January 2nd, 2013
10:09 AM ET
1 year ago

Boehner's White House F-bomb

(CNN) - For all the stalemate in the fiscal cliff negotiations, there were some heated moments, too.

A Democratic source familiar with one particular exchange told CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were sitting on a sofa in the White House.

House Speaker John Boehner breezed in and his first words to Reid were "Go f*** yourself."

Boehner's comment came after Reid took to the Senate floor on Thursday and characterized the House speaker's handling of his chamber as a "dictatorship."

Reid responded to Boehner's confrontational tone by laughing, the Democratic source said, though a GOP source who was there said he didn't think Reid was all that happy.

"The exchange continued, and it didn't get any better for Reid," the GOP source said.

Boehner's office had no comment on the exchange when asked about it Wednesday.

Both men described the moment to members of their caucus.

The exchange happened at the White House on Friday - the day the four Capitol Hill leaders, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - met with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

On Wednesday, after news of the comment emerged, Reid said on the Senate floor that "unlike others behind us in this Capitol, I'm not going to stoop to name calling. I just want people to work and do what they need to do." Politico first reported Boehner's comment.

Hours after the meeting on Friday, he described it as "constructive."

"There was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting, everyone knows how important it is," Reid said. "It was a very serious meeting and it took an extended period of time."

– CNN's Dana Bash and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report


Filed under: Harry Reid • John Boehner
soundoff (850 Responses)
  1. plain&simple

    Politics as usual.....why does this surprise anyone? The speaker is stressed out..with good reason,he's trying to lead a party in disarray and he's the one who looks the fool. So bottom line he did what needed to be done by opening the floor to an open vote. Good for you Mr Speaker for putting your country first this time.

    January 2, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    kevin

    Let us see here....Reid falsely accuses Romney of not paying income taxes for 10 years, which was an outright lie, but that was ok. Reid calls Boehner a dictator and other names and that is ok. Reid has sat on his butt for 3 years doing nothing to help this country-no budgets, no tax plans, no spending cuts, nothing and he is a hero.
    ---------------–
    -If Romney paid taxes, then why didn't he prove it?
    -Dictator? Didn't Boehner suggest "compromise" was not in his vocabulary.
    -The Senate may not originate budgets, per US Constitution.

    January 2, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Malory Archer

    kevin

    Let us see here....Reid falsely accuses Romney of not paying income taxes for 10 years, which was an outright lie, but that was ok. Reid calls Boehner a dictator and other names and that is ok. Reid has sat on his butt for 3 years doing nothing to help this country-no budgets, no tax plans, no spending cuts, nothing and he is a hero. Don't blame Boehner one bit for saying what he did. Sometimes you got to stand your ground against the bully. Apparently with some people Reid is their shining example of moral character and proper behavior.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You really should study history before you post instead of parroting rightwing talking points. Every accusation against Harry Reid can be refuted, and right off the top of my head I can tell you the reason the SENATE couldn't pass a budget is because the HOUSE refused to send them anything that didn't stick it to the poor & middle class while further lining deeeeeeeeepppp the pockets of their handlers/owners.

    January 2, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Are you SERIOUSLY equating someone saying something is a big F-ing deal to someone telling someone to go F themselves? Really? REALLY???!!!
    -------------------------------------------------
    Consider the source Malory.
    Enough said.

    January 2, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Pete

    @Kevin,and what has Boehner done buddy calling Pres.Obama everything in the book for four years and obstructing everything that's been put in front of him including his own budget policies...And Boehner complaining of the president playing 9 holes of golf away from the job when it was your president in Bush that took off more in two years than any president in history a recorded fact and remember brainless Boehner was playing golf as a two some with the president so he's as guilty as the president or does that count!!And remember Kevin the speaker has never admonished any of his house members for saying nasty ,racial remarks at the president has he so what goes around comes around doesn't it!!

    January 2, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. DC Insider

    Good for John Reid is a troll and has been dissing John and the House for months -unmercialessly. Reid is the #1 Obstructionist in DC – the worst sort of politician he is despised by many of his own party in the House and Senate

    January 2, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. WB

    GOP keeping it classy as always.

