As part of his Martha's Vineyard vacation this week, President Obama is golfing today with New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, the White House told reporters.
Also joining the foursome: Democratic power broker Vernon Jordan and White House trip director Marvin Nicholson.
"We are told Bloomberg and Obama talked in the clubhouse for about 15 mins about the economy," a pool report said. "They then went to the driving range and are about to begin their round." The president earlier in the day went on a bike ride with daughter Malia. (See at left.)
As of today, according to CBS News White House correspondent and unofficial White House statistician Mark Knoller, the president has played 49 rounds of golf since taking office, including five times on this vacation. That does not include a round of mini-golf he played earlier this month with daughter Sasha.
President George W Bush played 24 rounds of golf during the first two and a half years of his presidency and then stopped, feeling it was inappropriate for the Commander-in-Chief to be seen playing golf while the nation was at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. His last game of golf as president was on Oct 13, 2003.
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"When I went to school, we studied the Constitution," he told Stewart. "It says you have a right to say what you want to say, which means pray to whomever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. And it's just not the government's business to tell you what to say."
"That's what great about America," he continued. "And people say, well, in Saudi Arabia you can't build a church. Yes. That's the difference between Saudi Arabia and America. And I, it's just plain and simple that. Whether you like the mosque or don't like the mosque, you don't have to go. There's already another mosque down there within four block of the World Trade Center. There's porno places, there's fast-food places. I mean, it's a vibrant community. It's New York."