Obama's recent rhetoric accuses Republicans of attempts at ransom and of holding guns to people's heads. So I don't believe the White House spokesman's statement. He is telling a white lie on behalf of his boss.
Therein lies the problem: each party acts as though things would be MUCH BETTER if they were the ONLY party in existence.
That's like a family in which the two parents each believe that it would be better if the other one died. It's not a happy family and the kids will not approve.