President Obama’s advisers tried to put the genie back in the bottle after a leaked White House immigration plan drew outrage from Republicans who accused the president of endangering the reform push.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a key figure in immigration reform talks, was among those who slammed the president for the plan. After what was described as a draft White House proposal was first leaked in USA Today, Rubio said over the weekend it would be "dead on arrival in Congress."
By Monday, Obama insiders were walking the plan back and suggesting the leak was not intentional.
One White House official told Fox News they were "surprised" that the "draft" language was given to the press and thought the publication was "unfortunate."
"This was not the administration floating anything," the official said, adding that the White House reached out to Senate offices Saturday evening to stress their support for ongoing congressional talks.
"The president is pleased by (the) current state of progress being made by bipartisan efforts on the Hill and the administration looks forward to continuing to work with them," the official said.
David Axelrod, a top campaign adviser in 2008 and 2012 who also worked at the Obama White House, also said on MSNBC that Obama officials would probably "take it back" if they could.
He said that "the mistake here was to disseminate it so widely within the administration."
If the USA Today leak was a trial balloon, it was one that quickly deflated.