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WH spox denies Sen. Durbin claim House GOPer told Obama “I cannot even stand to look at you”

WH spox denies Sen. Durbin claim House GOPer told Obama “I cannot even stand to look at you”

In a Facebook posting over the weekend, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois alleged that a top House Republican leader told President Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you,” during a negotiation meeting over the government shutdown, according to a report last night in The Hill.  The claim drew sharp denials from Republican leadership and the White House.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a Facebook post that the alleged confrontation happened during a meeting between Republicans and the president.

“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 said. “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?” the Illinois Democrat added.

An aide to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he had “no idea what [Durbin’s] talking about.”

Durbin did not name the individual to whom he referred in his Facebook post and offered no further specifics as to when the alleged exchange supposedly took place.

Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel denied the claim, saying, “The speaker certainly didn’t say that, and does not recall anyone else doing so,” according to National Review’s The Corner.  A spokesman for Eric Cantor also said the House Majority Leader does not remember anyone saying that.

In today’s press briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney flat out denied the exchange occurred, saying “it did not happen.”

Here’s the full Q&A from RealClearPolitics:

QUESTION: Just to follow up on that. In terms of the president talking to Republicans, can you rule out — there was the number two Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, said on his Facebook page that someone in recent exchange with the president said he can’t even stand, this member of Congress, that he can’t even stand to look at the president. Can you say whether that happened?

JAY CARNEY: I will say this, I spoke with somebody who was in that meeting and it did not happen.

QUESTION: Did the White House speak to Senator Durbin about this?

CARNEY: I don’t know. My understanding is that, again, from participants in the meeting that that didn’t happen.

QUESTION: Did anything like it happen that would –

CARNEY: Not that I’m aware of, Jackie.

Another spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, Brendan Buck, also issued a statement after Carney’s response, according to Business Insider.

“Senator Durbin’s accusation is a serious one, and it appears to have been invented out of thin air,” Buck said. “The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize.”

Jonathan Strong at National Review’s The Corner posited this consideration:

Besides the fact that the top two GOP officials in the House don’t remember the moment, the allegation is odd for a number of reasons. First, Durbin doesn’t specify who allegedly said it. Second, and more important, the manner in which Durbin conveyed the information (a weekend Facebook post) doesn’t comport with how Democrats likely would have used the information had it been true.

If, at the meeting between Obama and the House GOP leaders, one Republican had told Obama he can’t stand to even look at him, that information would have been immediately useful to Democrats in the ongoing fights over the shutdown and the debt ceiling as evidence of GOP intransigence and unreasonableness. That makes it more likely it would have been leaked then and to a media outlet with credibility to convincingly assert the event actually took place.

As of this afternoon, the Facebook post remained visible on Senator Durbin’s page.


UPDATED 5:10pm ET:

Dick Durbin stands by comments on GOP


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Durbin is just having trouble distinguishing the voices he hears in his head from the voices of other people speaking around him.

Here’s a hint to help you make the distinction, Dick:
if the voices are saying something stupid, they’re most likely coming from you.

    platypus in reply to Observer. | October 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Actually, it was someone doing what is commonly called thinking out loud. Meaning whoever was thinking was doing it too loudly.

    moonstone716 in reply to Observer. | October 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Dick is just projecting. I’m sure many people say that to him (such as his wife?). I know I can’t stand to look at (or listen to) him.

Lying Liars who Lie. I bet this will a hot topic of conversation on MSNBC all week. (/sarc off)

Durbin wasn’t even at the meeting. Has anybody asked him who told him this lie?

>>Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel denied the claim, saying, “The speaker certainly didn’t say that, and does not recall anyone else doing so,” according to National Review’s The Corner. A spokesman for Eric Cantor also said the House Majority Leader does not remember anyone saying that.”

There’s another problem with RINOs. Why can’t they ever say something categorically? “Does not recall” and “does not remember anyone” really rings with unqualified outrage and certitude. Why can’t we fight like they do? Why can’t we call Durbin a liar and demand an apology?

    janitor in reply to raven. | October 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    RINOs waffle because they have been burned on their own bullshit.

    It’s too bad so many people (and the media is at fault here too both as perpetrator and reporter) can’t distinguish clarity from the mealymouth sounds of a con job. They have been brainwashed into thinking that the former, e.g. Ted Cruz, is being “rude”, whereas euphemistic equivocation is being polite. The truth doesn’t require a conditional straddle.

    Then again, one can’t be too careful when Kenya is only a hop from Nigeria…

Along the same lines:

Asked Tuesday how Congress could help improve the system by which millions of Americans must buy insurance by the end of the year, the House minority whip and Maryland Democrat said, “We can give them a little money.”

“[Republicans have] been pretty much focused in the House of Representatives on undermining the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in every which way that we possibly could,” he said.

Hoyer admitted that he does not know whether the project, which has already cost more than $400 million, has faced funding problems. “I don’t think that’s the reason,” he said. “If I know that, I’ll blame it.”

So to sum up Hoyer: He doesn’t know if they need money, but he’s going to ask for it anyway. But first he’s going to attack the people he’s asking for the money.

I’m shocked Democrats aren’t objecting to Hoyer, but rather focusing on an unnamed “Republican”.

URGENT HEATH TIP: please DO NOT hold your breath waiting for a retraction or apology from Turbin Durbin for his latest baseless LIE.

It’s my senator projecting again, that’s all.

I can’t stand to look at Illinois after all Durbin and the Dems have done to this state.

The communist democrat party makes everything else up so what is so surprising about this?

