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. sonny chapman

    Yes, if we could've only elected W. to another Four Years. Dang Constitution.

    November 2, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. a in austin

    Without your help I might add....I'll ask you, where are the jobs? That was what 2010 was all about, wasn't it?

    November 2, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Aaron

    More robotic opposition by speaker Boner. Like the rest of the republicans, if Obama said the earth orbits the sun, they'd have to claim the sun orbits the earth. Obama is doing the right things by sidestepping a dysfunctional congress.

    November 2, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Psst. John-Boy, listen up ... jokes now on YOU, Mr. Speaker of the Useless. Kind of hard to mock the President when Boehner himself hasn't done a thing for those 14 million Americans who are out of work ... well, besides humiliating, ridiculing, and using them for votes in the 2010 election. You know, that not so long ago election where GOPers ran on Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! ... and then, once gaining the control they so covet, they spent the next 11 months saying Not now! Not now! Not now! Still waiting for GOPer hopeful Flipping Mitt to publicly address how he plans on uniting the Grand Old Party with the Grand Old Tea Party to eliminate the political gridlock running rampant in his party, because Boehner certainly hasn't been up to that task. If anything, since Boehner took control, the TeaPers have brought the GOPers into the trickle down gutter right along with them, and are setting their hopes on dragging all of America into that same gutter. Well, dragging 99% of us anyway.

    November 2, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. WhereIsPalin

    "Are you kidding me?" He then followed up with "you ain't seen nothin' yet. Just wait until we get full control."

    November 2, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. bobmcd83

    Why does this article not point out the obvious nonsense of Boehner responding to something the President didn't say? The President said that the country is better off now than it WOULD HAVE BEEN if not for his policies. He did not say that the country was better off than it was four years ago. It is the media's job to highlight politicians using such obvious slights of hand to peddle mistruths to the public. Must do better CNN!

    November 2, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. vc

    President Obama is right. There are some things he had to put in place so that we can bebefit in the long run. Microwave doesn't meet our need. Strategy does. We can't keep taking short cuts. That is what got us in trouble and plus the greed of the people. JOBS ARE ON THE WAY!!!

    November 2, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. PAST THE "AMERICAN JOBS ACT" NOW!!!!!!!

    The GOP TEA Party plan to make Pres.Obama a one-termer is backfiring on them. The American people see clearly that the GOP is willing to make millions suffer all for one job. The President. OWS # needs to keep hammering the greed of Wall St and Citizen United cash to make America a plutocracy society.

    November 2, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    I can think a more effective strategy for Obama. Compare and Contrast, to illustrate the Republican hypocrisy. Remember when he visited that bridge between Ohio and Kentucky he stood in front of several weeks back? That was pretty good.

    But, Obama needs to contrast that work. He needs to go stand in front of some of the successful projects within the districts of Republican House members that were paid for with Stimulus money. Compare that with standing in front of projects not in their districts which the Republicans have opposed.

    November 2, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Mike

    Boehner should stop with the hyperbolic language and useless coin legislation and get to work. At least our president is trying.

    November 2, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Barbara Walter

    Time to "occupy" DC. Fire all of them. Find responsible replacements. How long do we have to experience this embarrassment in view of the whole world, just because politicians are playing standoff games???

    November 2, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. seriously???

    Boehner... I never lost my job during the recession and I attribute that to the fact that the country didn't fall into a severe depression, which is almost certainly what would have happened without Obama's leadership on the stimulus and the auto industry. So instead of asking the 14 million out of work if we're better off, why not consider the other 80+ million who never lost their job in the first place because of Obama's actions.

    November 2, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. 1crusader

    The president is right.We would probably be in a Depression if he had not taken the actions that he did with the Stimulus, bailing out the financial sector, and creating and saving jobs in states.He needs to do more, but our system of government isn't designed for presidents to go it alone.A lot more needs to be done, but he needs partners who are honest brokers in Congress, not gamesmen bent on destroying him, and America in the process, to get the job done.

    Most of his major accomplishments ( the Stimulus bill, health care reform, Dodd-Frank) happened before Congress changed over earlier this year, when Democrats still controlled both houses of Congress.I think that the president is still the right man for the job, with his heart in the right place where the needs of the American people are concerned; but we need a different configuration of Congress, with more Democrats, to get something done.

