May 17th, 2009
11:03 AM ET
5 years ago

Boehner: Obama beginning to learn how difficult it is to govern

The president has a tough job to do, House Minority Leader John Boehner said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.
The president has a tough job to do, House Minority Leader John Boehner said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As President Barack Obama’s young administration settles in after marking its first 100 days, House Minority Leader John Boehner said the popular Democrat is seeing the difference between life on the campaign trail and life in the Oval Office as the nation’s commander in chief.

“The president has a tough job to do,” the Ohio Republican said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “I think he’s beginning to learn how difficult it is to govern. It’s one thing to campaign and to make statements. But when it comes to governing there’ve got to be much more pragmatic decisions. We’ve seen the president make several of those lately.”

Boehner’s remarks came just days after the Obama administration reversed its position about the release of pictures allegedly showing abuse of detainees in U.S. military custody and announced its plans to reinstitute a system of military commissions to try detainees that Obama suspended soon after taking office.

soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. renee

    hey Boner, why don't you apologize to the American people for what you have done to this country!!!!!!

    May 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. MESA MICK

    If Pres. Obama had your intellectual limitations, get elected at any cost attitude and "Just say NO!" legislative policy it might be hard. Since he's not a mental midget like you perhaps you should keep your ignorant, obviously partisan self-serving comments to yourself...

    May 17, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    oh John have another drink with the GOP and sit down your 15 minutes are way pass time to go away.
    our president has done more in the first 100 days than your job as an idiot has done . threats and fear . the key to the old GOP. looks like you idiots have nothing left but finger pointing and lies

    if you don't have anything to say that will help the country get out of the mess you and your idiots got us into then ...straight up shut up !

    May 17, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. catmom

    Right Boehner, and you and Republicans are doing everything you can to make it as difficult as possible.

    May 17, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Glen in Los Angeles

    Is this a conciliatory remark by the House Republican leader? I'll bet this is the beginning of a true bi-partisan relationship between the President and Congress. I like the "give a little, take a little" vibe behind the decision not to release the photographs.

    May 17, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Mario, mtl, ca.

    Not easy when you have Bush ghost all around

    May 17, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. NVa Native

    As if Boner has experiance in running anything/ Except a tanning bed.

    May 17, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Blah,blah, blah Obama

    100 days of spending is all that has marked his first 100 days. No attempt to actually heal the divisions of this nation, nothing but blah, blah, blah.

    Obama needs to reign in the far left, cutting off Reid and asking Pelosi to step down. Likewise he needs to ignore the far right, if he reigns in the far left, the right will be without a cause and have no air time.

    May 17, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Nancy SC

    Republicans get a life and move on. If this country of Republicans keep setting bad examples for their kids and grand kids what will the Republicans party become. Stop hating the President works. Yes he is black and as far as I can see this is the biggest problem for the Republican party. The man is half and half. He can choose to black on minute and white the next. What side do you Republicans want him to choose? This is so pathetic that I wander what you teach your children. Love or Hate? CNN Please Print. This is something that the Republicans needs to think about for their future and their grandchildern.

    May 17, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Boner's like the neighbor who robs your house then comes over to offer advise on how to install your new burglar alarm, and how sorry he is that it happened to you. All the while with that John McCain smirk on his face. Oh, BTW that "maverick" McCain spoke here in Phoenix to the NRA folks where he basically told everyone that President Obama wants to take away their right to own a firearm....cue the smirk.Part of the "new" Republican party huh John....

    May 17, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. John SD

    I don't see President Obama struggling with the responsibilities of his office. He chose to change his position with regards to releasing the detainee photos after he listened to military professionals spoke. I'd rather have a President who isn't afraid to accept the fact that he may have been wrong. Did Bush say he was wrong when everyone saw the truth, and even then, he held his position.
    Boehner is an amateur. Think before you comment on the Presidents abilities.

    May 17, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Doug Fekete

    How would Boehner know about how to govern? As one of the leaders who bows to Rush whenever, he has shown no ability to even lead his party.

    May 17, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Anonymous

    John I'm sure you have all the answers on how to govern the united states. Why is it I hear all this criticing from the repugs now but for the last 8 years they were reallly just quiet?

    May 17, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Greg

    Boehmer,
    Real leaders have to do that. When facing the realities you have to make appropriate decisions. Obama shows that he is a real leader. Your "Bush" thought he was always right. He didn't see the nation sinking under his watch. Still today, Cheney believes that his administration was not a disgrace for the Nation. Rush Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, Gingrich, O'reilly are all critizing Obama already. Ironically, they think Bush was great.

    May 17, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. SENSIBLE MIKE

    i love how all the left leaners on here find it funny to misspell John's first name but are the first to cry out when anyone mentions the president's middle name in a derogatory way. Nice double standard Democrats.

    May 17, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. linell, former Republican, Winter Park, FL,

    “I think he’s beginning to learn how difficult it is to govern.' Gee, Mr. Boehner, who thinks CO2 emissions don't contribute to climate change, too bad you never learned anything.

