"Look, once a decision was made by the Republican leadership to have a party-line vote -- a decision that I think occurred before I met with them -- then I'm not sure that there was a whole host of things that we were going to do that was going to make a difference" - president Obama.

The kicker:

Asked whether his experience had changed his expectations of winnable Republican support or how he might win it, he responded sagely. "You know, I am an eternal optimist," he said. "That doesn't mean I'm a sap."

My column on the Republican decision to wage war on this president can be read here. Yglesias has some tart things to say about Eric Cantor's "Gingrich strategy" here.

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