October 16th, 2013
05:04 PM ET
11 months ago

Boehner: 'We fought the good fight. We just didn't win'

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner is admitting a Republican loss over the shutdown and debt ceiling battle – for this round at least.

"We fought the good fight. We just didn't win," Boehner told Cincinnati radio station WLW on Wednesday after the Senate stepped in to effectively end the legislative impasse.

Boehner expressed hope for a comprehensive budget deal with Democrats in coming months, a hope couched in historical realities.

"Every time I've gotten into a discussion with the President, the Vice President, the Democrats here in Washington, and talk about entitlement changes, trying to make these programs sustainable, all they want to do is raise taxes. Well we can't do that," Boehner said.

"If they're going to hold onto their position that we're always going to raise taxes, then we're not going to come to an agreement."

Boehner expects the government to reopen on Thursday following expected congressional passage of the Senate compromise to fund the budget through January 15 and allow the government to borrow more money to pay its bills through February 7.

The provision makes a minor change to Obamacare, which conservative Republicans went to war over in forcing a shutdown of the government on October 1.

Boehner, who received a standing ovation from his caucus at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, reiterated support for the deal in a statement released by his office.

"Blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us. In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people," Boehner said.

Boehner said in the radio interview that he would encourage his entire Republican conference to vote on the deal and reopen the government.

"We did everything we could to get them to the table to negotiate," Boehner said of Democrats. "They just kept saying no. No, no, no."

"There's just no reason for our members to vote no today."

There have been Republican voices expressing ire with the deal, namely Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whose initial tactics of attaching a rider defunding Obamacare to funding of the government helped precipitate the partial shutdown.

Cruz said Wednesday however that he would not filibuster the expected bill.

But Boehner holds no ill will toward Cruz.

"Because we're Republicans, we're a little more independent-minded than our friends across the aisle," Boehner said. "Some are a little bit more independent-minded than others."

Funding the government through early next year is an opportunity to reach a far-more comprehensive deal, Boehner said.

"It gives us a chance to sit down with the budget process and see if we can't work something out," Boehner said, warning against a trajectory of debt and spending that he called "unaffordable."

Boehner insisted than he is far from done fighting.

"There's no giving up on our team, none," he said. "And there's no giving up in me."


Filed under: Government Shutdown • John Boehner
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    The Tea Party movement will go down in history for accelerating the demise of the national Republican brand. Speaker Boehner was a pawn and victim of the Tea Party. If Democrats retake control of the House in the 2014 mid-term elections, they can give thanks to the Tea Party.

    October 16, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. wmontanye

    And cost us how much? The GOP should have to pay back the AMERICAN Taxpayer....

    October 16, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "There's just no reason for our members to vote no today."

    There was no reason for Republicans to vote no two weeks ago either. No reason that justified shutting down the United States government that is.

    But, hey. John Boehner needs this little pep talk his to rally the troops who believe his nonsense day after day.

    With that in mind, please proceed, Speaker. Fool them once, shame on you. Fool them twice, shame on them.

    October 16, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Data Driven

    John: I have a milkshake, and you have a milkshake. Now I've got a straw - you watching? - that goes alllllll away across the room. And when it starts to drink your milkshake, I, DRINK, YOUR, MILKSHAKE! I DRINK IT UP!

    - President Obama, overheard in the White House, 10/16/2013

    October 16, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Terry

    It was the "good" fight, it was the "dumb" fight.

    October 16, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. destiny

    you're a disgrace to this country john boehner, you and your entourage all should be fired. you were elected to serve the great people of this country and you choose to serve only youselves, you're nothing but a colossal disgrace.

    October 16, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "We fought the good fight"

    Depends on how you define "good." If you consider it 'good" that the GOP/Teatrolls in control of the House changed the rules of the House in order to make absolutely sure that the gov't shut down by preventing anyone but Boehner or "his designee" from forcing a vote on the "clean" plans, then yeah, "good." I'm pretty sure most people consider the act of actually going so far as to change the House rules at the last second just to make sure the gov't shuts down and that nobody can prevent/end it to be extreme bad faith and a significant betrayal of your duties to the country as a Congressman.

    October 16, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. L.Sanfod

    GOP/TEA: You fought a lousy fight and for nothing. You wasted billions of dollars. You disgraced a venerable political party and turned into a worldwide laughing stock. You caused the loss of millions of dollars in income of hard working American people. You proved that the GOP/TEA does not give a damn for people who are poor or unfortunate not to be rich. Boehner, you disgraced yourself and your party by letting a small group of Cuzites lead you by your nose into a wilderness. You proved that compassionate conservatism is a myth.

