In a sign that President Obama’s insistence that he still wants a robust package of cuts is more than just stagecraft, Obama Sunday met secretly at the White House with House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said other conversations have been occurring at a high level all weekend, including talks involving the president.
Carney declined to comment on the meeting and dismissed suggestions that it should have been announced.
“There are too many conversations and meetings taking place for us to catologue every single one,” Carney said.
It’s true that real negotiations need to be conducted quietly. But keeping secret a meeting between the two most powerful people in Washington – the president and the Speaker of the House, is not necessary, especially when news of the sessions will emerge anyway.
In all my time covering Washington, I’ve never heard of a secret meeting between the president and the Speaker. The openness White House has now held three of them, with more perhaps coming.
BTW, the last two were solely with Boehner. It’s clear that the House GOP caucus has insisted that Cantor come along to babysit the Speaker in case he starts to get weepy and raises taxes.
Carney today also gave a pretty explicit endorsement to the Raise the Debt Ceiling and Get Out of Town Plan by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“At the very least, some variation of that needs to be in place so that the United States does not default on its obligations,” Carney said.