‘Spirited’ Meeting Between Obama, GOP Yields Little

Posted May 25, 2010 at 2:29pm

President Barack Obama met privately Tuesday with Senate Republicans in an exchange described as respectful but cool, with no consensus reached on the issues discussed.

The meeting, which lasted for about one hour and 20 minutes, concluded with two rounds of short applause. Obama focused his remarks on immigration, climate change, foreign policy, helping small businesses and the Gulf oil spill, then took questions, according to GOP Senators in attendance. Republicans complimented the president for requesting the meeting and showing up but signaled that the cold relationship between his administration and their caucus would likely continue.

“We had a spirited discussion on a variety of different issues,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters following the gathering.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also appeared to acknowledge that Obama and Senate Republicans remain at odds.

“Obviously, there were continued differences on some of these issues. But, the President believes that direct dialogue is better than posturing, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to share views with the conference,” Gibbs said in a prepared statement.