There was a get together at the White House finally between the President and his loyal opposition, the incoming Republicans….
Below is some of stories coming out of the meeting which lasted an hour and 50 minutes or so…..
President Barack Obama told GOP leaders behind closed doors Tuesday that he had failed to reach across party lines enough during his first two years in office, a senior administration official told CNN.
He promised to do a better job of bipartisan outreach in the days ahead, the official added.
“The president said he had to do better, and the president is ready to do his part,” the official said.
The list of attendees at Obama’s long-awaited post-election meeting with the newly empowered congressional Republicans included Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Boehner, the top Republican in the House, is set to become speaker in January.
Boehner also said Obama told him that he “didn’t spend enough time” working with the Republicans since taking office….
Obama and his Republican adversaries both described the long-anticipated meeting as cordial and the beginning of a new dialogue between the two parties.
In comments after the meeting, Obama lamented the “political incentive” of balking at compromise in the “current, hyper-partisan climate.”“I was pleased to see several of my friends in the room say, ‘Let’s try not to duplicate that,’” Obama said following a longer-than-expected two-hour meeting.
Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) described the meeting with Obama as “frank.”
To move the tax debate forward, Obama agreed to assign Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew to meet with four representatives of the Congress to find a way to extend tax cuts for the wealthy. The four lawmakers will include a House Republican and Democrat and Senate Republican and Democrat.
The White House wants to extend tax cuts for individuals with income less than $200,000 and families with income under $250,000, but would end Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier people. The GOP wants to extend all of the tax cuts permanently….
GIBBS BRIEFS — WATCH LIVE: Asked about President Obama’s promise to get some answers in days on tax cuts, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs clarifies, “We want to to continue to see forward progress on this.”
Detailing the meeting, Gibbs says the discussion on tax cuts “took up, by far, the majority of time.” (2:12 p.m.)
What else happened in the private 35 minutes without staffers? “I don’t know that the president would give that to me to read out,” Gibbs says.
Asked if there was talk of campaign rhetoric, Gibbs says that everyone recognized “an election had come and gone.” He adds, “After elections, there is a time in which both parties are responsible for governing the country.”
“There will be plenty of time for a political campaign in 2012,” he says. (2:14 p.m.)
Gibbs declines to answer logistical questions on the schedule of Obama’s deficit commission.
Asked if Obama will be keeping close tabs on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s negotiations with Republicans on tax cuts, Gibbs says, “Yes, I anticipate that the president will, on occasion, ask his Treasury secretary, what are the byproducts of said negotiations?” (2:17 p.m.)
More on the GOP at the White House, after the jump …