Obama Interested In Televised Question Time Rematch With GOP


President Obama wants a rematch.

After a rousing question-and-answer session between the president and Republican lawmakers last week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is signaling this week that the president is open to Round Two -- and maybe more.

"I believe we have been invited to speak to the Senate Republicans, and we will do so," Gibbs told reporters on Monday.

"I think the President enjoyed the give and take on these issues of importance. You guys seemed to think it was a worthwhile endeavor," Gibbs said. "And I think opportunities like this for both sides are important to talk through our ideas."

Obama won praise for his exchange with GOP lawmakers at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore last week, and White House senior adviser David Axelrod suggested to Politico's Mike Allen on Tuesday that the president would be open to similar appearances in the future.

"One of the things we ran on, and one of the things that we've been reminded of lately, is the degree to which people want to see their business done in an open and transparent way," Axelrod said. "We're going to look for every opportunity we can to have constructive dialogue."

But Axelrod did not appear ready to commit to regular question time.

"The thing that made Friday interesting," he said, "was the spontaneity. If you slip into a kind of convention, then conventionality will overtake the freshness of that."

GOP leaders were surprised last Thursday when they got a call from the White House asking if the exchange between President Obama and GOP lawmakers could be televised, according to Politico. They realized they would be taking a risk in allowing Obama to take control of the room, but also saw an opportunity to grill the President. The risk was worth the reward, GOP leadership decided -- the cameras would roll.

Nick Wing contributed reporting.

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