Second date: Obama, Republicans to dine again
March 28th, 2013
09:20 AM ET
2 years 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. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Psst. CNN. The majority of the country has moved away from political bickering and finger pointing. We the majority have also moved away from anger and division, and a 24/7 "news" cycle of re-cycled Republican talking points.

    Do try to keep up.

    March 28, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. NYC REPUB

    This makes me happy......i think some deals will be made in Washington this year.

    March 28, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. clarke

    Do we the tax payers get to pay for this one also. I wish Congress would take me to dinner or lunch, so I could enjoy a nice meal.

    March 28, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Richard Long

    Charm Offensive 2! This time... Even less being accomplished!
    Biden totally went on a tirade and you expect them to accept barack's peace offering?

    March 28, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    It is unfortunate that Republicans are too stuck up on themselves to go to the White House. Naturally, they would be caught on camera entering or leaving, which would be probitive for their images as opponents of the President. Likewise, it is even more unfortunate that Republicans don't respect the office of POTUS enough to honor an invitation: party before politics, as always. The most unfortunate aspect of it all is that Pres. Obama plays their little game, meets them on some nuetral territory, and will most likely come away with nothihg to show for it but polite words in their sound bites and empty promises behind closed doors.

    March 28, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. king

    i don't think these meeting are progressing, the right wing wants to kill the government and give money to the uber rich for them to build china and her war machine, while our country infrastructure rot away with the 20th century. the rich is not investing in this country anymore, because of technology and slave Chinese workers. we are slowly turning into a 3rd word country as the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer and the middle class slowly disappears. why you think the repubs destroyed labor unions. its time we focus our attention on our country's infrastructures and not on the rich wall street folks. which are vacuuming up the money and either hoarding away in countries to hide from the tax man or investing like hell into Chinese markets, growing their economy and their arm forces. its time Obama tax these folks before all the money is shipped away from our shores. the long we wait the less money will be here for all of us.

    March 28, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Wake up People!

    Watch your food Mr. President, I don't trust them as far as I could throw Chris Christy.

    March 28, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. determined2bfit

    I hope he at least gets to first base this time.

    March 28, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Brian

    It would have cost the Country less if he had just stayed in the middle east last week.
    We the tax payer would have gladly bought him a nice home in Palestine if he wanted to stay.

    March 28, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Government - belt - tightening

    Are they paying out of their own pockets, not on taxpayers backs.

    Beer and dinner won't change anything.

    That is a political stalemate.

    You end the night with drunk and stuffed politicals.

    March 28, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. A Bingos

    But who is paying for the dinner? I hope the President and the lawmakers are paying from their pockets. The rest of us pay for our dates, and there is no reason why these highly paid, over-pampered citizens should not pay for their own.

    March 28, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. CPBCLLC

    The minute that we no longer talk is the moment that our house is divided. Our enemies stand watch at the doorstep.

    March 28, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Hodge

    Enough with reaching out to the fascist right. There party will soon be relegated to a few southern states.

    March 28, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "Government – belt – tightening" wrote:

    Are they paying out of their own pockets, not on taxpayers backs.
    Beer and dinner won't change anything.
    That is a political stalemate.
    You end the night with drunk and stuffed politicals.
    ----------------
    So, why even bother going. Right?

    March 28, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    clarke

    Do we the tax payers get to pay for this one also.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No, and you didn't pay for the last one either – the President picked up the tab with his own money.

    March 28, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Horace P. Manure

    The cranky old GOP will vote these guys senators out of office for meeting with the President.

    March 28, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Government - belt - tightening

    @Rudy NY

    Great point.

    March 28, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Concerned

    President Obama paid for the first dinner out of his pocket. I guess it will be the same for the second dinner.

    March 28, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. GG

    When is the President going to realize that compromise is a two way street. He can't get his way every time. He got his tax hike, time for some spending cuts Mr. President.

    March 28, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. Sheila

    President ought to take out a few civilian employees, and explain to us, why are WE going through all of this crap, while they play political games?

    March 28, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. David

    Why 12 GOP? Seems like a mockery of another famous supper...

    March 28, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. newengland2

    This sequestration cut seems more effeciency than any other cut plans in DC. Keeping doing

    March 28, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Loathstheright

    I would never dine with a republican....heck, I don't even want them in my yard....much less my house.

    March 28, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. w_roos

    Take 'em to a crappy movie, and give 'em all the buttery, salty popcorn and sugary drinks their cardiovascular systems can stand. Maybe also invite Mayor Bloomberg.

    March 28, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. davecu

    Charm 2.0 continues.

    Will these 2% have OUR well being in mind, probably not. The will discus what they have to do in order to get elected once again and how to divide up the pie that was once the US economy.

    They have little concern for my fixed income for 30K or what their decisions are doing to eat into my purchasing power.
    They've got theirs so why bother about us?

    March 28, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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