GOP House leader told Obama: “I cannot even stand to look at you”

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says that during government shutdown negotiations with the Republicans, one GOP US House leader told President Obama:

“I cannot even stand to look at you.”

Durbin made the accusation via Facebook this week:


As you know, the GOP, led by House Republicans and GOP Senator Ted Cruz, shut down the federal government and threatened to default on the national debt as a strategy to coerce the President to agree to defund Obamacare, aka health care reform.

It didn’t work.

Durbin’s Facebook post doesn’t make clear which House Republican leader allegedly said this, but there are only five to choose from:

gop-house-leadersThe Durbin post also doesn’t make clear whether the comment came in the lead up to the shutdown, or during the shutdown itself.

As for who made the comment, your guess is as good as mine. But some candidates clearly pop out.

Now, GOP House Speaker John Boehner and GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor are both denying it, but it’s unlikely they’d admit it if it were true.

And White House spokesman Jay Carney just said it didn’t happen, but what is Carney supposed to say?  The President can’t admit that something said during an off-the-record meeting, something so damaging, was leaked.  It’s the President’s job to be a better man about it, and move forward.

UPDATE: Durbin stands by his story…

But two Democratic aides, both of whom requested anonymity, told The Huffington Post that the incident was relayed to members during a Senate Democratic Caucus meeting shortly after it allegedly happened. And Durbin isn’t backing down from the claims he originally made on his Facebook page on Sunday.

“Sen. Durbin stands by his comments,” Durbin spokesman Max Gleischman told The Huffington Post.

Durbin is telling the truth.  The bigger question is why Durbin would write such a thing if it weren’t true.  I doubt he would.  Knowing the Senate, and members of Congress, the most likely explanation is that Durbin is simply reporting what he knows to be true.  He was either there, or he was told the story by someone who was there.  And he dutifully repeated it, not understanding that the White House didn’t want the story out there.

Considering the Republicans have called President Obama a communist, socialist, gay, Muslim born in Kenya, would anyone really put this kind of quote past them? Sadly, no.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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