Frustrated Obama on GOP: "There's nothing that I can do"

The president reportedly tells Democratic governors there's no way to reason with the GOP and get them to the table

By David Daley

Published February 23, 2013 3:23PM (EST)

                    (White House)
(White House)

Behind the scenes, President Obama has grown increasingly pessimistic about a deal with Republicans to head off the looming sequester cuts, according to Democratic governors who had a private briefing with the president and the vice president on Friday.

According to the New York Times, Democratic governors who spoke with reporters after that session said that the president admitted his public campaign to force the GOP to the table was not working, and that no deal is in sight.

"What he was saying is, 'There's nothing that I can do to get these folks to come to the table with a balanced approach,'" said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Added Martin O'Malley, the governor of Maryland: "I think he's long-term optimistic. Short-term, he believes Republicans seem hell-bent on slowing job recovery through sequestration, which in some perverse way they see as a win."

Barring a deal, the automatic across-the-board cuts in spending will begin on March 1.


David Daley

David Daley, former editor-in-chief of Salon, is the author of the national bestseller “Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count” and “Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy.”

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Barack Obama Martin O'malley Republicans Sequester