GIBBS QUESTIONS GOP SERIOUSNESS ON REFORM…. This morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the administration would still love to see bipartisan support for health care reform. That wasn’t exactly surprising; it’s what Gibbs has to say.

But White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told the NYT yesterday, “The Republican leadership has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama’s health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day.” Gibbs was asked this afternoon about the quote.

Specifically, Fox News’ White House correspondent asked whether the president agrees with Emanuel. “Let’s just say I haven’t seen anything that would persuade me otherwise,” Gibbs replied.

Brian Beutler explained, “The implication — that President Obama believes the Republican party isn’t serious about bipartisan health care reform — is significant for obvious reasons. When Congress returns to session at the end of August recess, four of five House and Senate committees will have passed party line health care bills. One — the Senate Finance Committee — will still be mired in rocky bipartisan health care negotiations over legislation that, according to Republican party leaders, won’t win over many Republicans at all…. Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus better prepare to change course or pull off some kind of miracle or else be rolled.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.