The President had a good exchange with the Senate Republican Conference today about priorities for the balance of the year.But when republicans crawled out of the meeting more than an hour later, one republican was a wee bit upset. Sen. Bob Corker criticized Obama for using republicans as props. They may as well be useful for something. I think republicans make great props.
He asked for their cooperation in finishing work on measures to help create jobs and improve our economy, including one to help make loans available to small businesses; in ratifying the START treaty that is central to our long-term security and efforts at nuclear non-proliferation; and in confirming Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court in a timely manner, so she can take her seat when the court reconvenes after summer.
The President also urged the conference to work with him to address two major, unresolved issues: comprehensive immigration reform and energy legislation.
On immigration, the President noted that many in the conference have supported efforts before to fix a broken system and impose accountability at our borders, accountability for employers who undercut the law by hiring undocumented workers; and for the workers themselves, who are here illegally and must take responsibility. And he urged them to work with him across party lines to make progress on this issue.
On energy, the President told the conference that the gulf oil disaster should heighten our sense of urgency to hasten the development of new, clean energy sources that will promote energy independence and good-paying American jobs. And he asked that they work with him on the promising proposals currently before Congress.
Obviously, there were continued differences on some of these issues. But, the President believes that direct dialogue is better than posturing, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to share views with the conference.
He will continue to take every opportunity to work constructively with any member of Congress, of either party, to move America forward.
A GOP senator ripped into President Barack Obama at a meeting on Capitol Hill Tuesday, telling him he had “audacity” coming in and using Republican lawmakers as "props."Obama reacted coolly:
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the Democrats’ partner on Wall Street reform, criticized Obama during a meeting the president requested with the Senate Republican conference to court their support for the remaining initiatives on his agenda.
After the meeting, GOP senators said they appreciated the outreach.
But behind closed doors, the president faced a hostile crowd of angry Republicans, led by Corker.
The Republican who witnessed the exchange said Obama offered up a mild response.A grownup saves face for Corker:
“He said he wanted the bill the way it was and just because Corker didn’t get what he wanted he shouldn’t get so mad,” said the source. Read what else republicans had to say at The Hill
A spokesman for the White House said the exchange with Corker was not as harsh as Republicans described.Yet more republican thuggery. Do they really think they're going to make inroads with the American people like this? Republicans have a lack of respect for POTUS:
“The exchange he had with the president was actually pretty civil,” said White House spokesman Bill Burton.
"He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans," Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) told reporters. "He's pretty thin-skinned." msnbcMcCain is still posing:
"I said we needed to secure the border first," McCain recounted. But, according to several senators, Obama argued in favor of a comprehensive bill that also provided a pathway to citizenship for illegal residents, similar to the legislation that McCain backed in 2007.