Democratic member of Congress told The Huffington Post that the White House did not present a clear case to party members while urging them to vote against the House bill tightening controls on Syrian refugees, with one lawmaker adding that the Obama administration "royally f***ed this up."
The remarks were published in a Friday story hours after press secretary Josh Earnest rebuffed suggestions that the White House's presentation to House Democrats actually hurt its case.
[sharequote align="right"]"If the White House hadn't royally f***ed this up they'd have lost maybe 20 Democrats."[/sharequote]
"I’m not sure that the analysis holds that the efforts by the White House were counterproductive. They just weren’t as productive as we would have liked," Earnest told reporters while aboard Air Force One.
But, reporting by The Huffington Post seemed to prove otherwise.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said he had "seen better presentations in my time" and contended that the White House "may have strong arguments on their side, but they're not expressing those strong arguments sufficiently."
Another lawmaker, who requested anonymity, was much more blunt while speaking to The Huffington Post.
"If the White House hadn't royally f***ed this up they'd have lost maybe 20 Democrats," he said, though he later voted against the House bill.
A total of 47 Democrats ultimately joined Republicans to push the legislation out of the lower chamber 289-137.
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