During one of the fruitless negotiating sessions during the government shutdown, a member of the House Republican leadership said to President Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you,” according to Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who is also the Democratic whip in the Senate.
UPDATE: According to White House press secretary Jay Carney, who took a question about this in his briefing today, he had spoken to someone who was at the meeting in question and the incident described by Durbin “Did not happen.”
Durbin described the incident in a post on his Facebook page. I’m not suggesting he would make up such an exchange, but in deciding how much to believe Durbin’s account, bear in mind that Durbin didn’t disclose the identity of the Republican who allegedly made the disrespectful remark and the Republican who allegedly made the remark hasn’t explained what led him to say it… UPDATE … and that now the White House is dismissing Durbin’s account.
In his Facebook post, Durbin described why he was making the incident public. Here’s the full text of his post:
“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. But in a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you.’
What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?”