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Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said that the dinner he shared last night with President Obama and other Republican members of the Senate was "very useful, sincere, very cordial," and that he believes "it helped lay the foundation for constructive talks between now and the debt ceiling" in an interview that was broadcast today, March 6, 2013 on CBS THIS MORNING (7:00 AM-9:00 AM) on the CBS Television Network.
Corker told co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell, "I don't think that there's any expectation that something over the next month or six weeks is going to occur. But I think it helped lay the foundation for constructive talks maybe between now and the debt ceiling." Watch the appearance in full below!
Excerpts from the interview are below.
CHARLIE ROSE: Describe the mood there, and whether you think this new initiative by the President will change anything.
SEN. BOB CORKER: Look, it was very constructive. It seemed perfectly normal to have a group of folks talking about the biggest challenge that our nation faces. I don't think there's any expectation that something over the next month or six weeks is going to occur. But I think it helped lay the foundation for constructive talks maybe between now and the debt ceiling. But certainly it was very useful, sincere, very cordial and a good dinner.
ROSE: Did the President say anything that surprised you in terms of where he might go with respect to entitlement cuts?
CORKER: You know, I'd been over at the White House on Monday and sat down with Gene Sperling, so I had a pretty good sense of touch points. I do think that the conversations were very honest. The Republicans talked about tax reform, they talked about the types of structural entitlement reforms, the President talked about the kind of things he felt like needed to be part of a larger deal. Again, what I would say was the most salient part about the dinner is that it was a very sincere and open conversation. I think everyone's agreed that we're not going to give a read out on policy issues that were discussed, but it was very helpful and again I think it's the kind of thing that most of us thought was a perfectly normal dinner to talk about again the biggest issue, and I think it was helpful, I really do.