Updated 4:51 p.m. Eastern Time
Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas suggested at a news conference Thursday afternoon that President Obama should "take a Valium and calm down."
At the news conference, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah complained that Mr. Obama has been unwilling to have a conversation with Republicans about his "plea to raise hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on job creators." Mr. Obamathat Republican opposition to tax increases on "corporate jet owners" and other wealthy individuals as part of a deal to raise taxes is not sustainable.
Roberts' suggestion that Mr. Obama take Valium, a drug often proscribed to relieve anxiety, then followed.
"Maybe if he would just take a Valium and calm down and come on down and talk to us it might be helpful," said Roberts, who added that Mr. Obama's last meeting with Republicans was simply a "lecture."
Asked about the comment, Roberts' press secretary, Andrea Candrian, said the senator was just making a joke, as is his nature.
"That's the kind of guy he is," she said. "I think he was just trying to say 'let's just all take a breather and work this thing out.'"