President Barack Obama's relationship with Harry Reid is just fine, and "if" they need to work to repair anything, they'll do it out of the public eye, Obama's spokesman said Thursday.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest dismissed acid criticism of the White House from Reid's hard-charging chief of staff, David Krone, about the administration's handling of a number of issues, including fundraising, in The Washington Post .
"I don't think they actually reflect the true nature of the relationship that exists between President Obama and Senator Reid, that Senator Obama when he served in the United States Senate, and Senator Reid struck up a genuine friendship when the two men served together in the United States Senate," Earnest said. Earnest noted the two worked together to pass the president's agenda early on in his administration.
"That very constructive, productive relationship, you know, even continued into the first couple of years of the president's second term as the Senate made progress in confirming judicial nominees that were offered up by the president; that we've seen 280 federal judges have been confirmed over the last five-and-a-half years or so, including a couple of Supreme Court justices; and that will be part of Senator Reid's legacy and continues to be an indication of the kind of important partnership that exists between President Obama and Senator Reid," he said. "I'm confident that's going to continue."
Pressed whether Obama needed to do something to repair the relationship, Earnest said: "If there is, I'm confident that that's something that the president and Senator Reid, given their strong track record, will be able to take care of. If they do that, I doubt it'll be published in the Washington Post, frankly."
Earnest did say the president is willing to listen to ideas from Democrats on how he can do better, not just the newly in charge Republicans.
"He's not going to make those changes just for the sake of changing things up for his last two years in office. He's willing to make changes if it will lead to more progress for the American people. If it will allow us to have greater success in passing common sense pieces of legislation that would benefit middle class families, then yeah, the president is willing to do some things differently.
And you know, those may be the kinds of things that aren't readily available to the public, that they aren't easily identifiable, but if they are the kinds of changes that will actually result in progress, the president is more than open to making them."
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