May 21st, 2010
07:43 PM ET
12 years ago

Pres. Obama to lunch with senate Republicans


Washington (CNN) - President Obama is breaking bread with senators next week, but in a surprise he will do it with Republicans - not his friends on the Democratic side of the aisle.

In what may be a rare moment of bipartisanship in this midterm election year, the president will go behind closed doors with senate Republicans on Tuesday at their weekly policy luncheon in the Capitol, according to a senior administration official and a top Republican aide.

Fresh off major victories on health care reform and the financial reform legislation, Obama requested the meeting with Republicans to try and jump-start his efforts to also revamp the immigration system and break the deadlock on climate change legislation.

It will be extremely difficult to find consensus on those issues but both sides are saying the right things in the days leading up to the lunch in order to at least give the air of bipartisanship.

"Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Policy Chairman John Thune agreed to host the President, and the Republican Conference welcomes his visit where they will have a wide-ranging discussion on the year ahead," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell.

Filed under: President Obama • Senate Republicans
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. btannerski

    I find it so fascinating that many people ignore the facts and accuse President Obama of not soliciting the input of Republicans.

    As is typically, such people are either ignorant or intentionally ignoring the facts – perhaps likely both.

    Here's yet another example of Obama's courageous leadership....and a clear example of how he is a far superior leader and statesman than his predecessor, or any current Republican of any significant stature.

    May 21, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. bess

    the "Lecturer-in-Chief" will likely give those dang Repub's an earful.

    May 21, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    hope he has a food taster before he eats..I wouldn't trust them the way they've treated him so far since he's been in office.

    May 21, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. J.T.

    Watch your back Mr. President. This can be a case of Ceasar and Brutus.

    May 21, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. J.T.

    Also, make sure you bring a food taster before you eat anything.

    May 21, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  6. Bill1234

    Prresident Obama please do not waist your time with the GOP they are not going to help put this country back on tract.

    May 21, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. Whatever

    I hate to tell you Mr President, but you will get no help from the republicans.

    I applaud your continued efforts, but I think that it's a waste of time. The republicans don't believe in climate change and don't care about fixing the immigration problem.

    May 21, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    He's no dummy. It's not a bad time to get to know the future congressional leadership. They will have plenty of work to do in the next couple of years.

    May 21, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. phoenix86

    The Republicans should skip the lunch. Obama is poison.

    May 21, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. CaliforniaBC

    Let's all make a note about who is making the effort on bipartisanship here and previously.....OBAMA. When did the republicans make any attempt? Obama has met both with the House republicans and now the Senate republicans on their own turf, at their policy meetings. He has also reached consistently on the other big pieces of legislation, incorporating their ideas yet they still back off of anything bipartisan.

    Is it becoming anymore clear to the independents and the right that Obama is the one offering the hand of compromise and NOT the republicans who are continuing their strategy of saying, "No."?

    May 21, 2010 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  11. byron

    the republicans have a weekly policy luncheon? what policy has come out of what seems to be a waste of time and food?

    May 21, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |

    Behind closed doors? Wow, Something might get done besides more grandstanding and posturing.

    May 21, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    I'll give President Obama credit for one of two things. Either he is not a quitter or he is a glutton for punishment from Republicans. He has ask for bipartinsanship, gone to them and extended an open hand and even given concessions for which he has gotten nothing in return and still Republicans treat him like he is poison.

    I hope the people of this nation realize that while he is making an effort, Republicans are turning their backs while knowing our nation needs all of them, Republicans and Democrats,on board if we are going to survive this crap we are in.

    May 21, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  14. claudia

    We are giving our thumbs up for our president he is a humble man and knows he has to do the right thing for the nation as a whole he will do what is best let's hope repubs stop thinking about ther political careers and also do what its best for usa immigration reformed is needed

    May 21, 2010 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. Richard Komi

    I am one that believes that Obama's policies are for the good of the country. That is why if he has to lunch with Republicans to talk about the task of nation building he is more than willing to do so. The problem Obama has is that being a black man some people feel he has upset the natural order of things to win the presidency therefore whatever good policy he brings forward Republicans criticise and demonise it to score political gains. It is time we all think and act like Obama for the good of our country.

    May 22, 2010 12:37 am at 12:37 am |