Boehner defended his record Sunday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)
House Speaker John A. Boehner has a word of warning, straight out of the Bible, for fellow Republicans: “Beware false prophets.”
Boehner’s advice, offered during an interview Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” came after the speaker was asked if some members of the GOP conference have unrealistic ideas about how to govern.
“Absolutely they’re not realistic,” Boehner said. “Change comes slowly, and obviously too slowly for some. … There are people out there spreading, uh, noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole idea that we were going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013 just plain never had a chance.”
“We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate, here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know — are never going to happen.”
Boehner said he expects a “clean” continuing resolution will pass the chamber next week to avert a government shutdown.
In his first extensive interview since announcing he plans to step down from the speakership and from Congress at the end of October, the Ohio Republican was philosophical about his near quarter-century in Congress.
He told host John Dickerson he’d like to be remembered as “a good man,” and his advice to the next speaker was to “just do the right things for the right reasons” and “have the courage to do what you can do.”
“It’s easy to have the courage to do what you can’t do,” Boehner said.
Boehner described his incremental legislative style as “the Woody Hayes school of football: three years and a cloud of dust, three yards and a cloud of dust.”
Boehner said he was confident he would have survived a vote to remove him from the speakership. “Winning that vote was never an issue. I was going to get the overwhelming number, I’d have gotten 400 votes probably. Why do I want to make my members — Republican members — walk the plank? Because they’re going to get criticized at home by some who think that we ought to be more aggressive.”
He also said, flatly, there would be no government shutdown.
Boehner, a lifelong Catholic, told Dickerson that Pope Francis’ visit to Washington this week was “a big deal.”
And Boehner confirmed that the pope, who spoke to a joint meeting of Congress last week, blessed his grandson, who was born in August.
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