Image: Barack Obama
MANDEL NGAN  /  AFP - Getty Images
President Barack Obama has come under fire from the GOP for scheduling leisure activities during the Gulf oil spill crisis.
updated 6/21/2010 3:08:33 PM ET 2010-06-21T19:08:33

A White House spokesman says the whole country benefits when President Barack Obama takes time to go golfing and "clear his mind."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton defended Obama's leisure activities amid some Republican criticism that Obama should not be scheduling fun time during the Gulf oil spill crisis. The president went golfing on Saturday afternoon after attending a Washington Nationals baseball game Friday night.

Burton said Americans stand by the notion that "their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind."

He said Obama relaxed after a week in which he got help for victims of the oil spill and traveled to Ohio to speak on the economy, among other work. Burton said that having time to himself "probably does us all good."

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