Boehner's biggest disappointment
August 28th, 2012
11:11 AM ET
2 years ago

Boehner's biggest disappointment

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner revealed the "greatest disappointment" during his time as the country's top Republican, in an interview for an upcoming CNN documentary.

"If I look back over the year and a half or so that I've been speaker, my greatest disappointment was that the president and I couldn't come to an agreement in solving our debt crisis," Boehner told CNN White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin for "Obama Revealed: The man, the president," set to air Monday.
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President Barack Obama and the speaker worked together in an effort to negotiate a plan toward fiscal health in 2011, through a so-called "grand bargain," but the efforts ultimately ended in acrimony.

"I was willing to go down this path with him because it was the right thing to do for the country," Boehner said of their discussions that ended with both sides blaming the other for the deal's collapse.

Boehner, who is scheduled to address the Republican National Convention Tuesday, said he and the president "get along," but disagree about the role of government.

"While we like each other, there are times when we'd have, you know, a real disagreement," Boehner said.

At the time of the president's inauguration, the Ohio congressman said he was optimistic he could negotiate with Obama. And although the two have had little interaction since the well publicized breakdown of the debt deal, the speaker remains somewhat optimistic.

"Regardless of who's in the White House, I'm convinced that I can work with them and that I can find common ground to help move the country forward," Boehner said. "If that's the case, I'm ready, willing and able."

The impending fiscal cliff will be the first order of business facing the two men, should they both retain their positions. When asked if Boehner would place the first call to the president to launch a dialogue, Boehner said "He is president of the United States."

"Ah, we'll figure it out," he added.

– Watch more of House Speaker John Boehner's interview with CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin in "Obama Revealed: The man, the president" on CNN Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. AK_steve

    "Agreement"? For the GOP that means "meet all our demands while we give nothing."

    The nerve of the President not to come to "agreement".

    August 28, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Woman In California

    When asked if Boehner would place the first call to the president to launch a dialogue, Boehner said "He is president of the United States."

    Well, this tells you all you need to know about "working together". IF Boehner were really serious about helping this country get back on track and out the mess HIS party created, he would be more than willing to pick up the phone and do what's necessary. What he's really doing is trying to save his own job without angering his TP base and after the way he handled the debt ceiling crisis, by first agreeing with the president and then changing his mind, he will never have any credibility with (me) or the American people. While I personally don't think Boehner is such a bad person, he is easily manipulated and that is not what we need in a person who is two steps away from becoming POTUS. Mr. Boehner, I think you would be much better off playing golf and running a country club. America needs REAL leadership and Boehner doesn't qualify.

    August 28, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. 8.3% is a paid GOP shill

    Boehner – "I got 98% of what I wanted". Borrow and spend republicans for you. Geez.

    August 28, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. ghostriter

    In other words," I am disappointed that I had to not work with the president on anything. I wish I had more leverage, but those darned tea party freshmen were screaming at me. I was about to cry."

    August 28, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Congress polls at 12% approval because of this man's inablility to get anything done. One more HELL NO for the road, JohnBoy?

    August 28, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    "You should never argue with a crazy man,man,man,..."-Billy Joel.

    August 28, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Rosslaw

    I have never seen as inept and pi**ing in his pants scared speaker of the house as Tan Man. He cannot even count votes for set piece legislative votes that he tries to stage manage. Of course, if I had Eric Cantor waiting to stick a knife in my back, I might be a little distracted as well. Cry on, Tan Man.

    August 28, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. California Gary

    If he wanted a deal, all he had to do was show some backbone and stand up to the Tea Party activists in his own caucus.

    August 28, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. rs

    Dear Mr. Boehner– really now? It is crystal clear that even as the President adopted Republican positions in negotiations on a variety of issues (including the ACA), that your party would suddenly vote in lockstep against bills AFTER an agreement was reached. There was no way your party was ever going to make an agreement with this President. To infer otherwise is a lie- and you know that. You guys even met in D.C. on the inauguration gay to plan on making Mr. Obama a "one-term-President" precisely via that process of passing no bills, or approving any appointments.
    Your party sat on its hands while Mr. Obama and American citizens tried to dig out from under the train wreck you and Mr. Bush presided over.
    Republicans are delusional.

    August 28, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. bill dunn

    The Speaker could start by attending a State Dinner. Since Obama has been President, the Speaker has turned down all invitations . This shows a blatant disrespect to the Office of the President for the man who nominally is the most powerful Republican. Maybe Carl Rove and Grover Nordquist should go in his place since they really run the show and the Speaker is just a puppet for them and their tea party minions.

