When John Mellencamp let loose with a rip on the Bush administration in the middle of an celebrity golf tournament event concert, sending ex Vice President Dan Quayle marching for the exit, he may have shot a few shockwaves through the American Century Championship. But one of the biggest celebrities in the Lake Tahoe field - a man who used to be one of America's biggest Republicans literally - wasn't shedding any tears for Quayle.
"He's right," Charles Barkley said of Mellencamp. "The word conservative means discriminatory practically. It's a form of political discrimination. What do the Republicans run on? Against gay marriage and for a war that makes no sense. A war that was based on faulty intelligence. That's all they ever talk about. That and immigration. Another discriminatory argument for political gain."
In mid show Friday night, Mellencamp introduced a song with "This next one is for all the poor people who've been ignored by the current administration," according to witnesses.
Quayle almost immediately marched towards the exit from his high profile seat at the outdoor venue.
"I didn't appreciate the comment and besides I didn't think the show was very good," Quayle told an observer as he bolted.
Barkley argued that attacking George W. Bush is a waste of energy that frustrates him, but he wasn't going to dispute the premise.
"The Democrats have done a horrible job," Barkley said. "A really crappy job. They spend all this time and energy getting on George Bush. They're going after a guy who's on the way out in two years no matter what they say anyways. He can't run again. He can't get fired. Why are you worrying about him?
"Democrats have wasted the last two years going after this guy and two years from another election, we don't have a frontrunner or a plan."
Hearing Barkley saying "we" with the Democrats would be surprise to many. For years, the NBA Hall of Famer was a very public card carrying member of the Republican party.
"I was a Republican until they lost their minds," Barkley said.
Sir Charles showed plenty of passion, but he wasn't stalking away from anything a la Quayle. Shortly after answering questions Saturday, he got into a putting contest with Peter Wagner - the 15-year-old son of Jack Wagner, the soap opera actor who ended up winning the tournament.
With a Coors Light can in hand, Barkley traded putts and good natured jabs with the 15-year-old. He waved to every single fan who stopped outside the yellow ropes and called out to him.
Quayle had already left the grounds.
And people thought nothing happened at celebrity golf tournaments?
Think Rush Limbaugh is upset he didn't decide to play in this celebrity tournament about now?
For complete interviews with both Barkely and Quayle from Lake Tahoe, stay tuned to TravelGolf.com in the coming weeks.
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