Compromise efforts won’t be new

COMPROMISE EFFORTS WON’T BE NEW…. NBC’s First Read, noting President Obama’s interview on “60 Minutes,” said “the most striking” part of the interview was the president’s “admission that that he and his administration didn’t compromise and work with the Republicans.”

Now, I watched the entire 70-minute, unedited interview from start to finish, and at no point did Obama say anything like this. In fact, the observation is backwards — the president said the opposite, and at one point, Steve Kroft did, too.

OBAMA: What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna reach out to Republicans and I’m gonna say, “What can we work on together?” There are gonna be some things that we can’t agree on. You know? Philosophically. And so, we will have those battles. And we’ll save those decisions till after the next election. But in the meantime, there must be some things we can agree on.

KROFT: Haven’t you tried that?

OBAMA: Well I have, but I’m gonna keep on trying…. And what I’m gonna constantly be looking for are areas that draw from the Democratic ideas, Republican ideas to find that commonsense center, where we can move the country forward. Even though we’ll still have some, you know, big disagreements and big debates on other issues.

At a separate point in the interview, the president lamented the fact that he and his team, particularly on health care, “couldn’t get the kind of cooperation from Republicans that I had hoped for. We thought that if we shaped a bill that wasn’t that different from bills that had previously been introduced by Republicans — including a Republican governor in Massachusetts who’s now running for President — that, you know, we would be able to find some common ground there. And we just couldn’t.”

That’s not an “admission” that the White House “didn’t compromise and work with the Republicans”; it’s a reflection on the opposite point.

The president, by all appearances, intends to keep trying to reach out to Republicans, even though they apparently prioritize destroying his presidency, and even though previous efforts at outreach haven’t been well received. Last night’s interview wasn’t ambiguous on this point.