Boehner to Obama: 'Are you kidding me?'
November 2nd, 2011
01:31 PM ET
6 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. Dean

    Truthfully, Obama is a moron.

    November 2, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. sara

    No, Boehner he's NOT kidding....YOU ARE!

    November 2, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. sara

    Let's see losing 800,000 jobs a month, a crumbling financial system on the brink, markets dropping, America's Auto Industry closing and Terrorist on the Loose....enough said! And We ARE NOT there NOW!

    November 2, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    HIGHER unemployment, MORE debt, HIGHER deficits, HIGHER food and gas prices, a healthcare system waiting to implode when Obamacare goes into effect....

    If this is this buffoon's idea of being better off then he is not only clueless and out of touch with reality, he is downright dangerous. He might attempt to make us even better off, I mean let's shoot for 30% unemployment, $5 trillion deficits, $200 trillion in debt, $8/gal. gas and $5 bread.

    Truly unbelieveable AND SCARY. I think he just lost another million votes with that insane statement.

    November 2, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Donald in CA

    What a loser Boehner is. He cant even control his own party, let alone tell this President what to do. This tea party controled republican party are ruining the country. They have devided this country, haters versus the nonhaters, made racism popular again and think poor folks should die and rich folks get more tax breaks. Lord help us.

    November 2, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. sara

    No, that clown only cries when he's drunk! He' can't look the President in the eye is his problem in the picture, because he knows he is a "swine'

    November 2, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. carol

    The GDP was -8.9% (negative) at the end of the Bush admin. Obama got it into the positive numbers up about 10% over the Bush years. Then the republicans took over Congress and nothing and I do mean nothing, NADA, has happened since.

    November 2, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. Ryan NC

    Really, is anybody able to understand the conditional tense of a verb? Mr. Obama said "than it WOULD have been". I understand that many of the right wing extremist prefer to ignore it playing their favorite sport of twisting the reality to conform to their wishes, but english has still rather clear rule... or do Four in the Door et al. plan to amend that too?

    November 2, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. FLIndependent

    "Obama is either deceiving himself–not impossible; he's a long way out of touch with the people of this country"


    Really? Sorry but it's the Repubs/Tea Partiers that are way out of touch as every poll indicates. When will you people wake up from your 10 year slumber??

    November 2, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. CaliforniaBC

    Boehner....just another Republican with no sense of reality;

    Here's the Before and After Mr. Boehner since you're long-term memory is apparently on the fritz;

    When Obama took office in January 2009, we were in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, a crisis which began in December 2007. The U.S. economy had already lost 2.6 million jobs, the highest total loss in more than 60 years. The GDP registered a -6.8% growth rate. By early 2009 the markets (Dow, S&P 500, LEI) were at their lowest level of the recession. From January to April 2009 job losses averaged 650,000 per month, giving many a feeling the economy was quite literally in free-fall.

    Since the low point in 2009's 1st quarter and early 2nd, the recovery has moved forward, slow for many but forward nonetheless. GDP recovered from its negative levels to a high of 5% in January 2010 with its current growth rate standing at 1.3%, averaging 2.4% growth since 2009's 4th quarter. The markets have improved on a positive trend reaching some of their highest levels since the beginning of 2008. The Congressional Budget Office Director stated in congressional testimony in January 2010 that, “... aggressive action by the Federal Reserve and the fiscal stimulus package helped moderate the severity of the recession and shorten its duration...” but went on to say this support was expected to wane, as it has. Ben Bernanke reported in June 2011 that the Fed's 12 districts are growing at a solid pace and as of October are continuing to grow albeit at a slower rate. And, according to recent Commerce Department figures, foreign investment increased 49% in 2010 over the year before contributing to manufacturing job growth.

    As of June 2011 the economy experienced 15 consecutive months of private sector job growth. Recent updated job growth figures for July and August of this year indicated there were 127,000 and 57,000 jobs added each month respectively. In addition, Gallup's Job Creation Index currently indicates a 44.4% increase in job creation from the year before and is higher than the long-term average. Despite the slow growth the economy has added 1.34 million private sector jobs this year.

