Obama Golfed with Bain Lobbyist

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After spending much of 2012 attacking Mitt Romney for his time at Bain Capital, President Obama golfed this weekend with a lobbyist for the villainized company.

Obama’s foursome at the exclusive Robert Trent Jones Golf Club this weekend included Joe O’Neill, president and CEO of the lobbying and public affairs firm Public Strategies Washington and current lobbyist for Bain Capital, according to Politico.

The trip to the Gainesville, Virginia golf club, which has hosted four President’s Cup tournaments since it was founded in 1991, was a departure from Obama’s usual weekend golf routine at less expensive courses.

The Obama campaign relentlessly attacked Mitt Romney for his time at Bain.

The powwow with a high-powered lobbyist such as O’Neill also seems to betray Obama’s often touted and frequently sidestepped lobbying ban, according to Politico.

O’Neill is a veteran Democratic lobbyist who represents clients like Bain Capital, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Edison Electric Institute, Lockheed Martin, and many others.

The Obama White House has repeatedly touted its lobbying ban as a major tool in fighting corruption and influence peddling. The self-imposed ban largely keeps former registered lobbyists from working in the administration, though the administration has granted a number of waivers.

Joining Obama and O’Neill were former U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk and Milton Carroll of CenterPoint Energy.