    August 28, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. lurker

    Wasn't it Boehner that said that his number one goal was to make sure that President Obama only served one term? That is certainly not consistant with his complaint now that he couldn't make a deal. He never wanted to make a deal.

    August 28, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. v_mag

    That's the most cynical and disingenuous thing I've heard in a long time. Who is he trying to kid? They TOLD us 4 years ago that they weren't going to work with the President. Did they think we didn't hear, or that we're stupid? Either way, I'm personally insulted by his statement. Everything that comes out of his mouth, and that of Turtle McConnell makes me madder than hell.

    August 28, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    "If I look back over the year and a half or so that I've been speaker, my greatest disappointment was that the president and I couldn't come to an agreement in solving our debt crisis."
    ------------------------------------------------
    No. You two came to an agreement and when you took it back to your caucus, (THEY/REPUBLICAN HOUSE) members rejected it. 4 trillion dollars is a big deal and your lack of leadership lead to our credit downgrade Boehner. The President was willing to take heat from his party, but you were unwilling to take it from yours. WORST CONGRESS EVER!!!

    August 28, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Malory Archer

    In your own words, you got 98% of what you wanted bonehead! Shouldn't your side be willing to give AT LEAST 2%?

    August 28, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. B.

    Boehner is absolutely an embarrassment to the Congress and is Over his head and will not last in that job as are McConnell and the rest of the current GOP.

    August 28, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Bill

    "This is the "Worst Do-Nothing, Speaker in American History!!! You have done "Nothing for your country! Shame!

    August 28, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Bill from GA

    " I couldn't come to an agreement in solving our debt crisis".

    The correct phrase is 'wouldn't come to an agreement'.

    Bonehead could have gotten Dems and moderate (non-tea party) repugs together to reach an agreement that would have passed the Senate and would have been signed into law.

    Instead, he let the country be held hostage by the extreme right.

    August 28, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Boo

    How dare he say such a thing? He and the rest of those fascists refused to compromise..

    August 28, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Wes B.

    As a liberal, I'm supposed to hate Boehner. But I don't. I think you know what you're getting with him, because he pulls no punches. And I think he did want to work out a deal with the president last year...but I think the extremists in his party prevented him from doing so. He's not in an easy place. To get things done, he has to be willing to compromise. Yet, his party extremists (tea party) refuses to budge at all. Thus, congress gets nothing done and its approval rating nears 0%.

    August 28, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    lurker

    Wasn't it Boehner that said that his number one goal was to make sure that President Obama only served one term? That is certainly not consistant with his complaint now that he couldn't make a deal. He never wanted to make a deal.
    ------

    that was mumbles McConnell but Tan Man has been complicit in trying to make this happen. "we sent budgets to the Senate.." yeah, including all the usual GOP trickle-down nonsense that's been debunked for years but since they are slaves to the corporations and that weasel Grover, they still try to get it thru

    August 28, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Don

    If only you had tried Johnny boy.

    August 28, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. John Hix

    The GOP and this Speaker now want to distort history as to why they have not been able to work with the President. Such trash should not be re elected as they are not doing their job. They have said themselves that their mission has been to make the President a one term man. Disgusting to have a party that puts this agenda to usurp power over the needs of the country.

    August 28, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    "If I look back over the year and a half or so that I've been speaker, my greatest disappointment was that the president and I couldn't come to an agreement in solving our debt crisis," Boehner said.....
    -----------------–
    Gee. I recall that Pres. Obama and Spkr. Boehner had worked out a deal on the debt crisis. Unfortunately, Boehner couldn't get the Tea Party to vote for it. In other words, his greatest disappointment is his own failure, but he tries to blame Pres. Obama. Boehner was speaking for his entire party, and then he couldn't get his own party to go along with what he had negotiated. That's Pres. Obama's fault???

    August 28, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. lil

    Do you trust this man to run the congress knowing that he made plans not to work with pres Obama on his election day.
    Did you know that his action is why the country is going the way it is? I blame boehner and the republican for the recession and for keeping it going just so they could win 2010 and 2012 and I dont hang with people I dont trust.

    August 28, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Lynda/Minnesota

    Congress polls at 12% approval because of this man's inablility to get anything done. One more HELL NO for the road, JohnBoy?
    -----
    Congress includes the Senate, Lynda... so I'll assume you hold the same amount of contempt for Harry Reid.

    August 28, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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