    November 2, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. lahater

    It’s all those mean old nasty republicans fault. They just don’t want to let him rule, if he could just get every bill passed he wanted, this country would turn into as libertarian utopia in no time. Before your rebuttal, you might want to understand there has been a copious amount of creative accounting to make things look good for the POTUS. Take immigration for instance, the way deportations are reported have been changed, so now Obama is reporting people actually turned back at the border instead of actual deportations. Unemployment is still 9.1%, how can we have all these jobs created by the Obama administration if the number never goes down. The economy is teetering on the brink of a second recession. I mean the whole Solyndra thing is bad enough, but should the government really be awarding high risk loans to Obama’s bundler’s? Obama brings the troops home, no he just actually ran out of time to make an agreement with the Iraqi government for a continued military support.
    He did do one good thing I can give him credit for; he signed the order to assassinate Osama.
    His job bill is great if you belong to a union, or are construction workers. He does have a lot of fanatical supporters, but from the post I read I don’t believe many of them actually do any research outside of liberal propaganda websites. It is sad so many had so much hope for so much change.
    “But what about Bush, and the TeaParty, aren’t they to blame?”
    Time and time again I see the liberals blame bush and the tea party, which have no relevance to Obama’s performance. Bush and the Tea party are not making or breaking Obama’s presidency. Obama has no less to work with than any president before him, but yet it somehow not his fault.
    “So is Obama really that BAD?”
    Again he is not that bad as long as you like paying more for gas, less jobs, more government waste, more expensive health insurance, amnesty for immigration, band aide economic fixes, more imbedded taxes in the products you buy, guns for drug cartels, corporate welfare for failing solar companies, creative accounting, divided country, divided congress, and miss directed political efforts.
    Sounds like a libertarian utopia to me…

    November 2, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Roger

    Boehner better tread lightly because I have a strong feeling his majority in Congress may be depleted substantially next November if not gone altogether. America has seen what this do nothing Congress has done all the while President Obama is doing everything he can to get America moving again. Shame on you Mr. Speaker – you should have stood up to those TP wack jobs in your party and worked and compromised with President Obama, perhaps then your Congress wouldn't be sitting at a 9% approval rating!

    November 2, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Seth

    Our country was improving until the GOP and the Tea Party fooled enough people into putting them into power. That stopped all progress in its tracks. Thanks alot Republican voters.

    November 2, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. where were we 4 years ago

    4 years ago the stock market had just dropped 1,000 points to 13k on its way down to 7500!
    4 years ago we were on our way to a 2.5 million job loss in 2008
    4 years ago we had the TARP bailout for almost 1 Trillion dollars
    4 years ago we were being driven into a recession that except for the democrats would have become a depression

    Mr Boehner, can you really say we are not in better shape than we were then?

    November 2, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Doc M

    Boehner suffers from what most of the GOP minnions do, selective amnesia. How convenient to forget that in '08 we were losing about 700,000 jobs a month toward the end of that year. Give me a break!

    November 2, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. phoenix86

    "Are you kidding me" is a polite way of saying that Obama is a fool. The bigger fools are the libtards who defend this guy's record of economic wreckage.

    November 2, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. lt406

    Can I please fight Boehner for charity? PLEASE? just a few minutes in the ring with him is all i ask.

    November 2, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. jk from MN

    Mr Speaker, Just what have you done for the 99% lately? I don't recall anything substantial except hearing "No" far more than I should.

    November 2, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    Barack Obama's assertion that the country was "better off" now because of actions his administration took.
    Well, that seals the deal. We officially have a certifiably INSANE person at the top of our government. At this time I would like to ask that he immediately be committed to Bethesda Naval Hospital for a complete psychiatric evaluation and eventual commitment. Even Crazy Joe Biden wouldn't come out with this insane statement.

    November 2, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Just Saying

    Diedre Walsh needs to take a few courses in remedial English. What the President said bears no resemblance to what she said he said. And for the record, the President is right – we are better off than we would have been if other policies had been pursued and we are no where near as well off as we were before Bush and the Republicans got their hands on the steering wheel. The modern American conservative philosophy of governance is morally and intellectually bankrupt. The GOP has proven that every time they have lied their way into positions of power. The Democrats are wrong on a lot of issues but the Repthuglicans are wrong on just about everything, and most especially on the things that matter. Just Saying...

    November 2, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. WatchDawg

    And this just in, Forbes Magazine lists President Obama as one of the ,ost Powerful People... sign of Boehner et al...

    November 2, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Where Is TRUTH??

    TRUTH ~ something the so-called Christian GOP/TP's SHOULD be standing on ~ has been lost to lies & greed!

    CNN, why don't you run an article on when Boehner sued Clinton & admin, wasting untold thousand$$/million$ of Tax Payer money because he didn't get immediate cola, Bush had just passed prior to leaving office, his 1st year! Thank goodness Pres Obama put those on hold; that law should be abolished! Seniors & disabled Finally get cola after 3yrs; avrg person getting a whopping $<$40/MONTH!


    November 2, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |

    The country will be a lot better off after 2012,.. when the voters kick every Republican out of the Senate and out of Congress. Obama has done his job,.. the GOP has obstructed him at every turn, to make him fail,.. so shut the heck up Boehner

    November 2, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. george

    hey mr bone-head redface.....You are the worst politician ever... You are worst than a racist because you are traitor... You cater to the tea party not America...Your stupidity will be marveled in history books...You, and the rest of your pathetic republican congress can go to hell...When you lost the house I will personally find your number to call you and laugh in your ear...

    November 2, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. al in memphis

    If I remember correctly, wasn't it Boehner who said if jobs are lost - then so be it.

    More sounds bites for his followers to eat up. The economy went for losing hundreds of thousands jobs a month and negative GDP to gaining some jobs and positive GDP. Like the president said there is more work to do.

    November 2, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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