    January 2, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Lawrence, Atlanta

    I understand why he reacted the way he did. I'm not a fan of the GOP caucus in the House, and I do believe they hold our country hostage more often than not (though some could be said about the other side at times with refusal to hear bills on the Senate floor, but then again the majority of those bills from the House are attempts to promulgate their ideology masquerading as a "job's bill" or "healthcare reinvestment act", blah. However, the Speaker hasn't been running his House as a dictatorship, and it's funny to see Reid claim that one day, while the next claiming the Speaker has no control over his own caucus, and by extension, the radicals within it. That he always caters to them, etc. (which that attempt at a vote on his $1 million income threshold tax bill paints a picture of a man who does not have control of his caucus). Is he a dictator in the sense that he doesn't allow bills to come up to vote unless he knows his caucus could pass it without Democrat assistance? Yes. Pelosi did allow bills to come up, even when they didn't agree with it. However, the ACA was a bad example of poor "sportsmanship" in the House, which could be said to be the fault of Rahm Emanuel. As he said, "We have the votes, f*** them." So, perhaps this is a continued effort to fight back against perceived slights from the minority members (former majority) of the House. Reid should've described the House GOP caucus overall as a dictatorship, hostage-takers, but the House speaker is unequivocally not.

    January 2, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Sailen Barik

    This is exact same expression VP Dick Cheney said to Sen Patrick Leahy!!!

    January 2, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Hefay

    On the other hand...it's about time someone said that to Harry Reid.

    January 2, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Strategic Bob

    Lagos,

    I don't have a problem with adults using adult language. However, it does bother me when children and persons with infantile minds, such as the current Speaker, do.

    Someone should wash out the little orange man's mouth with soap.

    January 2, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. Texas Anne

    Wow. I was cleaning out some drawers this morning & found a number of items I received as a member of the Republican Task Force back during the Reagan years. Anymore, with the pathetic horrible classless way the Republican party conducts itself, it makes me a bit ashamed to have ever been a part of it. Anybody want a medal & some lapel pins?

    January 2, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Roger Duncan

    so very professional. NOT !

    January 2, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Laurie in Spokane

    I really don't see anything newsworthy in this story. So he said go f*** yourself. You think Senators and Representatives don't talk like that? Women included? Of course they're more circumspect than to be so blatant about directing it to someone of the opposite party, AND in the White House. Non-issue.

    January 2, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. lac

    How very, very mature of him..............not.

    January 2, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Lawrence, Atlanta

    as for the lack of a budget, well yeah Reid did ensure that members of his caucus did not vote on budgets that otherwise could've hurt them in their districts (which were being redrawn). However, every bill the House sent as a budget were always seen as nonstarters, and were always attempting to plug one ideal after another in the portfolio of Republican ideology. From defunding Planned Parenthood, to repealing Obamacare, to privatizing Medicare into vouchers and Medicaid into block grants (Ryan budget, which was passed in 2011 and for 2012), etc., they never made a legitimate attempt at working on a budget that was feasible to both sides. Reid didn't have to, and was aptly right not to, take up a single budget from the House.

    January 2, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. IvotedforObama

    What a loser. The GOP needs to go in 2014.

    January 2, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. nomyabidnes

    With congress essentially adding 6 Trillion dollars to the debt, perhaps Bohner was saying to the American public to eff off...

    January 2, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Right back at cha' Boo-Hoo!

    January 2, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. rs

    Republicans have simply become the party of creeps. Boehner's statement was nothing that Cheney didn't use a few times either, so they have been on the incivility trail for awhile.

    January 2, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Wilson

    He should have said it more firmly and stuck to his guns on spending cuts.

    January 2, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. ST

    I am not surprised. When a person drinks too much of that "special water", he ends up losing everything from his head regardless what rank he holds. Just imagine Boehner is on 3rd rank of power and still uses such words in an extremely serious business! Pathetic.

    January 2, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Gary

    fire them all America ... Tom & Jerry would be better

    January 2, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. rs

    kevin

    Let us see here....Reid falsely accuses Romney of not paying income taxes for 10 years, which was an outright lie, but that was ok. Reid calls Boehner a dictator and other names and that is ok. Reid has sat on his butt for 3 years doing nothing to help this country-no budgets, no tax plans, no spending cuts, nothing and he is a hero. Don't blame Boehner one bit for saying what he did. Sometimes you got to stand your ground against the bully. Apparently with some people Reid is their shining example of moral character and proper behavior.
    ________

    Pretty delusional argument in support of the party of Birthers. Face it Kevin, the GOP and it's "leaders" pretty much deserve all the abuse they get. They essentially told the vast majority of Americans they don't count, and the GOP doesn't care about them. Only fools support them now.

    January 2, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    I find it amazing how quickly so many of you have committed yourselves to defending such unprofessional behavior. Say and think what you will about Sen. Reid. Boehner's words should not be applauded because doing so only further damages an already crippled brand.

    Y'all keep listening to the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. Y'hear?

    January 2, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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