Dick Durbin vs The White House

The Senate's number two Democrat says a GOP leader said something nasty to Obama during the shutdown. The White House says it never happened. They can't both be right.

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Alex Wong / Getty Images

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin answers questions from members of the media after a caucus with Senate Democrats July 25, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

The White House spokesman has denied outright an incendiary claim from the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat, Dick Durbin, that a GOP leader during the shutdown negotiations said to President Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”

“It did not happen,” White House spokesperson Jay Carney said when questioned about the incident. In a statement to TIME, Durbin’s spokesperson Max Gleischman said, “Senator Durbin stands by his comments.”

Both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor challenged Durbin’s claim. “The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize,” said Boehner spokesperson Brendan Buck.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin made the claim in a Facebook post Sunday. “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,” Durbin wrote. “But in a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you.’”

Obama met with Republican House leaders on numerous occasions during negotiations to end the shutdown, though it was not clear when Durbin might have been present to witness the alleged exchange, or if he had another second-hand source for the information.

20 comments
Ajax
Ajax

I find it comical that all the little tiny anonymous nothings in this comment section who claim that they would actually say such a thing to the President of the United States of America actually expect anyone to believe them. Regardless of what they may claim here, they would melt in awe of the office and demonstrate the appropriate respect. Anything else they might claim is nonsense.

reallife
reallife

“I cannot even stand to look at you.”

Join the crowd, sir


LOL

KeithCameron
KeithCameron

I can't stand the sight of Obama either. So, whoever said this should get a medal!

JimmyDemello
JimmyDemello

I'm ashamed of myself, but that sounds like something I would say.

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

Tabloid journalism. Sad.

anon76
anon76

Can we get to the much more important matter of who was passing around notes during homeroom class?

I swear, for every time I wanted to slap Scherer for comparing the political landscape to High School, at least he gave me the insight that political reporters have a hard time relating to politics as anything other than their time in High School.

MementoMori
MementoMori

I'm sorry, I seem to have stumbled into the gossip section. Can you tell me where the News department is?

kafantaris2
kafantaris2

“Didn't happen,” is all that can and should be said about it right now. 
Nothing good will come from doing otherwise.
Rehashing is for another day -- and even then won’t do any good.
End of story. 
Let’s move on.

ChasHolman
ChasHolman

Oh my goodness.. their WHOLE premise of 'we want to see him fail' was an unforgivable insult (considering they were not kidding)..


Feigned outrage again.. One of them sat right in the State of the Union Speech, the whole world is listening, and he yells 'liar'.. For God's sake.. Anyone with eyes can see.. These Tea Party cats are rude and unforgivable.

DanWaters15
DanWaters15

Unfortunately, I'm from the corrupt state of IL and it's common knowledge in this despicable place that Durbin is a pathological liar. Now the world knows. He is a sad old man and needs help.

ClayHenderson
ClayHenderson

Sounds like something Princess Cantor would muttuh undah herh breath...  I do declara!!!

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@reallife Yes, "the crowd" being the minority of voters?

P.S. The "LOL" continues to make you look like a 12 year old, "The Physician"