[…] also Legal Insurrection and Ace of Spades HQ*.  This is all the more bemusing because, as near as I can tell, the […]

That “Republican leader” might not have said it but I’ll betcha that he was thinking it…

Always lying.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm

The first two or three comments at Talking Points Memo about this were a hoot. They’re making the argument that of course it was said, but Obama is denying it be he is “our very dignified president”. You know, the same dignified president who was calling Republicans terrorists on TV a few days ago, and who had one of his spokesman accuse them of being suicide bombers with “bombs strapped to their chest”.

The extent to which people on the Left are able to willfully delude themselves is astounding.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | October 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Isn’t that the same Present Obama who loves to hop, skip, and trip around the world bowing to waist level to all the Dictators?

    He’s got to keep up his kissing practice on those Dictators!

Eastwood Ravine | October 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Obama’s signature “accomplishment” is at it’s maximum point of imperil, so of course someone allied to him is charging racism against a convenient scapegoat. Although the White House is denying it, it is already “out there” as a dog whistle to keep the most partisan Democrats in line.

My guess, along with every Democrat Senator up for reelection practically on the record for a delay in the individual mandate, if not a delay of other aspects of it as well, is that internal polling is so terrible, it could wipe out the Democrats in a manner similar to how Republicans were wiped out post-Nixon; Obama’s presidency would effectively end come January 2015.

Now is the time to push for defunding. Now is the time to push for repeal. Make them defend it when Obamacare is at its most unpopular.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | October 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    DEMS “INTERNAL POLLING IS SO TERRIBLE”….that 2014’s elections will “wipe out the Democrats in a manner similar to how Republicans were wiped out post-Nixon..”


    That’s exactly it. But their base is fleeing them the more they screech racism falsely. They are only making it worse and worse with their Drama-Queens Kabuki second acts.

Henry Hawkins | October 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I hope this – Durbin making an accusation, the WH flatly denying it happened – is a sign of the first cracks in the Democrat power structure. Obamacare is turning into the total faceplant many suspected it would and the website problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Read Malkin’s report on the mandates for electronic medical records fiasco for just one example of multiple big problems:

Plus there’s the federal lawsuit making its way up the chain:

Factor in all the lefties who are openly panning the failing Obamacare roll out, plus all the usually reliable media lefties now barking mad about the ineptitude, like David Axelrod, Joan Walsh, Jon Stewart and many others, and you can see the Dem/lib coalitions beginning to crack and shift.

Whether it’s a Jay Carney, Juan Williams, or any of the other usual suspects, it’s become painfully hilarious to watch them struggle to spin this turkey and it’s only going to get worse.

We’re at about one year exactly from the 2014 midterm elections, so we ought to see vulnerable Dems start really moving their chairs away from Obama and administration reps, lest they be photographed and associated with them.

Every president creates a legacy: Washington, Lincoln, FDR, RR, etc…. including the group Obama is about to join: Carter, Hoover, etc.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer feller.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    But Mr. Tom McCain, your Obama-Bot electronic medical records DO say you are 9 months pregnant!!!!

      There are boatloads of doctors who by law will lose their licenses by 2015 for failure to comply with an electronic medical records system that doesn’t work – and they’re already woefully short on doctors. It’ll take a not-so-easily-passed amendment to fix it – and right before 2016, heh, heh, heh.

      Obama has hung Obamacare around the necks of Democrat politicians like an anvil on an anchovie.

    The only way I’ll be satisfied is to see that marxist scum resign in disgrace. I can picture him now doing a Nixon impersonation as he waves goodbye and steps onto Airforce 2.

      Estragon in reply to Paul. | October 24, 2013 at 1:29 am

      I have the same vision, but mine ends with him jumping out without a parachute at about 2000 feet.

      Then they start naming federal buildings after him, and I wake up screaming.

In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Lucifer says “It is better to rule in hell, than to serve in heaven.”

the exact wording is this:

“we shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
to reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.”

Politicians like Durbin are not content to go to hell, they want to bring it to us, and then lord it over us.

Durbin obviously thought he was posting to Fauxbook.

No doubt it was that mutual ‘friend’ of Harry Reid’s. You know, the guy who told him Romney’d paid no income tax for 10 years.

I’m a bit perplexed by this story. Are we supposed to be surprised that someone would tell little boy Barry that they can’t stand to look at him? After five years of bald-faced lies, incessant demagoguery of conservatives, playing every conceivable racial and socioeconomic group off of each other for political gain, gross disregard for the law and the constitution… hell I’d be more surprised to hear of someone other than a naked marxist shill who CAN still stand the sight of him. And to all you proggie drones out there…. fargoff, race has nothing to do with it.

I’ll see the “can’t stand to look at him” statement and raise you a “can’t stand to listen to him, either” ~

[…] I feel the same way. (It was false, […]

I saw a comment on another site: “Can anyone point to an instance where Durbin has told the truth?” (or words to that effect).

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Estragon. | October 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Dickless was the one who tried to put Ted Cruz on the hook for having Congressional Super-Dooper Health Insurance, and after Durbin made a complete ass of himself, Cruz said that no, he does not carry Cadillac Congressional health insurance. (It’s through his law firm in Houston.)

TrooperJohnSmith | October 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Maybe the guy is a friend of the fellow who told Hairy Reed (sic) that Mitt Romney doesn’t pay his taxes.

Meanwhile, Larry Sinclair, an actual person, has passed multiple lie-detector tests and nobody outside the blogosphere has ever heard of him.