Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Sunday criticized Republicans for not being willing to negotiate with President Obama in the aftermath of the shutdown fight, recounting a confrontation one lawmaker had with the president during talks to reopen the government.
Durbin wrote on Facebook that one Republican House leader told Obama in a meeting, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”
Durbin added that while Republicans charged that Obama was not willing to negotiate, neither were members of the GOP.
“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,” he said on Facebook. “What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?”
Obama met with Republican leaders at the White House multiple times during the shutdown. Obama met with Senate Republicans and a small group of House GOP members separately over a week into the shutdown. Obama also met with leaders of both parties and both chambers two weeks into the shutdown, and Obama spoke with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in person and over the phone.
Update: Spokespersons for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) denied Durbin’s account to National Review on Wednesday.