Lawmakers: Obama wooing might break budget logjam

By Philip Elliott

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, March 10 2013 10:02 p.m. MDT

"I don't know what he's doing, but I would encourage him to do more of it," said Republican former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a brother and son to U.S. presidents who visited five Sunday shows to keep buzz building toward a potential presidential candidacy in 2016. "People are more willing to do so if they believe that their partner is sincere in their efforts. And the only way you can do that is to engage them on a personal level."

Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, the number-three GOP lawmaker in the House, said Obama's visit might be plain politics and tried to tamp down expectations.

"He has problems on both sides of the aisle. He hasn't brought many people to the White House; he doesn't know that many people in the House; he knows more people in the Senate because he served there for a couple of years," McCarthy said. "He is coming to the House Republican Conference, which I think is positive. He has only done that once before. But he should come and listen, communicate and try to find where we can find common ground."

Even members of the president's own party said the outreach was needed.

"I think frustration by the American people — and frustration by members of Congress as well — have stemmed from the fact that a lot of these debates have taken place on TV or on the House floor but have not had very meaningful discussion," said first-term Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

Coburn, Gardner, Kaine and Gabbard appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press." Ryan spoke to "Fox News Sunday." Johnson was interviewed on ABC's "This Week." Bush appeared on CNN's "State of the Union," ''This Week," ''Meet the Press," CBS' "Face the Nation" and "Fox News Sunday." McCarthy appeared on "State of the Union."

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