    November 2, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Brandi

    Boehner acts like unemployment is none of his responsibility. The 14 million of unemployed Americans is under your watch too, Mr Speaker.

    November 2, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Stacey

    Are you kidding Bonehead? I just love the way the GOP expects Obama to roll over and play dead. President Obama has decided that he doesn't want to be the GOPs whippig boy anymore. The GOP's only goal is to make Obama a one-term president; they've said it over and over. Now that Obama has finally gotten the message and starting working without Congress, the GOP clowns are crying foul. Good for you, President Obama. You should have kicked Congress to the curve a long time ago.

    November 2, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Jake

    Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Boehner! where are they? you and your party promised! but instead you go to work quietly on things like ensuring "In God We Trust" remains to reflect America, and you get alot done on the subject of abortions...but where are the jobs!? seriously! you promised the nation, and you promised to get votes and majority. but what have you DONE since 2010 but stand in the way?? you will NOT be re-elected!

    November 2, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. krissmith777

    Obama goes in with a 7% unemployment rate, and now we have a 9.1% rate. Our national debt exploded at a faster rate under Obama than it did under Bush..

    Really, Obama... Who do you think you are fooling?!

    November 2, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. annette

    so boehner if you think that the economy has not gotten better because of obama, THEN TELL US WHAT YOUR PLAN IS?????????????? where are the jobs you promised when elected a year ago????????????? quit bashing and start doing something.................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. pmk1953

    We're better off now than we were the day BEFORE Obama took office. If we were still on the same track, we'd probably have 25 percent unemployment and rising.

    November 2, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Texas Billy

    Why would I be interested in anything boehner says? He and his Republican buds have done nothing for the working
    people of this country. Did the Republicans come up with a plan to get this country working again. No! Did the Republicans come up with a way to make the rich pay their fair share in tax. No!

    Yes Obama has made some mistakes. The republicans don't make mistakes because they do nothing.

    November 2, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. TM

    Well Mr. Speaker, please tell us EXACTLY what you and the Republicans in the House have done. Name ONE bill you have passed to create jobs. We're waiting.........

    November 2, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    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...
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    No, you must mean blocking out-of-control government spending. In that regard, the Republicans have had several huge successes for the American people. Cutting Obama's 2011 federal budget by $100 billion. Huge success! Getting a bipartisan commission cutting government spending tied to the debt ceiling increase. Huge sucess! Finally someone in Washington working for the American people. And making progress we can all enjoy.

    November 2, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Hank

    Yes Boehner, the US and most of the developed world is in better state now then 4 years ago. And yes, had the world not acted (I'm talking world wide bank bailouts) many more would be bankrupt and out of a job now. Obama did his part, alongside many other world and business leaders. Not all went well but the situation as a whole is more positive now then it was 4 years ago.
    Or do you want to go back to 2007 and crash the economy again? I guess if it prevents a second Obama term you would...

    November 2, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "He keeps saying that we are better off, but cannot affirmatively point to any data that says so."

    Yes he can...do you live under a rock (or maybe a bridge?)? There is widespread professional consensus among economic experts that the stimulus package and other measures enacted by Obama and the Dems prevented us from spiralling into an actual depression and unemployment reaching as high as 13%-14% instead of peaking at 10% and then going back down. Moreover, there is clear, irrefutable evidence that the economy was not only stabilizing, but starting to slowly grow, by the end of 2010 and then stopped and reversed course again when the GOP/Teatrolls took the House in 2011 and started threatening shutdown and default on the national debt and playing brinksmanship/hostage games and causing the nation's credit rating to drop, etc. In fact, most economists say the stimulus package needed to be BIGGER, but the GOP/Teatrolls prevented that too. The reality is, an economic recession and austerity fever are two horrible things that go horribly together and we have nobody but the GOP/Teatrolls to thank for that.

    November 2, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Ohio Man

    @ Four and The Door

    Maybe Obama was not talking about the economy or our standing among nations in the world or our downgraded debt load. In fact, he couldn't even have been talking about the status of the NBA.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    You do know all that was caused by Tea party Repubs after the 2010 election right ??.. just wanted to update your info. .. you always seem to have selective memory .. lol.. it will b ok .. I really don't think any facts will change your mind about Obama .. so sad .. enjoy ur day :-)

    November 2, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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