Republican leaders are delaying a planned summit with President Obama with a flimsy excuse.
The roots of the partisan standoff that led to the postponement of the bipartisan White House summit scheduled for Thursday date back to January, when President Barack Obama dominated a GOP meeting in Baltimore to deliver a humiliating rebuke of House Republicans.
The one-sided televised presidential lecture many Republicans decried as a political ambush – Obama’s staff wanted the event be broadcast and GOP aides agreed reluctantly at the last minute — has left a lingering distrust of Obama invitations and a wariness about accommodating every scheduling request emanating from the West Wing, aides tell POLITICO.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) both claim Obama had presented the Nov. 18 date as a fait accompli – without their consent or any attempt to accommodate frenetic schedules following the midterm recess. For weeks, staffers have been warning the White House not to assume the invitation had been accepted, apparently to little avail.
But Democrats, speaking on anonymity, say the delay was self-serving – because Boehner and McConnell are still in the process of organizing their respective caucuses and haven’t yet put together clear positions to parry Obama.
In other words, the Republicans are being petty, bringing up an old issue; they’re still smarting over an agreed-upon televised event where they were made to look bad, and they think they can punish the president this way. They care not about working for the good of the American people but would rather play childish games.