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« McDonnell Seizes On Budget Shortfall | Blog Home Page | Obama Says He Hopes Reform Bill Is Bipartisan »

Gibbs Playing Good Cop? Says WH Wants Bipartisan Bill

Go ahead, just try to make sense of the conflicting messages coming out of the White House these days.

This morning, some targeted leaks, anonymous and on-the-record, in the New York Times saying that the Obama administration is ready to "go it alone" and pass a health care reform bill with 50+1 votes if that's what it takes. Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said that "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."

Contrast that with press secretary Robert Gibbs' message at today's press briefing. "The president believes strongly in working with Republicans and Democrats, independents, any that seek to reform health care," he said before the television cameras. "The president strongly believes that we're making progress, [and] has had conversations with members of the Finance Committee. ... Our preference is to work through -- work through this process and hopefully come out with a bill that has agreement among both parties on that committee."

He also downplayed the likelihood of ultimately using reconciliation to pass reform, saying again that they have not yet abandoned working with Republicans.

After the press widely reported this weekend that the White House seemed ready to abandon the public option, Gibbs has argued the contrary -- that they've had a "boring consistency" to their health care message. But today it seems like there's a bit of good cop, bad cop going on.