George W. Bush: 'It's Good' for Obama to Play Golf

Monday, 23 Sep 2013 03:44 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Former President George W. Bush says the current occupant of the White House should be allowed to play golf without being chastised.

"I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don't. I think he ought to play golf," Bush told "In Play with Jimmy Roberts," in an interview obtained by The Hill to air on Tuesday.

"I know the pressures of the job," he said, adding, "and to be able to get outside and play golf with some of your pals is important for the president. It does give you an outlet."

"I think it's good for the president to be out playing golf," Bush added.

Bush, an avid golfer, stopped his own outings in 2003 after an explosion at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad killed special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and more than a dozen others.

Obama's frequent golf games have come under scrutiny from an early stage. On Oct. 25, 2009, just 10 months into his first term, longtime CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted:

Many critics said that in times of crisis, such as the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, after which Obama was seen out on a course, the president should put his clubs away.

A White House spokesman said at the time that the president's golf outing "probably does us all good as American citizens" because it gives him a chance to "clear his mind."

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