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Bush says Obama shouldn't be criticized for golf

Monday - 9/23/2013, 10:20pm  ET

File-This Aug. 12, 2013 file photo shows President Barack Obama, left, chatting with former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, right, while golfing at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard. In an excerpt from "In Play with Jimmy Roberts" that airs Tuesday Sept. 24, 2013 on Golf Channel, Bush says he understands the pressures of the White House and that playing golf is a good outlet. "You know, I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don't, I think he ought to play golf," Bush says in the interview. "Because I know what it's like to be in the bubble. And I know the pressures of the job. 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." (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Former President George W. Bush says President Barack Obama should not be criticized for the amount of golf he plays.

In an excerpt from "In Play with Jimmy Roberts," airing Tuesday night on the Golf Channel, Bush says he understands the pressures of the White House and that playing golf is a good outlet.

"You know, I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don't -- I think he ought to play golf," Bush says in the interview. "Because I know what it's like to be in the bubble. And I know the pressures of the job. 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."

Fifteen of the last 18 presidents have played golf, and two are in the World Golf Hall of Fame -- Dwight D. Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush. Eisenhower was a member at Augusta National.

George W. Bush quit playing golf in the fall of 2003 after 2½ years in office, saying it was inappropriate for the commander in chief to be seen on the course while Americans were fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When Roberts suggested that golf is a good release, Bush agreed.

"I think it is," he said. "And I think it's good for the president to be out playing golf."

Obama has played more than 140 rounds of golf since he first took office, according to CBS News. Earlier this year, he played with Tiger Woods in south Florida.


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