White House distances self from Senator Durbin’s slur

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion Senator Dick Durbin (D-Il.)

Pro-abortion Senator Dick Durbin (D-Il.)

Earlier today we posted a story, based on a poll taken by Fox News, that found that by a 2-1 margin, American believe that President Obama is doing more to push the parties apart (60%) than end the partisan divide (31%).

But he has plenty of company from within his party, as the controversy over an imaginary conversation picked up steam.

Very briefly, posting on Facebook, one of the Senate’s ranking demagogues—Democratic Dick Durbin of Illinois—insisted that an unnamed House GOP leader told Obama in a meeting during the recent government shutdown that “I cannot even stand to look at you.”

When that was universally denied, to no one’s surprise, Max Gleischman, a spokesman for Durbin, said, “Durbin stands by his comments,” even as the White House is attributing the inflammatory charge to a “misunderstanding.”

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, told POLITICO that “Senator Durbin’s accusation is a serious one, and it 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.” As of this afternoon, no names had been produced.

According to POLITICO a “White House official” sent out an email statement Thursday saying “we regret the misunderstanding” about Durbin’s account of a meeting between House Republicans and President Obama.

“While the quote attributed to a Republican lawmaker in the House GOP meeting with the President is not accurate, there was a miscommunication when the White House read out that meeting to Senate Democrats, and we regret the misunderstanding.”

The story, by Carrie Budoff Brown and Burgess Everett, included a name of a high-ranking staffer “who relayed the bungled story to Durbin and other Senate Democratic leaders, according to a Capitol Hill source familiar with the situation.”

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