Willing to Share Economic Credit (and Blame)

This week, the hard work of selling of the stimulus goes into high gear, as President Obama prepares to head to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to talk reluctant Republicans into getting behind the $825 billion economic rescue package.

"He wants to at the end of the day to go to the American public and say this is not the White House's package, it's not the Democrats' package, it's a bipartisan package," Stuart Rothenberg, editor of The Rothenberg Political Report, told ABC News. "That frankly spreads some of the blame around if stuff doesn't work and I think he's willing to do that even if Republicans have to get some credit."

He'll need to be persuasive. Today, Republican leaders made it loud and clear they want a stimulus -- just not this one.

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"Right now, given the concerns that we have over the size of this package and all of the spending in this package, we don't think it's going to work," House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told NBC. "And so if it's the plan that I see today, put me down in the 'no' column."

Republicans want less spending and more tax cuts. To win them over, Vice President Joe Biden has been lobbying his old colleagues in the Senate.

"I, for one, personally was on the phone with six Republican senators, key Republican senators, asking what they need, what they want," he said.

The House votes on its version Wednesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that Democrats will consider Republican ideas, saying, "We will take some. We will judge them by their ability to create jobs, to help turn the economy around."

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Democrats already have the votes to pass the bill in the House. And they could push it through the Senate with a filibuster-proof majority of 60 by winning over as few as two Republicans. But the president clearly hopes to win over enough Republican support to call the rescue plan truly bipartisan.

On Tuesday, the more conservative Senate takes up its own version of the plan, which is likely to give Republicans more of what they want.

It will have to, to win over Republicans like former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

"I think there has to be major rewrites if we want to stimulate the economy," McCain told Fox News. "As it stands now, I would not support it."

Rothenberg said Democrats might tweak the stimulus, but he does not expect them to revamp it dramatically to accommodate Republicans.

"I wouldn't expect big changes from the Democrats on this," Rothenberg said. "There will probably be some Republicans who support this package at the end of the day but most Republicans won't."

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