Dan Quayle on Obama's greens habit: 'I'm glad he's out there playing golf'

Republicans should leave President Obama alone about his golfing habit, former Republican Vice President Dan Quayle said Wednesday evening.

Quayle, who served as vice president from 1989-1993, said it was unreasonable for Republicans to expect Obama to be constantly monitoring every issue in the world.

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"I'm glad he's out playing golf. I happen to be a golfer," Quayle said on the Fox Business Network. "I think presidents deserve down time. And believe me, he is in constant communication with what's going on."

Many Republicans enjoy publicly chiding the president for playing golf amid all the troubles in the world that beguile a commander-in-chief. Golfing is a hobby Obama has enjoyed with some vigor since becoming president, and he frequently golfs on Saturdays when the weather is nice in Washington.

"I mean, what do you want him to do, stay in his house and be on the phone with the ambassador to Japan all the time?" Quayle retorted.

Not everyone in the Quayle family might agree; the former vice president's son, Ben, is a Republican congressman from Arizona. Ben Quayle, in his campaign for Congress, called Obama "the worst president in history" in an ad.

The jabs at Obama's golfing are part of a larger criticism Republicans have leveled at the president for his activities in down time and on weekends. The GOP, for instance, complained on Wednesday about Obama's decision to appear on ESPN for the third straight year in a short segment outlining his picks in the NCAA basketball tournament, which begins Thursday. The president also faced criticism for appearing last Saturday night at the Gridiron Club's annual dinner.

Obama isn't the only high-profile politico who loves to hit the links; House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is known to be an avid golfer. The two appear to be moving slowly toward a matchup on the golf course at some point, but it hasn't happened yet, though golfing season's just beginning.

Updated 8:13 a.m.

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