White House: Obama ready to mend fences with Reid

White House: Obama ready to mend fences with Reid
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President Obama is open to mending fences with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBiden fails to break GOP 'fever' Nevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms MORE (D-Nev.), the White House said Tuesday.

Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone, unloaded on President Obama and the White House press office in comments published Tuesday, blaming them for Democrats' blow out loss in the midterms.


Asked if anything needed to be done to repair the relationship with Reid, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that if there was, it was “something that the president and Sen. Reid, given their strong track record, will be able to take care of.”

“If they do that, I doubt it’ll be published in The Washington Post, frankly,” Earnest added.

The Post story featuring Krone’s comments appeared just minutes after Republicans seized control of the Senate.

“The president’s approval rating is barely 40 percent,” Krone said. “What else more is there to say?”

Krone also accused the White House of only providing “lip service” to working together on election strategy, and said administrative missteps — like the botched rollout of ObamaCare — had served as an anchor around Democratic candidates. He also said the White House was too protective of its donors.

“We were never going to get on the same page,” Krone said. “We were beating our heads against the wall.”

Reid’s press secretary than repeatedly re-tweeted tweets about the story, underscoring perceptions that the criticism was authorized by Reid himself.

But Earnest on Thursday that Krone's comments did not “actually reflect the true nature of the relationship that exists between President Obama and Sen. Reid.”

And of signals that Reid himself had endorsed the criticism, Earnest said to “go ask the — you know, some staffers in Sen. Reid’s office about their opinion.”

“Sen. Obama, when he served in the United States Senate, and Sen. Reid struck up a genuine friendship when the two men served together in the United States Senate, and that relationship has only been strengthened during the president’s time in the White House,” Earnest said.

He added that he was “confident” they would continue their “important partnership.”

At the same time, Earnest said the president was dedicated to improving his working relationship with members of Congress. In a press conference on Wednesday, Obama joked that if sharing a bourbon with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who will become majority leader — or playing a round of golf with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would help things, he'd be willing.

“It does apply to Democrats too, that if the president, you know, based on the conversations that he has with members of Congress in both parties who will be at the meeting tomorrow, finds that there are some things that he can change to make that relationship with Congress more productive, the president won’t hesitate to make those changes,” Earnest said.

Earnest also said the changes might be “the kinds of things that aren’t readily available to the public, that they aren’t easily identifiable.”

“But if they are the kinds of changes that will actually result in progress, the president is more than open to making them,” Earnest said.