Did Pete Sessions Insult the President to His Face?

There’s a little Washington kerfuffle going on right now over whether Dallas’ Pete Sessions, in a meeting of congressional Republicans with the president in October, said to him, “I can’t even stand to look at you.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it happened, and it was Sessions who said it. A Sessions spokeswoman denies it.

If it happened, it is reminiscent of the famous infamous incident in 1962 when Ted Dealey, the publisher of the Dallas Morning News, at a meeting of newspaper industry leaders at the White House, told John F. Kennedy to his face to “get off Carolyn’s tricycle” and lead the country. That incivility in the White House made headlines around the country, and would be brought up again and again after the assassination as proof of the dangerous currents alive in Dallas that became encapsulated in the tag “City of Hate.”

UPDATE: The White House is saying it didn’t happen, but Senator Dick Durbin, who made the original claim, is sticking with it.


  • Pegaso

    Ted Cruz and Pete Sessions are in such denial that people want the ACA (or they wouldn’t have re-elected Obama in 2012) that they just fall over themselves trying to out-disrespect the president. Grow a pair and move on, losers.

  • Jack Jett

    I think the White House is confirming that it did happen. And that Obama responded with a polite…I understand we have a difference of opinion on various issues.

    I understand that Texas Republican’s love this stuff and I am sure Pete will make a bundle off it. Yet it really makes the State look bad no matter how deep you hatred for Obama is. I could be wrong on this.

  • Greg Brown

    From dressing down unpaid park rangers to insulting the President face-to-face, Texas Congressmen are at the forefront of rude and insulting behavior. Everything is bigger in Texas, I guess.

  • FSDA

    Not much of an insult, as alleged Washington epithets go.

  • Marjee123

    Well I know this is a Texas site but you ought to know what the country thinks about you all. with the type of legislatures you elect we think you are trying to sabotage this country. and for a legislature to say something like that to our president no matter what party he belonged to shows the type of people these members of congress are racists and bigots. I sure hope the rest of Texas AIN’T like that.

    • Nancy000

      Don’t worry… I live in California and I know a lot of good people in Texas. But I do agree with the rest of your post!

    • Observer

      Nope they are like that

  • Edward

    Pete Sessions continues to be an embarrassment to all Texans. Unfortunately the crazy conservatives from his district probably think this is the greatest thing he’s ever done – other then being born into a life of luxury that apparently precludes him from understanding how the majority of Americans actually live.

    Pegaso is correct that Cruz, Sessions, and the rest of the Republicans who are obsessed with getting rid of Obamacare live in a bubble of some sort that keeps them from hearing that a majority of Americans want affordable insurance. Having insurance (and being personally responsible for it) is a GOOD thing. Too bad Texas isn’t taking advantage of running its own insurance system and reaping the financial rewards from doing so.

    The ACA was originally developed and proposed by the Republican think tank Heritage Foundation.

    I’m not sure what has changed since then… oh…. wait…. I know…

    • Observer

      As do I.

  • WmBTravis

    Hey, we could all give out peaches and ice crème. Or free D Magazines. Like Walker Railey, we’ll never be forgiven. EVER.

    I’m sure if we heard what was TOLD to the Republicans, some of us would forgive old Pete (even in spite of himself).

  • David Hopkins

    Marjee123, you don’t speak for the country — just as I don’t speak for Texas or Pete Sessions. So, this is me, speaking for myself. Texas is a great place with great people, diverse people. It’s too easy to blame all the country’s problems on Republicans or on Texas electing Republicans. It’s not that simple. (Btw, I tend to vote Democratic.) And it’s a little exhausting to hear the old “sabotage” rhetoric. It’s been said before. We hear you, now move along. Let’s blame Rhode Island for my credit card bill or Tennessee for Miley Cyrus.

  • Avid Reader

    I think it never happened and that if it had this administration would confirm or confirm by “no comment” to try and add to the negative opinion of the republicans in congress, as opposed to flat out denying it happened. I also could be wrong on this. However, I sure hope not as that alleged kind of personal vitriol isn’t going to help anything or anyone.

  • Robert

    I think I’m beginning to get the hang of these posts and comments that claim simultaneously that something both did and didn’t happen. Maybe the word I’m searching for here is “comprehensive”.

    Like if I said that before he was president Barack Obama had surreptitiously slipped into town, donned a Craig James mask and killed 5 hookers while James was attending classes at SMU, but admitted that I could be wrong about that. I’d just be being comprehensive.

  • Neal K

    I will be the first to say (as a Republican voter, mind you) that Pete Sessions is a creepy and useless backbencher who has no future in the House or anywhere else except via his more charitable friends in the private sector. But no, this alleged incident didn’t happen, as the White House again stated this afternoon:


    Harry Reid passed this tidbit on to Dick Durbin, who put it on his Facebook page. Aside from the fact that these two gentlemen acted like 12 year old girls, let’s remember two things:

    1. Harry Reid is a psychopath.
    2. Dick Dubin is an exceptionally low wattage Illinois machine politician who, on the Senate floor, once compared our military to the armed forces of Stalin and Pol Pot.


  • Dubious Brother

    Marjee123 – What state do you live in? It is nice of you to speak for the rest of the country though.
    The news may not have reached you yet that the White House denies anyone ever saying this and maybe Senator Durbin is lying. Maybe the White House is lying. I’m not sure who is lying now.
    I’m also not sure if you think “these members of congress are racists and bigots” because Obama is half Black or half White. I will grant you that the last Democrat President from Texas, LBJ, was a racist and a bigot.

  • Bobtex

    Whether Pete “Stripclub” Sessions said this or not, he is still a worthless piece of furniture. As a former constituent of his, I followed his actions and his statements close enough to know that the best thing that you could say about him was that he was ineffective enough not to cause too much damage in Congress. Now that i have been redistricted into Kenny Marchant’s district, I have hopes (sliim) that the degree to which I am represented in Congress will rise, ever so slightly. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, though, “Terminator” Cruza got elected. How much lower can Texas Republicans sink?

  • Dubious Brother

    Do you mean in comparison to Eddie Bernice Johnson locally or Nancy Pelosi or even Harry Reid who evidently is the one that started this lie?

  • Judith Claire

    We don’t choose our parents. If the father of our President were still alive…think what fun these boys could have. Boys will be boys plus little Sarah.

  • Avid Reader

    I think “comprehensive” is a good description, though, I could be wrong.

  • Nelda Mohr

    No matter how much the White House wants to ignore such disgusting behavior, I’m sure this happened just as Senator Durbin reported. I’ve had a very low opinion of Dallas for the past fifty years. Pete Sessions seems determined to make sure we all keep that low opinion of your city. If you all can’t teach your politicians how to behave, please keep them at home.

    • Observer

      What is of worry to me is the example being set for young Texans… not good…