Greg Sargent’s reminding everyone of John Boehner’s promise never to allow a default on America’s debts (which means that there’s really no point in Democrats caving to any of his demands) must have set off the klaxons at GOP Messaging Central, because a few hours later Robert Costa was citing an unnamed source claiming that Boehner was reassuring his peeps by claiming that he was going to try to dangle the “Grand Bargain” in front of Obama’s eyes:

The revelation came quietly. Boehner called groups of members to his Capitol office all day, taking their temperature on the shutdown and the debt limit. It became clear, members say, that Boehner’s chief goal is conference unity as the debt limit nears, and he’s looking at potentially blending a government-spending deal and debt-limit agreement into a larger budget package

“It’s the return of the grand bargain,” says one House Republican, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “There weren’t a lot of specifics discussed, and the meetings were mostly about just checking in. But he’s looking hard at the debt limit as a place where we can do something big.”

That may be what Boehner’s telling his peeps, but if he thinks it’s going to get Obama or the Dems to cave, Obama’s speech today in Rockville, Maryland showed that this latest GOP ploy won’t work all that well:

If the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, simply let the bill get on the floor for an up or down vote [...] the shutdown would end today. The only thing that is keeping the government shut down, the only thing preventing people going back to work, and basic research starting back up, and farmers and small businesses getting their loans, the only thing that’s preventing all of that from happening right now, today, in the next five minutes, is that Speaker John Boehner won’t even let the bill get a yes or no vote.

And now Robert Costa is acknowledging that Obama’s standing firm. Costa tweeted this earlier this morning:

Just got my hands on Cantor’s Thurs memo to House Rs: “We are really in an unprecedented place,” he writes. O “refusing to actively engage”
@robertcostaNRO

And right before that, Costa retweeted this from Annie Lowrey:

Boehner might break the Hastert Rule for the debt ceiling. But the showdown continues, and markets get nervous: http://t.co/JwpkXTRQaM

And just in case this wasn’t totally clear, we have Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul caught unawares near an open mike last night admitting that the Democrats’ public and private messages are the same: They won’t cave.

Boehner may well have told his peeps that Obama’d bite on the Grand Bargain lure. Looks like he told them wrong. Quelle surprise.

(Crossposted at Mercury Rising.)