Valium Chief

26May10

The President had a nice luncheon meeting with the GOP yesterday.

President Barack Obama battled with Senate Republicans in a tense closed-door meeting Tuesday, facing tough criticism from his GOP adversaries — including John McCain — on issues ranging from health care to border security.

How does the president handle a less than worshipful reception?

“He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans,” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told reporters. “He’s pretty thin-skinned.”

At the Capital luncheon, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker didn’t go easy on the president.

“I told him I thought there was a degree of audacity in him even showing up today after what happened with financial regulation,” Corker told reporters. “I just wanted him to tell me how, when he wakes up in the morning, comes over to a luncheon like ours today, how does he reconcile that duplicity?”

To have been a fly on the wall!

Four people who were in the room said Obama bristled and defended his administration’s handling of negotiations. On the way out, Corker said, Obama approached him and both men repeated their main points.

“I told him there was a tremendous disconnect from his words and the actions of his administration,” Corker said.

McCain and the president clashed over immigration.

Sources described Obama’s conversation with McCain as rather direct.

McCain said he told Obama: “We need to secure the borders first. He didn’t agree.” A McCain spokeswoman said their exchange was “frank but respectful.”

Obama the uniter.

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