    May 17, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. deb in Glenside

    I like to see both Dems and Reps show flexibility as a strength. We are at a pivotal point with Afghanistan and Pakistan and if after hearing from our military leaders Obama has chosen a different path then thats a good thing. A leader should be strong enough to alter or modify a position based on current data. This is far different than making up data to support a position for the sake of stubborness. It is challenging to lead, as it shoudl be, for any President. We all struggle to do the right thing in our own lives and at times that means compromising. A strong leader is confident enough to do that no matter what his party affiliation.

    May 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. Carrera911

    Can't agree more with Doug, Boehner is no leader and has done absolutely nothing to lead his party except becoming one of Rush's little puppets. Just a another attempt to discredit and stall the progress at all cost.

    May 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Royster

    Yeah Boehner, it doesn't help when your party says NO to everything Obama tries to make this country better...it IS difficult to govern with jokers like YOU in the way!

    May 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Michael McDowell, USA

    John Boehner's (I cannot even let myself honor this fool with mentioning that he is the Minority Leader of Congress) assertion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should present evidence of lying by CIA officials since lying to Congress is a crime is the height of hypocrisy. If Boehner wants anyone who lied to Congress to be prosecuted, then lets put George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Alberto Gonzalez, Donald Rumsfeld, and many other Administration officials under the same process for not only lying to Congress, but to the American people and to the country as a whole!!! Although I can't personally stand Nancy Pelosi, and would like to see her replaced as Speaker because she is just as reprehensible as Boehner is many ways, to put her under the truth statement microscope while letting the Bush thugs escape their day of justice is absolutely the stupidiest thing to come out of a politicians mouth since George Bush said "So help me God! at his inauguration in 2001 and 2005.
    And Newt Gingrich, Limbaugh, Jindal, Romney, Norquist, and the other Reichsfuhers of the GOP need to shut their lying yaps and go take goosestepping lessons off a pier into the Potomac. These vain, brain dead, egotistical politicians are pus filled boils on the butt of the American people, and we need to lance and drain them from our sight.
    Also Boehner needs to realize that the only reason President Obama has had to make several key decisions that flip-flopped from his earlier positions, has been because of the blatant stonewalling and lack of cooperation the GOP has become famous for the past 100 days. The GOP is determined to ruin our country rather than work with the President.

    May 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Jan

    Really, only Republicans are watching Obama and coming to the conclusions that "it's difficult to govern."

    That's because Republicans have absolutely no idea what "smart Government" is!

    Just look at the group of people they consider "smart":
    George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, Harriet Miers, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfield, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck.

    As far as I can tell, Barack Obama doesn't even look like he's broken a sweat yet.

    In contrast, the Republicans haven't stopped whining about being Losers since January.

    Barack Obama = Smart Government = CHANGE we can believe in and change for which we still have much HOPE!

    May 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. 2Nurselady

    President Obama needs to stick to the original plan. Do not seek the approval of Republicans for the most part because you will not get it. Just do what the majority of the American people elected you to do – to bring sweeping and positive CHANGE for us. Forget about trying to fulfill a dream of being another Lincoln. He was a great President and your Presidency thus far has its similarities, but as I have said, the Republicans then were far different than the Republicans of today. The Republicans of today are not going to approve of the majority of what you do. So, just do what's right and do what you were elected to do. I would like to see you, President Obama, have a second term. Please do not set yourself, and us, up for anything less than that.

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. MK

    I would much rather have a President that "reverses" his opinions than one who blindly goes ahead and sends our Country to hell in a hand basket. If the gop wanted so bad to prove their leadship qualities they could have led us better for the last 8 years. Instead they sat back while Bush and his klan wrecked our economy, our good name and spent us into a place the real terrorist could only dream of. Boehner should go back to the tanning store owner and complain that too much tanning has pickled his brian, maybe he can get his two cents back.

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. NC Paralegal

    Boehner just like most leaders on both sides continue to Underestimate the man that is Obama. They are still finding it hard to realize that a man of color can rule without the help of the "majority". Obama did not wake up one day and decided he was going to run for President, he has worked on this all his life. He has achieved and he as has failed but mostley he has learned. It was the Obama administration that came up with a solid way to keep the pictures out of the public domain not for political gain but to protect the troups. So in my opinion he has been the best leader we have had in a very long long time. I don't recall these so called leaders giving Bush all this "help". Maybe its time that we as voters begin to look at these elected officials and determine what is really motivating these very outragous comments. They may not be working for all of their constituents. Now for those leaders that oppose Obama for a reason that appear to be on a level of difference of opin on philosophy then I can respect your views. Obama is the leader we need today and whether you agree with him or not, he trying to be the leader for all people and that's one reason why he having problems from both sides. At the end of this dance Obama will be proven to be one of the best leaders the US ever had because he put the people first not just his party.

    May 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Get on with the problems at hand.

    At least President Obama has an open mind and is willing to listen to his military advisers and commanders and change his mind when he is proven wrong, UNLIKE the former closed mind who lived at the White House. The repugnikins could use a lot of his insight into how to progress in knowledge.

    May 17, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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