.
on December 8,2011 | 11:54AM
serious wrote:
Correct me, but who was it who critized corporations that took their staff to Las Vegas in the middle of an economic crisis. I agree with Gov Christie--the Occupy people are still looking for that CHANGE!! The D's took the Senate, Congress and the White House--RIGHT???? And HE couldn't get anything passed?????
on December 8,2011 | 12:23PM
kispest wrote:
I don't care where he goes, as long it's not here.
on December 8,2011 | 12:29PM
entrkn wrote:
Romney is showing us just how clueless he is.
on December 8,2011 | 12:30PM
motoxdad wrote:
Romney and rest of the GOP
on December 8,2011 | 09:34PM
entrkn wrote:
Romney should take some time off, maybe go quail hunting with Dick Cheney...
on December 8,2011 | 12:38PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Romney's tactics will not win him votes. Instead it will turn away votes.
on December 8,2011 | 02:13PM
Changalang wrote:
Can't the guy with the hardest job in the world just spend some quality time with his family in his old stomping grounds? Hawaii loves Obama, and we benefit from The President loving to be with us during the holiday season. Live Aloha.
on December 8,2011 | 08:09PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
Go polish your steel wheel!
on December 30,2011 | 06:40PM
Breaking News
Political Radar

Political Radar
Hilton; Plaza Club

Political Radar
Direct mail

Political Radar
Direct mail

Aperture Cafe
Ramadan #latergram

Wassup Wit Dat!
Go Guess ‘Em Go