Obama Goes For A Lunchtime Stroll, Talks Shutdown, Promotes Sandwiches

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Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden greet diners as they walk from the White House to Taylor Gourmet, a deli on Pennsylvania Avenue, to pick up some carryout food in Washington, Oct. 4, 2013.

And on the fourth day, they went out to lunch.

With Democrats and Republicans still at loggerheads over the federal budget, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took a stroll Friday afternoon to a nearby sandwich shop for some midday nourishment.

In shirtsleeves, the heads of the Executive Branch shook hands and waved at tourists and assembled workers along Pennsylvania Ave. as they walked to Taylor Gourmet, a Washington hoagie chain. Obama told reporters he and Biden were “starving,” but that they decided to visit the restaurant because it is offering a 10 percent discount to furloughed federal workers.

At one point in the store, Biden refused a request from the President for some of his cookies. “It’s one package, man. I’m not giving you my cookie,” Biden said, according to CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller.

Obama responded to an anonymous quote in the Wall Street Journal from a senior administration official that Democrats are “winning” the government shutdown stalemate, saying “there’s no winning” and “no one is winning” as long as Americans are out of work. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tweeted earlier that the administration “utterly disavow[s]” the quote.

The sandwich store has previously catered a meeting of Obama and congressional leaders, and it aggressively used photos of that event in promotional materials given out to customers on laminated cards at other Washington, D.C., locations. At the time that Obama left for his walk, the Taylor Gourmet website featured several photos from Obama’s last visit, including Obama’s signature on a $57 receipt for six sandwiches, a photo of Congressional leaders and Obama eating the sandwiches at the White House, and a photo of the President holding one of the sandwiches aloft.