WH: Durbin story ‘did not happen’
By Justin Sink - 10/23/13 02:27 PM ET
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday flatly denied that a House Republican told President Obama “I cannot even stand to look at you” during negotiations over the government shutdown.
"It did not happen," Carney said, saying he discussed the incident with a "participant in the meeting."
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a Facebook post that the alleged confrontation happened during a meeting between Republicans and the president.
"Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans," Durbin said. "But in a 'negotiation' meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: 'I cannot even stand to look at you.'"
"What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?" the Illinois Democrat added.
Republicans have denied that a GOP lawmaker made such a remark.
A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Durbin’s accusation “appears to have been invented out of thin air.”
“The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize,” Brendan Buck said.
Rory Cooper, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also denied the incident to the National Review.
Doug Heye, the deputy chief of staff to Cantor, tweeted that Durbin hould apologize for the allegation. Cooper echoed the request on the social media site.
"Will Durbin apologize for reckless charge?" Cooper said.http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,117419.0.html