Republicans are sending a message to President Obama in the final hours before he’s expected to lay out an ambitious policy plan in his State of the Union address: Schmooze more, and White House policies might pass congressional muster more easily.
“I think it would make a difference from this standpoint: It is easier to understand where someone is coming from when you have a relationship with him,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, in a CNN report. “It’s harder to demagogue people” if you have a personal relationship.
Two other House Republicans agree: Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Kristi L. Noem of South Dakota, according to CNN. All three said they would like to find an issue of common ground with Mr. Obama. But the holdup has been Mr. Obama, they reportedly said.
“We have a representative from the White House that is supposed to come meet with my office a lot, a staff member,” Mr. Kinzinger said. “Haven’t heard from him in probably — actually, since the day I got sworn in, two years ago.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Gowdy and Ms. Noem, who came into office with Mr. Kinzinger in 2011, said they didn’t even know of the existence of a White House representative, CNN reported.