Lindsey Graham Talks About Dinner With President Obama, GOP Lead - WSPA.com

Lindsey Graham Talks About Dinner With President Obama, GOP Leaders

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Lindsey Graham and other GOP Senators had dinner with President Obama at a Washington, DC restaurant. Lindsey Graham and other GOP Senators had dinner with President Obama at a Washington, DC restaurant.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -

The White House says President Barack Obama picked up the dinner tab at a tony Washington restaurant where he had dinner with 12 Republican senators.

Obama is making rare overtures to rank-and-file Republicans in an apparent attempt to bypass GOP leaders. He hopes to jumpstart budget talks and rally support for his proposals on immigration and gun control. Campaign-style events failed to prevent $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that both sides said they wanted to avoid.

The dinner was held at a hotel restaurant not far from the White House. Joining Obama were Sens. Lindsey Graham, Tom Coburn, John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Pat Toomey, Bob Corker, Ron Johnson, Saxby Chambliss, John Hoeven, Dan Coats, Richard Burr and Mike Johanns.

The lawmakers joining the president for dinner may be less concerned with the political implications of sitting down with the Democratic president. Only Graham faces re-election next year.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham statement on dinner with President Obama

"Last night's dinner with President Obama and my Republican colleagues was productive and substantive.  I hope it will serve as the beginning of a new, long-overdue paradigm where people in elected office actually begin talking to each other about meaningful issues.  

"The discussions with the President about our long-term budget problems were candid and differences in philosophy were apparent.  However, also apparent was common ground on how to move forward. 

"One thing I am certain of -- the perpetual campaign will not solve the nation's problems.  

"Finally, I shared with my colleagues there is no dishonor in trying and failing to solve big problems.  The long-term budgetary problems we discussed last night have defied bipartisan solutions for far too long.  I'm ready to try to solve the serious, long-term budget problems our country faces and can accept failure as an outcome.  But I cannot accept not trying."

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