Boehner to Obama: 'Are you kidding me?'
November 2nd, 2011
01:31 PM ET
3 years ago

Boehner to Obama: 'Are you kidding me?'

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner mocked President Barack Obama's assertion that the country was "better off" now because of actions his administration took.

An incredulous Boehner, asked Wednesday about the president's answer to a question about the status of the economy, raised his voice and replied, "Are you kidding me?"

"Why don't you go ask the 14 million Americans who are out of work whether they're better off today than they were four years ago?" Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill.

During an interview on Tuesday with a reporter from Minnesota television station WCCO, Obama was asked if he believed the country was "better off" than it was four years ago, and he maintained it was because of policies he put in place.

"I think we are better off now than we would have been if I hadn't taken all the steps that we took," the president said.

But Obama also conceded there was much more work to do, adding "I don't think the country is stronger yet then it was when the economy was still booming and we didn't have the Wall Street crisis, and we didn't have the housing bubble burst. But, we've made steady progress; we just need to make more."

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    Mr. Boehner, do something for our country not just for your party.

    November 2, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Mike

    Boehner is twisting the President's words. Obama did not say we are better off than four years ago. He said we're better off than we would have been without his policies- the stimulus and bailing out the auto industry being two key ones. Beohner can't have an honest discussion on the issues without twisting people's words.

    November 2, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. David

    Does Boehner think the country is better off since he became Speaker of the House? Or is it his claim that he's just limiting the damage caused by the administration? The truth is neither can accomplish anthing without the other. The President cannot enact policy without cooperation from congress. Congress is ineffective when its sole pupose is to hijack the presidency.

    November 2, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Oster

    What, exactly, has Boehner done since taking his position? Oh, right. He's said no. A lot. Sorry, that's not a job, that's a hobby. And perhaps he should go out and get a real job. He's not fit to hold the position he's got.

    November 2, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. MTATL67

    Since President Obama prevented the collapse of the banking and auto industry yes the country is better off. What has Boehner and the rest of the GOP done...NOTHING. They have been the biggest obstructionist to our recovery. Speaker Boehner needs to get over thim self considering he has saved anyone’s jobs.

    November 2, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. thomas

    Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , are BUMS !

    VOTE THEM OUT !

    November 2, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Stop the Charade

    No, Mr. Speaker, you and the GOP are kidding not only the American people by your actions in refusing to help Americans in your quest to discredit the Pesident, but you are fooling yourselves as you will see at election time.

    November 2, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Rocket

    That was rude. I know it's hard for republicans to remember it was they who put us here and also they who keep us where we are. Failure of the US economy is a win for them. I hope they're happy now.

    November 2, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Ask Boner to ask those 14 million Americans who are out work who is trying to help them get back to work, the president or you Mr. Boner, the President or the GOP? The American people know who's on their side and who is not. Say goodnight Mr. Boner.

    November 2, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Lolo

    Just keep it up republicans and tea partiers. You keep digging that hole deeper.

    November 2, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Is Boehner kidding, too, or just kidding himself? He and his GOBP deathcult have been devoted, 24/7/365 to obstructing any and all economic progress. By lowering the bar so far, ANY economic progress at this point is (a) a credit to President Obama and (b) further proof the GOBP deathcult cares only for the greedy and not the needy, and needs to be tossed out of office ASAP.

    November 2, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. dave

    Boehner: "Are you kidding me? We (Republicans) did everything we could to make it worse, so we can blame Obama for it all." It's the only justification they have for the obstructive moves and stonewalling on jobs and the economy. The only thing is, the 99% now on the move in this country may be the undoing of the Republican plan to make Obama a one term president. They have stated that their main goal is to make Obama a one termer. The country be damned! FIRE THE HOUSE!

    November 2, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Dave

    "Why don't you go ask the 14 million Americans who are out of work whether they're better off today than they were four years ago?" Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill.

