Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele demanded President Barack Obama cease leisure activities until the Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis is resolved.
Steele criticized Obama for his activities this weekend, which included a trip to a Washington Nationals game on Friday versus his hometown Chicago White Sox and a round of golf on Saturday.
"While it is fitting and appropriate to look at the yachting activities of the BP CEO with incredulity, it is equally incredible that President Obama finds himself on yet another golf course as oil continues to spew into the Gulf," Steele said in a statement. "Until this problem is fixed, no more golf outings, no more baseball games, no more Beatle concerts, Mr. President. The stakes are too high for President Obama's lackadaisical approach to both his responsibilities and the challenges we face."
Steele was comparing Obama's activities to those of BP CEO Tony Hayward this weekend, who participated in a yacht race off the southern coast of England while his company deals with the fallout from the Gulf oil spill.
One Republican senator, Richard Shelby of Alabama, said Hayward's trip was the "height of arrogance."
The president had scheduled no public events on Sunday in observance of Father's Day, but often will take in a round of golf when weather permits with several other White House staffers, usually at Andrews Air Force Base. Vice President Joe Biden joined him this weekend.
Golfing has a long presidential tradition, with Obama's two predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, often hitting the links. Bush said he quit golfing, though, in 2003 in observance of the war in Iraq.