    October 16, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. ED1

    That's because you blinked and the House was elected to stop the overspending.

    Everyone out there that blames tea Tea Party are wrong just think about it the Democrats didn't want a Mormon to be President but the voters wanted the out of control spending to stop that's just a fact you can't swallow.

    October 16, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Marty, FL

    Incompetent Boehner thinks this is some game, yet real American lives have been affected by this irresponsible TGOP shutdown.

    Vote it out 2014.

    October 16, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. NO TEA FOR ME

    It was not a game when you are playing with people's lives. Do your jobs GOP and stand up to the tea party like real Americans have done.

    October 16, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. byrd29

    good fight??didnt a week ago he said this wasnt a damn game???Last year didnt he say obamacare was the law of the land????If you fought the good fight it sure left you punchdrunk

    October 16, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. don in albuquerque

    The trash man cometh. Have another glass of Merlot. Boehner does not deserve one ounce of respect, but he is only one among many. Isn't that right Cruz.

    October 16, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Just read the article on the interview between Bash and Cruz.
    Synopses: give the chance he would do it again, he would move heaven and earth to shut down the government and put the US in default.

    Unbelievable...

    October 16, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. RomneyWho

    No Boehner, you fought a fruitless fight and got your back side handed to you once again! :(

    October 16, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. don in albuquerque

    Wrong Ed1. The house was elected on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. They did not deliver. They were also going to hold the president to one term, they did not deliver. In fact the GOTP has not even produced one meaningful piece of legislation . Just because you are delusional, don't try to pin YOUR crap on the rest of us. Stop your useless ranting and go too work on something real. Who knows...maybe you losers can hold Obama to two terms.

    October 16, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Everyone out there that blames tea Tea Party are wrong just think about it the Democrats didn't want a Mormon to be President but the voters wanted the out of control spending to stop that's just a fact you can't swallow."

    Dems running for the House received 1.3M more votes than GOPers running for the House in 2012. In other words, the majority of the House does not represent the majority of the voters. Your premise, such as it is, is 100% wrong.

    October 16, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "And cost us how much? The GOP should have to pay back the AMERICAN Taxpayer...."

    It cost $24B and slowed economic growth by 0.6% such that S&P has now revised projections of 4th quarter economic growth downward from 3% to 2%. Next time the GOP/Teatrolls try to blame the "stagnant recovery" on Obama and the Dems, remind them that, just like the government shutting down that they tried to blame on Obama, it was actually the GOP/Teatrolls who did it...DELIBERATELY.

    October 16, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. Dilip Samuels

    The Cruzoles, ryanholes, randholes and KINGHOLES almost got Boehner to be a hated man in America

    Glad he got some sense

    Now watch the Republicans BLOW UP IN THE ELECTIONS

    October 16, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Dave

    You are all fools...The only real Patriots in this whole fiasco are the Tea Partiers who at least made an attempt to stop the reckless spending of our Federal Government. Only fools would think that we can continue to spend like drunken sailors then borrow from our adversaries to keep this Ponzi scheme going. I am a Vet and a proud American but so sorry to see the destruction that our elected "leaders" have wrought on this country. Give these self-serving idiots three more years of power and this country will be toast. When will we wake up and demand that this bloated Government begin to address the real problems that face our nation. Until then I will only vote for representatives that demand fiscal sanity.

    October 16, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    " to keep this Ponzi scheme going. I am a Vet and a proud American "

    You're also someone who doesn't understand what a Ponzi scheme is.

    October 16, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Gary

    Now the GOP can get back to more important bussiness. Like if Obama wears a jacket in the oval office, if he's a Muslim, where he was born, No flag pin. Oh, and lets not forget Bengazi, gun running and his Aunt on welfare.
    Poor Darrel is having withdrawls not getting to be in front of the cameras. Ahhh, how I miss the good old days.

    October 16, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. bobby frank

    I really don't understand what all of this was for. A bunch of crazy people is what it looks like from here. And now you are going to talk about spending out of control and you have caused us to lose so much and not just money. For what? You people are a bunch of out of control idiots!

    October 16, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. don in albuquerque

    Found that key to the liquor cabinet, huh Dave.

    October 16, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. L Spurgeon

    Boehner said this wasn't a game and now he is saying "We didn't win".
    Boehner needs to take a lesson from the Senate and realize he needs to compromise with the democrats and come up with the best plan they can to continue moving the country forward. Instead he shuts the country down and costs the economy billions. And his colleagues give him a standing ovation?! They all need to be fired!

    October 16, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
1 2