Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Boehner: Conservative Outside Groups ‘Have Lost All Credibility’

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner for the second day in a row used a news conference to air grievances against the conservative outside groups who have sought to strong-arm House Republicans into moving further to the right.

“Frankly, I think they are misleading their followers,” the Ohio Republican told reporters on Thursday morning. “I think they’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be, and frankly I just think they’ve lost all credibility.

“You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare,” Boehner continued, in the lead-up to the government shutdown in October — which, Boehner added, “wasn’t the strategy I had in mind. The day before the government reopened, one of these groups stood up and said, ‘Well, we never really thought it would work.’

“Are you kidding me?” he said, his voice rising to an all-out bellow.

His frustration in the final days of the first session of the 113th Congress would seem to have reached a fever pitch, but Boehner downplayed suggestions that his comments were in any way new.

“I don’t really think that I’ve said anything new or anything different than what I’ve felt and what I’ve said in the past,” he said. “There just comes a point where some people step over the line. When you criticize something and you have no idea what you’re criticizing, it undermines your credibility.”

He was referring to the onslaught of public disdain for the emerging budget framework agreed to by House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., much of which came, Boehner said, before all of the details had been released.

The House will cast a final vote on the budget deal on Thursday evening, with Boehner’s leadership once again on the line.

“When criticism was coming, frankly, I thought it was my job and my obligation to stand up for conservatives here in Congress, who want more deficit reductions, and stand up for the work that Chairman Ryan did.”

Boehner made the case Wednesday that the budget agreement Ryan helped orchestrate — which reduces the deficit, balances the budget in 10 years and doesn’t raise taxes — in no way compromises core conservative principles.

“This budget takes giant steps in the right direction,” Boehner repeated on Thursday.

  • Steve Dietrich

    With only a 6% favorability rating from the public Speaker John A. Boehner is not in a position to judge others.

  • papal

    Boehner is wrapped up in the DC game, While conservatives around the country want a conservative game. Should we call him Moderate John?

    • Karen Davis

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      ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., much of which came, Boehner said, before all of the details had been released.

  • T.A. Conscience

    Yeah, we agree with Steve Dietrich and others; Boehner is not in a position to judge any person or group’s level of credibility. He needs more courage and a strong level of discomfort when faced with shouts to compromise. We are fast approaching a point where only the very deepest cuts will save this country’s monetary system. As we all know, once the dollar fails we’re done.

    • godblessusa

      You get internet connection in Ron Paul’s survival cave?

      • T.A. Conscience

        Good one, but as you know, Internet connectivity will be the least of our worries if we go that far down the road to ruin.

  • Santiago Alemedia

    That pretty much goes for most Republicans these days. They say that Obama caused the govt. shutdown, there’s no such thing a human-induced global warming, that before Obamacare we had the best healthcare system in the world, that Obamacare would bring on Armageddon, and they say we aren’t spending enough on defense, even though we spend more on it than the top ten industrialized nations in the world.

    They really have lost touch with reality and continue their fact-free rants against the president. Who has lost credibility???

    • Dood_Ah

      Thank you! My first thought upon reading this was, “Hey, wasn’t their talking point that it was all Obama’s fault?” Well I wish him the best of luck with keeping our politics from falling off the rightward cliff. IMO, the conservative groups will demand a head fall for this heresy. Thou shalt not question the Heritage Foundation.

      • T.A. Conscience

        No, you’re confusing Talking Points. You’re thinking of the Democrats that still to this day say, “It’s all Bush’s fault.”

  • WeCometoThis

    This coming from Boehner? So he has deflected from Hitler’s regime. He is reminded that Mid-Term Elections are approaching.

  • Mountain_Goat

    The rift in the Republican Party has become a chasm. Conservative purists are well on the way to rendering the GOP impotent at the national level. If they continue to “hold their breath” until they get what they want, they’ll soon pass out, and pass from the political scene altogether. America always returns to the middle of the road, and to common sense governance.

    • T.A. Conscience

      Rendering the current, good old boy GOP powerless is a good thing. Plenty of time to rebuild, especially when we consider the complete chaos that has yet to ensue, because Obamacare will not work. Most of this country’s youth is/are looking for another change. They can assume control of the weakened GOP political apparatus.

    • Leslie Piper

      I hope, I hope, I pray: the restoration of the stronger points of the NEW DEAL common sense governance. Yeah, I KNOW which side this old rascal is on…

  • Scientist5

    John, you may be right in your criticism, but you are wrong as hell in your appoprach. Are you trying to set up another circular firing squad to guarantee that we lose the 2014 elections. I’ll take liberal, moderate, conservative, far right or whoever else will vote Republican. One more sweep by the Demos and we can kiss our country goodbye.

  • deemerk

    Ohioans are disgraced by having John Boehner as a representative and as a poor excuse of a Speaker.

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