(WASHINGTON) — About those dinner plans…
Senator Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he’s “encouraged” by President Obama’s recent “outreach” toward Republicans in Congress but says it’s “sad” that the dinner like the one planned between Obama and a small group of Republicans for Wednesday night, makes news.
“If Ronald Reagan had dinner with the Senate or Bill Clinton I don’t think anybody would have written it,” Graham said. “The fact that there is a lot of interest in a dinner with the president and handful of Republican senators is a pretty good statement about where we’re at as a nation.”
“When the president asked that I get together a group, I willingly, and I was honored to try to do that,” Graham said. “How do you say ‘no’ to the president of the United States who would like to have dinner with some of your colleagues? You don’t.”
“I am encouraged by the president’s outreach, I hope it bears fruit,” Graham said. “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.”
The senator said he will discuss with the president that entitlements have to be fixed to help save the nation from crippling debt.
“I have publicly said I am willing to do more revenue if we can really bend the entitlement curve,” Graham said. “But I know this — if we never talk to each other I know this, I know exactly what’s going to happen — this country is going to fail.”
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Dylan Byers, CNN
Eugene Scott, CNN
Dylan Byers Sara Murray and Kevin Liptak, CNN