As Senate wrestles over debt ceiling, Obama stays out of sight

Reuters

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama willstay out of the public eye on Sunday as Senate leaders try towork out an elusive deal ahead of a Thursday deadline forlifting the U.S. government debt ceiling.

Just before noon, the White House gave the pool of reportersand photographers who travel with the president notice that itwould be highly unlikely that Obama would leave the White Houseor speak publicly for the rest of the day.

Senator Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, was slatedto hold talks on Sunday with his Republican counterpart, MitchMcConnell, about how much to raise the debt ceiling, and how toend the ongoing government shutdown, now in its 13th day.

Obama made a series of high-profile public appearancesduring the early days of the shutdown, where he sought to blameRepublicans for the fiscal impasse.

But Obama has stayed away from television cameras since hebegan meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday afternoon.

Vice President Joe Biden, who has close relationships withlawmakers who he served with during his long service in the U.S.Senate, also has stayed out of the public eye.

Biden's schedule for the weekend showed that he and his wifeJill Biden would spend time at Camp David, the presidentialretreat in rural Maryland.

"Maybe we need to get Joe Biden out of the witnessprotection program," Republican Senator John McCain said on CBSTelevision's "Face the Nation" program on Sunday morning,alluding to Biden's legendary ability to clinch deals withRepublicans.

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