White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs continued to push back against this morning’s stories that the administration has given up on getting bipartisanship, even while saying President Obama agrees with the statement that set off those stories.
“Many (Republicans) want to see health care reform,” Gibbs said. He also said the three Republicans working on negotiations in the Senate Finance Committee — Sens. Chuck Grassley (IA), Olympia Snowe (ME) and Mike Enzi (WY) — “are working in good faith,” Gibbs said. “I have no reason to believe they’re not.”
But Gibbs suggested President Obama agrees with the statement that set off speculation about the death of bipartisanship. Chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said, “The Republican leadership has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama’s health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day.”
Gibbs was asked whether Obama agrees.
“Let’s just say I haven’t seen anything that would persuade me otherwise,” he said.
Gibbs also said that reports of fighting within the Democratic party over the reform bill is mostly “contrived” by the media.