Sen. Portman on Why President Obama Can Claim Credit for ‘Awesome’ Ohio State Championship

See how a football championship can unite politicians.

"We don’t agree on a lot of things, but we agreed on this one,” Portman said. “So I’ll give him as much credit as he wants. He certainly has more influence than I do, or others.”

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Portman said Ohio State’s national championship was a “sweeter victory” for the fact that it was earned through the playoff system. He said the Super Bowl-style atmosphere around the championship was great for all involved, including the new champions from his state.

He added that it’s not uncommon for sports to bring politicians together in Washington.

“It definitely makes a difference,” Portman said. “It definitely makes a difference in any relationship, and also on the Hill. A lot of us talk sports, and it’s bipartisan. It’s something that draws people together. You can find common ground.”

The Boehner-Obama relationship has never been particularly close. But the two share a love of golf, and participated in a '>much-hyped round together in 2011 that quickly became known as the “golf summit.”

Also on the program, ESPN senior writer Don Van Natta Jr. – the author of a book about presidential golf , “First Off the Tee” – said that round of golf got overly politicized, possibly due to some pregame trash talk from Boehner.

Van Natta also said that, like most golfing presidents, Obama has rarely used the game as a chance to build relationships with lawmakers. The current president has generally golfed with the same small group of longtime friends and White House aides.

“Presidents use golf as an escape,” he said, noting that Obama “forbids talk of politics” on the course.

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