Second date: Obama, Republicans to dine again
March 28th, 2013
09:20 AM ET
1 year ago

Second date: Obama, Republicans to dine again

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's congressional courtship continues as he's set to dine with a new group of Senate Republicans next month.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, said the president approached their office about a week ago and asked them to put together a list of 12 Republican senators.

A White House spokesperson confirmed the president will attend the dinner.

The group is different from the first pack of GOP lawmakers from the upper chamber, whom Obama dined with three weeks ago at an upscale restaurant in Washington. The dinner was described by different attendees as "honest," "interactive," and "cordial"–and signaled a shift in approach by the chief executive to cultivate alliances with rivals who have stood opposed to his policy proposals.

A week later, he went to Capitol Hill to meet with the caucuses and conferences of both parties.

While the date for the dinner next month has been set for April 10, the location and time has not been arranged, according to Isakson's office.

"Senator Isakson invited a cross section of senators that he thought would be interested to discuss the debt, deficit, sequestration. He thinks the only way to solve these problems is for people to sit down and discuss them," his spokeswoman, Lauren Culbertson told CNN.

Obama has attempted to reach rank-and-file lawmakers, who he's largely avoided in budget negotiations, choosing instead to work with the party's leadership. Social events with lawmakers were also largely absent from his calendar during his first term and the president was criticized for that from some members of Congress, including Democrats.

– CNN's Ashley Killough, Lisa Desjardins, Brianna Keilar, Rachel Streitfeld, and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Johnny Isakson • President Obama
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Lawless4U

    I don't know why the President is even bothering with trying to be nice to the repubs. No matter what he proposes......even if it was the repubs idea first, they still oppose him at every turn.

    There is absolutely no working with that group.

    March 28, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Lawless4U

    @GG. What are you talking about? The President got his tax hike?

    Where do YOU get your information? If he had gotten his tax hike we wouldn't have to endure this sequestration.

    You really need to read the news to try to keep up.

    March 28, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Richard Arias

    More of the same. Show boating. Both the Congress and the executive branch should be sacked. The nation is in a quagmire and Congress and the President are laughing behind our backs. They put personal before the nation. We say we will give 26 Million to Syrian rebels. What about the nations finances. Between the Tea Party blockers, Republican do nothings and a president that would rather campaign than sit down and work out a solution, we are in trouble and this will be remembered at voting time!!!!! so laugh now at us, your turn is coming.

    March 28, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Lawless4U

    I got to hand it to some of you guys after reading through the comments. Did any of you read the stroy about the first "date" when it happened a few weeks back? The President paid for the meal from his own pocket. Chances are that he will be doing it again.

    The sooner that you people realize that he isn't the problem but rather the republicans are and give the President some support in dealing with the the obstructionists the sooner he can get some real work done.

    March 28, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Balanced999

    Lawless4U – sorry you've been brainwashed.

    Sequestration – Obama's idea; then blames Republicans when it comes to fruition

    Taxes – Republicans negotiated (caved) and agreed to additional taxes – which we're all no paying (at least those of us who work). Now Obama's come back for more.

    Obama – Pleads for more civility in politic's; while he's consistently surrounded by the absolute most vile politicians in government.

    This could go on forever – you really need to open your eyes.

    We had acceptable Dem presidents that worked across the isle (e.g. Roosevelt, Kennedy, Clinton) – Obama is NOT one of them. He's the creator of class warfare, gender warfare – anything he can do to get enough voters blaming others.

    My favorite – Candidate Obama called Bush " irresponsible" and "unpatriotic" for driving up the national debt by $4 trillioin – yet Obama's driven it up twice as much and is proposing going much higher.

    Open your eyes before it's too late!

    March 28, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Jean Sartre

    The president pays for these dinners out of his own pocket; when you ask a girl to dinner you pay. When President Obama asks 12-Red Sisters out to dinner, he has to pay... Besides, the TP/GOP heads would all explode if they were told any member of their group ever went to diner with a tanned man and actually paid their fair share...

    March 28, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. jim

    Lawless4U.....You have hit the nail right on the head

    March 28, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Alan

    I certainly hope if the US taxpayers are picking up the tab on these dinner dates that we can get a record of the conversation?...imagine that comes to mind is from the movie "Animal HOUSE"...next....the phrase 'food fight'!!!..I'll pick Obama and Reid..problem...the Republicans could never decide on either what to eat or compromise in going first...next image...alot of hungry people waiting for the other to chose...RLMAO!

    March 28, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Jonquil

    Jean Sartre, if this dinner will finally get them to work together, again, I will reach into my own wallet and pay for this dinner, myself.

    March 28, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. KBNJ

    LOL The blame game stopped working so now he'll try divide and conquer. Think he'll ever consider simple LEADERSHIP?

    March 28, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. me

    as far as I am concerned obama can eat crow

    March 28, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Kurt

    I'd never let one of those stinking rube republicans dine at my table. They belong at the slop trough with the other pigs in the barn.

    March 28, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Government - belt - tightening

    All we do know, after everyone of these meetings, taxpayers get screwed – royally!

    Prefer the give of themselves a prostate exam. Then, they will know how the taxpayers feel.

    March 28, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. greg

    President barack obama is nonthing but big fat lieer becouse he lie to us so many time and we need get him out for good .only he is doing is stilling from us and he let all of us down big time .

    March 28, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. John the Historian

    Why don't the republicans go to the planet of kolob like Willard. Nobody wants their cuts. Why don't they take a paycut or since most are billionaires why don't they pay off the 2 trillion dollar debt from the Iraq war. The Republican Christian Right, military-industrial complex and the the party of the corporate elite needs to die like the Whig party.

    March 28, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. komododr

    Way to go Mr. President. Show them hillbillies Republicans what the real Kenya/U.S. connections are like. Or better yet, show them what Aloha means. Next invite Kim Jung Un of North Korea. Invite him to the White House and give him a State Dinner. Then take him to the Oval Office for one-on-one meeting then give him a couple slaps left and right. Then say, You Punk Go Ahead And Make My Day. Then give him half a gallon of tea flavored Ice Cream because he likes it. Then all is good, that's real diplomacy.

    March 29, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  17. joe

    Welcome to the Obama show! *sarcasm*

    March 29, 2013 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  18. He Makes Me...

    And why can't the same results be accomplished on the grounds of the White House over beer, burgers and potatoe salad?

    March 29, 2013 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  19. irememberallthelies

    Lets add another lunch to his $1.4 billion a year he spends on travel, whats it gonna hurtcreally. Oh our wallets thats what. Taxws should not go up any more on the middle class.

    March 29, 2013 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  20. Matte

    The country must move on and continue to grow. We cannot afford any more tax breaks for the upper 10% richest people in this country. most countries that have moved ahead of America have balanced their tax burden to keep large wealth gaps from occuring and it is the only way to keep the economy growing. these are working models that are being used successfully. to bad we still use the crash the economy system the republicans keep bringing back. lets keep them out of power and show them how it is possible for everyone to live in a normal country.

    March 29, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
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