Boehner ‘optimistic’ about new Obama outreach to GOP

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday he is “optimistic” about President Obama’s new outreach to rank-and-file Republicans, but he warned it will not make the GOP bend on taxes.

“I think it’s a sign, a hopeful sign, and I’m hopeful that something will come out of it,” Boehner said at his weekly Capitol news conference. “But, if the president continues to insist on tax hikes, I don’t think we’re going to get very far. If the president doesn’t believe that we have a spending problem, I don’t know if we’re going to get very far. But I’m optimistic.”

A day after taking a group of Republican senators out to a swanky dinner, Obama is having lunch on Thursday with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the House GOP budget chief and the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee.

Next week, the president will visit the Capitol to meet with both the Democratic and Republican caucuses in the House and Senate, which he has not done in at least three years.

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