    Yeah, Boner, and if Obama hadn't worked to counter the policies of the GOP, that number would be far higher. These problems didn't start overnight and they won't be fixed overnight. The last time I checked, the first priority of the GOP, when winning back the House, was to put forth a jobs bill. Well, where is it, Republicans? You people are long on complaints and short on solutions.

    November 2, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. cquinn

    He keeps saying that we are better off, but cannot affirmatively point to any data that says so. I refuse to believe anything this guy says about the economy until the numbers indicate that we are "better off."

    November 2, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. informed voter

    We are better off than we were, because we were able to change some of the policies that were put into place for 10 years, that got us into the mess we were in in 2008 and early 2009. Boehner, you cannot turn that around on the President. Although they were difficult choices the choices were made that saved us from going deeper into a recession or depression. Please people don't let R's pull the wool over your eyes.

    November 2, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. Beantown Bully

    At no point in history has a legitimate political party shown such disdain for the office of the president. Conservatives say, "that's how the Libearls treated Bush, so do be hypocritical". To them I say this. How many times did the Dems use the fillibuster to thwart the will of the presidency? In a joint session of the congress, how many times was Bush "heckled" by the oppostion party. The media's silence is deafening. Racism is rampant, "and all eveil needs to prevail is for good men to do nothing" (or something like that)
    Boner should be admonished for his behaviour, he should also act like he is a part of CONGRESS, and speaking about the PRESIDENT. You can clearly see, Boner sees Obama as a black man.... Not the President

    November 2, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Aaron

    Too bad that Boehner didn't say that the country was better off due to actions taken by Congress. We'd have two bold-faced lies then.

    November 2, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. corpsman

    The spin continues. The fact is those people unemployed now would have been out of work anyway after Bush and Cheney scr3wed the economy, and they would have been joined by many others. Obama (and the unemployed) have been paying for their sins. McCain had no viable economic plan. Why is it that 90% of America's economists have been saying for the last year that Obama's stimulus definitely helped reduce the impact of the recession, but people keep believing this is Obama's fault? If Republicans place so much importance on personal responsibility, why don't they take some?

    November 2, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. aaron, i can't stand boehner

    How dare Boehner even reference the 14 million people unemployed. He and his republicans ran on jobs, jobs, jobs. In the last 300 days since they took over the House, NOT ONE jobs bill has come onto the house floor. Not one.

    November 2, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    An incredulous Boehner, asked Wednesday about the president's answer to a question about the status of the economy, raised his voice and replied, "Are you kidding me?"

    There's REAL professionalism there along with the usual sarcasm. This is why he along with his congress has the lowest approval rating in history. These people are classless and useless and need to be sent back to the bars, TP trailers or wherever they emerged from. Enough is enough.

    November 2, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. jim.mck

    That's funny. "Are you kidding me?" is the same reaction i've had to almost everything Boehner has said this year.

    November 2, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Isn't it about time for Boehner to look in the mirror and admit that he and his cronies, McConnell and Cantor have done absolutely nothing for this country in the last three years. THey have continued to be the "Party of NO" and have left the voters struggling to hang on to what ever they have left after the Bush administration gave it all away to the wealthy!!!!... WAKE UP people....do you really want the Repubs to be running this country into the ground forever. They don't care about YOU...all they care about is money,money,money on the Repub side of the ledger!!!! TAKE THE BOTTOM AND THE MIDDLE OUT OF ANYTHING AND THE TOP WILL COLLAPSE!!!!!!This can apply to government ,you know!!!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Boner, where are the jobs you promised? Let me guess, anti abortion bills and reaffirming "IN GOD WE TRUST" is your jobs bill. Time for the house to take a vacation, because doing nothing is such hard work, you welfare abuser.

    November 2, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. once upon a horse

    uh John go ask the folks in the auto industry how better off they are now instead of doing what guys like you and Romney would have done to them.

    November 2, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Obama is either deceiving himself–not impossible; he's a long way out of touch with the people of this country–or he thinks that if he says it often enough people will actually start to believe him.

    November 2, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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