raging boehner

Boehner Dishes on Negotiations With Obama, Cursing Out Reid

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) speaks during a news briefing March 29, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Boehner said he will have enough votes to pass the budget proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Since John Boehner declared last week that he won’t be holding any more one-on-one negotiations with President Obama (despite the fact that Republicans need him to sign off on changes to federal taxing and spending), he now feels free to share the details of their weeks of unsuccessful talks. Unsurprisingly, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore, Boehner says most of the fault lies with the president. “At one point several weeks ago,” Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’” He says Obama believes that federal deficits stem from “a health-care problem.” Boehner says the negotiations ultimately failed because the president is “unwilling to take on the left wing of his own party,” and “it became painfully obvious that the president won’t cut spending.”

The deal that eventually passed with support from Boehner and a minority of House Republicans was brokered mainly by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Boehner’s take away:  He should have turned things over to the Senate earlier:


What I should have done the day after the election was to come out and say: The House has done its work. The House passed a bill that replaced the sequester with real spending cuts. The House passed a plan extending all of the current tax rates. We passed a budget. We call upon the Senate to do their work.”

One senator in particular has been the focus of Boehner’s ire. He confirmed that he told Harry Reid to “go fuck yourself” and didn’t seem particularly remorseful about cursing out a fellow member of Congress just outside the Oval Office:

Those days after Christmas,” he explains, “I was in Ohio, and Harry’s on the Senate floor calling me a dictator and all kinds of nasty things. You know, I don’t lose my temper. I never do. But I was shocked at what Harry was saying about me. I came back to town. Saw Harry at the White House. And that was when that was said.”

Boehner Dishes on Obama Talks, Cursing Out Reid