U.S. Senate Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin dropped a major bombshell on his Facebook page, claiming that during the shutdown negotiations with President Obama, an unnamed Republican leader told the president, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”
“Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a 'negotiation' meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: 'I cannot even stand to look at you.' What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?”
White House spokesman, Jay Carney, has denied that ever happened, while Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, has demanded Durbin apologise. “The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize."
Senator Durbin’s spokesperson, Max Gleischman said, “Senator Durbin stands by his comments.”
The list of those who were there that night are pretty small, since out of the 232 members of Congress invited to the White House for discussion, John Boehner decided to send a group of 18 “negotiators,” which included himself and Eric Cantor, along with leaders McCarthy, McMorris, Rodgers, Walden, Lankford, Jenkins,Foxx, Southerland, Wagner, Roskam, Sessions, and chairmen Ryan, Camp, Upton, Hal Rogers, Hensarling, McKeon.
Someone isn’t being completely honest. On the one hand, if it did happen, then the White House denial is an act of the sort of humanity and thoughtfulness President Obama has shown throughout this Republican created crisis, allowing those who have already proven how deeply and irrationally they hate him to save face. On the other hand, if it didn’t happen, then the White House, again, is demonstrating enormous fairness and diplomacy.
But what is sad is that whatever was really said or not behind closed doors, the disgraceful behaviour of Republicans over the past few months has made this allegation all too believable.
UPDATE: (Nicole) And we have a culprit: Pete Sessions. Keepin' it Klassy, as always, Pete. Sad that the White House feels like they have to cover for your irrational hate. But then again, it's always the Democrats that have to be the adults in the room, isn't it?