June 29th, 2010
03:55 PM ET
4 years ago

Boehner: Dems 'snuffing out' America I grew up in

House minority leader John Boehner is stepping up criticism of his Democratic colleagues.
House minority leader John Boehner is stepping up criticism of his Democratic colleagues.

(Updates with Democratic response)

(CNN) – House Minority Leader John Boehner is stepping up criticism of his Democratic colleagues, telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that "they're snuffing out the America that I grew up in."

Boehner's comments are the latest indication the Ohio Republican is aggressively setting his sights on the November elections as it appears increasingly possible his party could take control of the House.

"Right now, we've got more Americans engaged in their government than at any time in our history," he told the paper in comments published Tuesday. "There's a political rebellion brewing, and I don't think we've seen anything like it since 1776."

But Boehner, who most certainly would become speaker next year should the GOP take control of the chamber, stopped short of predicting Republicans will gain the 40 seats necessary to oust Democrats from control.

"The American people have written off the Democrats," he said. "They're willing to look at us again."

The top House Republican also previewed the GOP's top priorities should he take control of the speaker's gavel, including a repeal of the recently passed health care legislation.

"We are going to do everything we can to make sure that this law and this program never really takes effect," Boehner said. "One option would be to repeal the $534 billion in Medicare cuts, which pay for more than half of the law's provisions. "They're going to need money from the Congress to hire these 20,000-plus bureaucrats they need to hire to make this program work. They're not going to get one dime from us."

Boehner also suggested raising the social security retirement age to 70 for those who have at least 20 years left before retirement as a possible way to finance the ongoing wars

"We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we're broke," he said. "If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you're retired, why are we paying you at a time when we're broke? We just need to be honest with people."

In a statement released Tuesday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said Boehner's comments are "a wake-up call to the American people about the dangers of turning back the clock to a Republican Congress."


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soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Cindy Merrill

    Actually, I'm sick of all of you, Republicans and Democrats: Elected officials are like diapers- they must be changed frequently for precisely the same reason. Independant voters like myself will not vote for Incumbants on Nov. 2. If Democrats lose control of the House, so be it. Fresh faces are needed right now.

    June 29, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Gil

    Thank goodness Boner Boehner that the American you grew up in is needing change. It seems that your Party has one purpose and that is to keep Big Oil, Big Business and Wall Street rich and unregulated so that we can face financial collapse like we had last January. Go Democrats, "Chanage we can count on!" Keep the ball rolling despite the Party of NO.

    June 29, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Personal Repsonsibility

    For the libs out there, Dems have had both houses of Congress since 2006. The responsibility for our current situation is more in the hands of Congress than any President. Presidents come and go, but Senators and Congress stay a lifetime and get entrenched in their own power. Remember, Dodd and Frank pressed for loose lending standards in the late 90's. Now they want tighter standards on all bankes EXCEPT Freddie and Fanny...common...what a scam.

    Our society has lost personal responsibility. We have become dependenet and the Government is the enabler...99 weeks of unemployement benefits that pay more than minimum wage job...a problem.

    June 29, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Peter

    I bet if you shine flourescent lab light on boehner he might actually look GREEN instead of ORANGE, yuck!!! lol

    June 29, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Al

    The America he grew up in: segregation, police brutality against civil rights activists, lynchings, McCarthyism, etc. And he longs for that?

    June 29, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Scott O' Canada

    Dear Great Orange One:
    Change is sometimes a good thing, and that Puritan mentality isn't working anymore. Just look around. The eighteenth century just called, they want their ideologies back. If your going to be conservative, then be a progressive conservative, not a regressive one.

    June 29, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. andy

    he also said he'd propose raising the retirement age to 70. hey cnn – that's kind of big news. maybe it gets a mention. hacks.

    June 29, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. ran

    I can only hope the great people of Ohio kick you out along with the other fear/hate/obstructionist/PURITY Republicans.

    June 29, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. M Loban

    Look in the mirror Mr. Boehner – there lies all that is wrong with our country;

    June 29, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Yomi Olalere

    It would be an eternal mistake to allow these folks to control congress again after the situation America had found herself with the former administration. The whole world is suffering from the catastrophes that emerged from America and infested the rest of the world. This was an act caused by some group of individuals in the government which by and large, plagued the whole world with unprecedented loss. Do we want this to happen again? My answer is no!

    Would you tell a new mum whose daughter has been diagnosed with critical illness to vote for a man that would repeal health care for all? Would you advise a man who has been laid off from work without health care, yet suffering from serious illness to vote for an individual that will get rid of inclusive and carefully structured health care?

    Has any of you ever been in a situation where you look up and down to get help and there is no help, yet the hospital is asking you to pay $15000 to help a son that is in critical health condition?

    I want everyone that reads this to think deeply and unpolitically before you make a choice to vote in someone whose intention is to repeal the health care. I WILL ALSO URGE YOU TO THINK ABOUT WHAT LIFE COULD HAVE BEEN WITHOUT OBAMA ADMINISTRATION? Let's just for a moment put away our cynism and political mind and ponder on what could have been the situation in America without this administration?

    Obama may not be a perfect president but if we draw a comparism we would see that "the difference is clear" between past and the present. Let's support this administration and make it work. We can not afford to see people being homeless, poverty-stricken, dropping from school for lack of tuition or going hungry simply because of the decision made by few people. Someone once said that, people are not poor because they choose to be poor but they are poor because of the environment we create and policy that we pursue.

    God bless you all and may God richly bless the United States of America.

    June 29, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Lilarose

    The only time we hear from Boehner is when he is whining about something he doesn't like.

    What a legacy.

    June 29, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. REVOLUTION!

    It is up to US, FREE-THINKING AMERICANS to REVOLT against ALL enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC.

