After a golf weekend in Florida avoiding the press, President Barack Obama returned to the White House Monday night, where he faced screaming reporters trying to hold him accountable by asking, in unison, “Did you beat Tiger?”
According to the White House pool report, Obama returned to the White House at 8:10 p.m. on Marine One. As he exited the helicopter on the South Lawn and made his way towards the South Portico, a group of reporters demanded to know whether the president vanquished golfing legend Tiger Woods, his Sunday golf companion.
The president appeared to have heard the question and cracked a smile, according to the pool report, but just continued on his way.
The probing question followed a weekend in which reporters “expressed extreme frustration,” in the words of White House Correspondents Association president and Fox News correspondent Ed Henry, over their lack of access to Obama during his golfing sojourn. (RELATED: Why didn’t Obama allow press to cover golf weekend?)
“Speaking on behalf of the White House Correspondents Association, I can say a broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the President of the United States this entire weekend,” Henry said in a statement Sunday. “There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency.”
According to Politico, on his way back from Florida on Air Force One, President Obama did talk to the traveling press for 10 minutes, but only off the record.
White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest defended the press’ access — or lack thereof — in a statement Sunday.
“The press access granted by the White House today is entirely consistent with the press access offered for previous presidential golf outings,” he said. “It’s also consistent with the press access promised to the White House Press Corps prior to arrival in Florida on Friday evening.”