Graham: How Do You Say No to the President?
Sen. Lindsey Graham was pleased to be invited by Barack Obama to dinner on Wednesday night, saying:
The president called Sen. McCain and myself a couple of weeks ago. I'm assuming the president wants to talk seriously about the issues of the day. And if he just wants to have a dinner so we can get to know each other better that's fine with me. So how do you say no to the president, who would like to have dinner with some of your colleagues? You don't. And anybody who would do that in this business is in the wrong position. with a group of Republicans on Wednesday night.
Graham was invited with a number of GOP senators including Bob Corker (Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John McCain (Az.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and John Hoeven (N.D.). The invitation came to Graham and McCain a few weeks ago, near the time McCain said he was against filibustering the nomination of Chuck Hagel.
So when the president asked that I get together a group, I willingly did, and I was honored to try to do that. Where this goes I don't know. I do believe what the president has been doing lately, getting off the campaign trail, back in to the normal business of doing business up here, talking to each other — I can't think of any major accomplishment in America in the private or public sector where no one ever talked to each other. So I want to compliment the president for reaching out. I think he's doing the right thing. We need to stop the campaign — the election is over.
Graham asserted that the dinner would feature discussion of entitlement reform. He said, "If we don't fix entitlements, they're going to consume all the money we send to Washington in the future and Medicare and Social Security is going to collapse. And I think the president knows that also.”
Then, of course, he mentioned on taxes:
I have publicly said that I am willing to do more revenue if we can bend the entitlement curve, and I'm just speaking for myself. There are other senators that are going to be giving their views to the president tonight — they'll probably try and talk some sense into him and he'll try to talk sense into us. I am encouraged by the president's outreach. I hope it bears fruit. But I know this: if we never talk to each other I know exactly what's going to happen. This country's going to fail.
Note that Obama didn’t invite the Senators most likely to pose a threat in 2016: Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. How many senators now succumb to McCainitis, the disease whereby GOP senators cave on principle in order to look good with their lunch buddies in the government and the media?