Obama back on golf course after spending outcry from GOP

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 2:08pm

Nearly a month after forced spending cuts prompted some Republicans to call on President Barack Obama to cease his weekend golf outings, the commander-in-chief returned to the links for a springtime round Saturday.

It's the first time Obama has returned to the golf course since the spending cuts took effect March 1, though on previous weekend days he's attended basketball games with his daughter. He also spent one Saturday in March returning from his trip to the Middle East.

The president golfed at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday with Marty Nesbit, a longtime friend; Reggie Love, his former personal aide; and Marvin Nicholson, a White House staffer.

Some Republicans cried foul over the expense of Obama's golf games in a time of government austerity, chafing particularly 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 earlier this month 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.


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