By Ben Geman - 03/10/13 11:40 AM EDT
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said President Obama’s recent efforts to woo GOP lawmakers are a sincere attempt to work across the aisle.
“All of us come here to get a job done for the American people and certainly that is the case with the president of the United States,” Pelosi said in an interview for CNN’s “State of the Union” airing Sunday.
Obama has angered Republicans with efforts to build public pressure on the GOP through outside-the-Beltway rallies and events on topics including gun control and immigration.
But Obama, locked in a stand-off with Republicans on fiscal policy, had dinner with a dozen GOP senators Wednesday and lunch with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday.
And later this week Obama will travel to Capitol Hill for separate meetings with House Republicans on Wednesday and Senate Republicans on Thursday.
“I think it is, ‘let’s get some things done together to make elections less important,’” Pelosi said of Obama’s outreach. “Let’s come together for the benefit of the American people, first and foremost,” Pelosi said.
“So if he can defuse some of their opposition to some of these issues, bravo, again for the American people that we can get a job done for them,” she said.
But Pelosi rejected the idea that Obama's lack of schmoozing with Republicans in the past has contributed to gridlock.
That's "not reality," she said, blaming the GOP for blocking progress.
"Not having these meetings is not why we have not had progress before," Pelosi said.
This story was updated at 9:08 a.m.