From the president’s press statement after meeting with congressional leaders (via email):

Now, none of this is going to be easy. We have two parties for a reason. There are real philosophical differences -– deeply held principles to which each party holds. And although the atmosphere in today’s meeting was extremely civil, there’s no doubt that those differences are going to remain no matter how many meetings we have. And the truth is there’s always going to be a political incentive against working together, particularly in the current hyperpartisan climate. There are always those who argue that the best strategy is simply to try to defeat your opposition instead of working with them.

And, frankly, even the notion of bipartisanship itself has gotten caught up in this mentality. A lot of times coming out of these meetings, both sides claim they want to work together, but try to paint the opponent as unyielding and unwilling to cooperate. Both sides come to the table; they read their talking points; then they head out to the microphones -– trying to win the news cycle instead of solving problems, and it becomes just another move in an old Washington game.

But I think there was recognition today that that’s a game that we can’t afford. Not in these times. And in a private meeting that I had without staff — without betraying any confidences — I was pleased to see several of my friends in the room say, let’s try not to duplicate that. Let’s not try to work the Washington spin cycle to suggest that somehow the other side is not being cooperative. I think that there was a sincere effort on the part of everybody involved to actually commit to work together to try to deal with these problems.

And they understand that these aren’t times for us to be playing games.

Here’s the thing. They are not sincere; they don’t want to work together; they don’t even know what language you are speaking when you say there are times you ought not be playing games. They want to destroy you.

This needs to be the last time the president pretends that he has any friends across the aisle.

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