Obama hits the links, plays first round of golf in Election Year 2012

President Obama hit the links Sunday for the first time in 2012.

Obama was joined by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and White House staffers Eugene Kang and Marvin Nicholson, according to pool reports.

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GOP presidential contenders have criticized Obama for playing golf during an economic crisis, suggesting that the president is out of touch with the concerns of voters. 

Before the Iowa primary, Romney juxtaposed the president’s choice to vacation in Hawaii with Republican candidates campaigning in the Midwestern state.

“We’re out in the cold and the rain and the wind because we care about America. He just finished his 90th round of golf,” Romney said at an Iowa campaign event.

Obama golfed during his vacation in Hawaii on Dec. 25 and 26.

The Romney campaign also created a website that keeps track of the president’s golf activities. The site, which solicits donations for Romney’s campaign, notes Obama’s stated commitment to “not rest until every American who is able and ready and willing to work” finds a job, superimposing that quotation over a picture of the president playing golf.

Some Republicans, though, have joined Obama on the links. Last June, Obama and Vice President Biden participated in a round of golf with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).

Obama and Boehner teamed together to win the round played at Joint Base Andrews.

Alicia Cohn contributed to this post.

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