    John Boehner is an ENEMY of the United States of America.

    He wants a revolution? HE'S GOT IT.

    We must REVOLT AGAINST THE REPUBLICAN PARTY and their CORPORATE OVERLORDS.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! These words spoken by John Boehner are a serious call to arms. We CANNOT stand bye and laugh at their idiocy any longer. We MUST take them seriously. And we MUST respond seriously. We MUST take the fight straight to the Republican Party and not let them EVER bring us back to the policies the Republicans enacted under Bush. We cannot EVER let that happen. We MUST FIGHT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. WE MUST STAND UP FOR AMERICA and REGULAR AMERICANS OVER THE GOP AND THEIR CORPORATE MASTERS. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    June 29, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. JF

    Well, Mr. Boehner – if the America you speak of is the one where bigotry & exclusionism exist; where corporations are given carte blanche to trample the middle-class and politicians put political posturing before the common good of the people; where an entire
    party puts obstructionism above bi-partisan cohesiveness – then
    yes. As far as I'm concerned, SNUFF AWAY. Your time at the helm is
    over.

    June 29, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. hillcrester

    That's right, Boehner. Let's go back to an America where gays were securely in the closet (while dying in neo-con wars), where people who were already sick couldn't afford health care, where the Masters of the Universe created untold personal wealth for themselves while producing nothing of value for anyone else, etc. If I were running the Democratic Congressional campaign, my theme would be "If you got health care, thank a Democrat. If you are still unemployed and can't feed your family, thank a Republican."

    June 29, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. redneckbluedog

    That's what we call progress, dill weed. If the America you grew up in turned out the likes of you....let's face it, anything would be an improvement. You and cry baby Judges Scalia and Roberts....sheesh.....

    June 29, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. The Big J

    It's called progress, OLD MAN! What do you want? A world that is backwards? One where we didn't go to the moon? Had Jim Crow laws? No child labor laws? No pensions? Move to Afghanistan you cry baby. We've heard your non-ideas & have given you your answer:"Hell no you can't!" Man up & face the future. In fact; lead, follow, or get the hell out the way. Since Boehner is incapable of the first two, he should feel free to do third.

    June 29, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. rs

    Well, no doubt the America of the 19th century that the GOP ardently embraces (unfettered capitalism, pollution, buyer-beware, poor-houses, etc.) is going away. Why they embrace that stuff beats me. The past wasn't all roses.

    June 29, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Abd al-Latif

    "We are going to do everything we can to make sure that this law and this program never really takes effect," Boehner said." Well. Have you ever heard of, uh, I dunno, democracy and the rule of law?

    June 29, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Timeonics

    Do we really need the country he grew up in, nuclear bomb drills at schools, either marches in the streets or riots, segregation, people being sent off to internment camps, gas guzzling cars, a weak space program, the cold war, protests about whatever armed conflict we were in at the time, lo def tv (3 channels). Sure he can go back there by himself if he likes, everyone else can move ahead without all that.

    June 29, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Mr Bill

    Most voters don't have faith in either party. Unfortunately, many voters will stay home in November because they don't want either party candidate. And that will be a failure of the system.
    It would really be great if we had third party candidates who are more interested in the future of America than their Ideologies and power.

    June 29, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. hobart

    More Republican lies and hypocrisy! Why is it that Republicans accuse Democrats of their own loathsome behavior.

    It is Republicans who are snuffing out the America we all grew up in, Mr. Boehner. Republicans are all about snuffing out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Public Schools and the Department of Education, respect for the environment and the Environmental Protection Agency, public health and the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control, public funding of science and the National Science Foundation, public funding for the arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Republicans are all about snuffing out the rights of individual Americans in favor of the rights of Corporations and the ultra wealthy fat cats who own them.

    Do tell us, Mr. Boehner, why are Republicans hell bent on snuffing out the America we all grew up in.

    Do tell us, Mr. Boehner, why do you and your fellow Republicans so hate American that you want to snuff it out?

    June 29, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Joe Berson

    You can fool all of the people some of the times and some of the people all of the times, etc etc. It's difficult to categorize today's highly educated, the partiallly educated (high school grads) andthe under educated but from the defense/attack of their public comments one must question the quality of the education each received.
    History has shown as exemplified by one of history's most cotemptable killers, adolf schicklegruber, that repeating a thought/idea enough times will gain many who originally had an opposing thought. (the technique in military parlance is called psychological warfare).
    Example: SOCIALISM. . that poitical concept unearthed by such as the earth's most eminent political scientist when , on tv w/ candidate ObamaJoe the plumber mentioned SOCIALISM.
    (you can fool some of the people all of the time). Now the word is used as a weapon by many who would be unable to define socIalism.

    June 29, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Bob of Lompoc

    Thank God the Nation isn't like it was when he "grew up", if in fact he ever did. This guy was born and raised in suburban luxury, had the proverbial silver spoon stuck you know where and currently represents a very upper class Cincinnati OH suburban district. He never did, and doesn't now, have anything in common with the average American. Of course, America isn't the one he "grew up" in. And besides, he looks rediculous with that fake tan he bought in bottle form at the local drug store. Typical, silly, egocentric, rich, suburban Republican male.

    June 29, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Jesse

    Come on CNN. you left out the part where Boehner says we should raise the retirement age to 70.

    June 29, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Senator

    well he's actually right: But you cant blame President Obama: after all we have Russian spies all over the place... you see, if Palin had been sitting in her kitchen looking out her window at Russia like she was supposed to, we wouldnt have the National Security mess that we have now. The answer to this Dependency on government is to take the training wheels off and allow people to grow up!!!! Every American should have a right to Health Care, but the government shouldnt pay for it. The government pays for everything and this country has become a 'Welfare Republic'!

    June 29, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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