At yesterday's press briefing, Gibbs challenged the GOP to explain why they are opposing a summit they called for.

Republicans have not yet accepted the invitation and have said that the White House should start from scratch with a clean sheet of paper. Gibbs mocked the party for not immediately accepting a meeting they called for.

"Right before the president issued the invitation, the -- the thing that each of these individuals was hoping for most was an opportunity to sit down on television and discuss and engage on these issues. Now, not accepting an invitation to do what they'd asked the president to do, if they decide not to, I'll let them leap the -- leap the chasm there and try to explain why they're now opposed to what they said they wanted most to do," he said.

To which Boehner, or anyway his spokesman, responded

Republicans have been listening to the American people, who want health care reforms that lower costs, not Washington Democrats' job-killing government takeover. ... Mr. Gibbs is dueling with a straw man that his own boss, the President of the United States, demolished quite thoroughly when he visited the House GOP Retreat in Baltimore and acknowledged he has read what we think are our better ideas for reforming health care.

Ok, we're back to the Republican "plan" and not a blank sheet of paper, maybe? Boehner also gave no direct answer, when asked by TPMDC, as to whether the GOP would actually show up. If Kid Bond has anything to say about it, they won't. Which would give Obama and the Dems all the political room they needed to ram reform through as much as they can through reconciliation.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 11:40 AM PST.

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