Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said the heated opposition was evidence that Republicans had made a political calculation to draw a line against any health care changes, the latest in a string of major administration proposals that Republicans have opposed.
“The Republican leadership,” Mr. Emanuel said, “has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama’s health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day.”
The White House on Wednesday pushed back against reports suggesting that President Barack Obama is ready to concede that he can’t get Republican votes for health care overhaul legislation, asserting that the administration still believes a bipartisan bill is possible.
“We continue to be hopeful that we’ll get bipartisan support, and we’ll continue to work with those that are interested in doing that,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. “The president has said countless times he will work with anybody in any party who wants to work constructively on health care reform.”
Gibbs directly rejected the contention in an article in Wednesday’s New York Times that said administration officials are “increasingly convinced” they will have to focus their effort solely on uniting fractious Democrats.
A contention based on...White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's on-the-record quote.
One could parse, and say Rahm's quote could still include the possibility of bipartisanship, but still: there's something called message discipline. The last four days have seen: statement, backtrack, statement, backtrack.