By Christina Wilkie - 04/26/10 10:03 PM EDT
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) wants to play golf with the president of the United States, but if he gets an invitation, he won’t accept it.
Gutierrez, a longtime supporter of President Barack Obama who doesn’t shy away from criticizing him publicly, is an avid golfer. So is Obama. But don’t expect to see them in a foursome anytime soon.
He added, “I can’t … I have another responsibility.”
That responsibility is pushing Obama to pass immigration reform, and hitting the links with the president would be a detriment to that goal, the Illinois lawmaker indicated.
Because Gutierrez is one of Obama’s biggest Democratic critics on Capitol Hill, he might be on to something. It’s hard to see the nine-term legislator giving the president a lot of gimmes.
And Obama has been known to give his former congressional colleague some grief. Even though Gutierrez was one of Obama’s earliest backers in his bid for the White House, Gutierrez did not support him in the 2004 Senate primary. But Soraida Arocho Gutierrez, the congressman’s wife, did.
When the president sees the couple, he “never fails to tell her, ‘You were always with me.’ I know that,” a laughing Gutierrez said.