There was a time when the White House and Sen. Lindsey Graham seemed close to striking a bipartisan deal on closing Guantanamo Bay and other national security issues, but in May those talks “went completely dead,” Graham tells Politico. “They could never quite pull the trigger,” he adds, suggesting that the administration was unwilling to take on such a heavy issue in an election year.
The White House vaguely hints that “a window of opportunity did not materialize” during the discussions and insists that the President remains open to negotiations. But observers say that Democrats were leery of putting forward several pieces of individual national-security legislation, each of which would have been vulnerable to GOP attacks, and that Graham’s attacks on health care reform cost him the trust of the administration.
(Read more Lindsey Graham stories.)