The budget cuts were all but certain to come up when Obama dined with the governors last night at the White House. But time is running out and hope is waning.
Suggestions intended to instill a spirit of compromise included bringing all sides to the bargaining table, where they could act like “adults,” a presidential summit at Camp David and even a field trip to watch “Lincoln.” Yet none of those options was on the books.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said it is past time for both sides to sit down to help dodge cuts that will hurt all states’ budgets.
“Come to the table, everyone. Everybody. Let’s work this thing out. Let’s be adults,” said Malloy, a Democrat.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called those defense cuts “unconscionable” and urged Obama to call lawmakers to the White House or the presidential retreat of Camp David for a last-minute budget summit.
“I won’t put all the blame all on the president of the United States. But the president leads. The president should be calling us over somewhere — Camp David, the White House, somewhere — and us sitting down and trying to avert these cuts,” McCain said.
LaHood, who served as a Republican representing Illinois in the U.S. House, urged his colleagues to watch Steven Spielberg’s film about President Abraham Lincoln’s political skills.
“Everybody around here ought to go take a look at the ‘Lincoln’ movie, where they did very hard things by working together, talking together and compromising,” said LaHood. “That’s what’s needed here.”
LaHood and Duncan were the only representatives from the administration to appear on Sunday shows. The White House did not book any of its senior aides.
Barbour, Malloy and McCain appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union.” McCaskill was interviewed on “Fox News Sunday.” Ayotte, Duncan and Kaine spoke with CBS’ “Face the Nation.” LaHood appeared on both CNN and NBC.