WATCH: Photo-Ops With GOP Lawmakers Haven't Stopped Them From Calling Me a 'Big-Spending Socialist' on the House Floor
On Monday, President Barack Obama responded to a reporter asking for his reaction to criticism that he's too 'insular' with his cabinet. The president called out conservative media, saying that their 'demonization' of him likely prevents GOP lawmakers from wanting to be seen as being "too chummy" with the commander in chief.
"If you think about, say myself and Speaker Boehner - I like Speaker Boehner personally, and when we went out and played golf, we had a great time, but that didn't get a deal done in 2011," he said. "When I'm over here at the Congressional picnic and folks are coming up and taking pictures with their family, I promise you, Michelle and I are very nice [...] but it doesn't prevent them from going onto the floor of the House and blasting me for being a 'big-spending Socialist.'"
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"I think there are a lot of Republicans at this point that feel that given how much energy has been devoted in some of the media that's preferred by Republican
constituencies to demonize me, that it doesn't look real good socializing with me. I think a lot of folks say, 'Well, if we look like we're being too chummy with the president, that might cause us problems,'" he said.
Obama added that while he and the first lady often invite Congressional representatives over to the White House, they don't always show up. "Sometimes they don't choose to come, and I think it's because they don't find the optics useful for them," he said.
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He wrapped up his remarks by saying that if voters start electing representatives who value common ground over party politics, we'll see the behavior in Congress "start to change."