Obama to continue so-called "charm offensive"
(CBS News) President Obama is set to meet with Senate and House Republicans on Capitol Hill is week. The president will spend several days with members of the GOP, after dining with a small group of Republican Senators and Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget committee last week. White House officials maintain the outreach has nothing to do with the president's slumping numbers, according to CBS News White House Correspondent Bill Plante.
On Sunday, Ryan told "Fox News Sunday," "It's the first time I've ever had a conversation with the president last more than say, two minutes or televised exchanges." Ryan called the conversation "frank" and added that next steps are unclear.
"Will he resume the campaign mode? Will he resume attacking Republicans and impugning our motives? Will he resume what is long believed to be a plan to win the 2014 elections?"
The strategy is a shift for the Obama White House, which is now focused on mostly bypassing Republican leadership and going directly to rank-and-file members in what many are calling a "charm offensive."
In his weekly address, President Obama took a softer tone with Republican in Congress, setting the stage for cooperation. "There will be more contentious debate and honest disagreement between principled people who want what's best for this country. But I still believe that compromise is possible," Mr. Obama said.
The president would like to reach a grand bargain to reduce the deficit by summer. Any kind of deal would have to include a mix of changes which are unfavorable to both parties - tax increases and entitlement cuts.
For more from CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante, watch the video above.
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