President Obama told reporters Friday that "no one is winning" as long as federal workers are still out of work.
That comment drew a sharp rebuke from Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerMarch is the biggest month for GOP in a decade House markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving MORE (R-Ohio) on Friday.
"This isn't some damn game," BoehnerJohn BoehnerMarch is the biggest month for GOP in a decade House markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving MORE said. "The American people don't want their government shut down, and neither do I. All we're asking for is to sit down and talk to each other like the American people expect us to."
Obama said Republicans could "right now" end the shutdown and that it "could be over today." He said he knew there were votes for a so-called "clean" continuing resolution in the House.
"If Speaker Boehner will simply allow that vote to take place, we can end this shutdown ... I've said I'm happy to have negotiations on a whole range of issues, but we can't do it with a gun held to the head of the American people," Obama said.
The president made the remarks during an impromptu trip to Taylor Gourmet, a local Washington-area sandwich chain.
The president said he was visiting the shop because they were offering 10 percent off — "plus a cookie" — to furloughed federal workers.
"This is an indication of how ordinary Americans are looking out for one another," Obama said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney was pressed about the anoynomous "winning" comment at his daily press briefing. He said it's "categorically our position the government should be reopened today."
Asked to explain why, then, an official would say that it "didn't really matter" when the government reopened, Carney tersely responded that he "cannot parse or explain every quote that appears in every article you all write."
— This story was updated at 2:09 p.m.