June 30th, 2010
09:28 AM ET
11 years ago

Dems push hard on Boehner comments


Dems are pressing Boehner over his recent interview. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

(CNN) – Democrats are apparently doing everything they can to ensure Rep. John Boehner's recent comments to a conservative-leaning paper in Pittsburgh aren't soon forgotten.

The Democratic National Committee is out with a web video Wednesday taking aim at the portion of the interview in which the House minority leader blasts the Obama-backed financial reform bill, saying of the measure, "This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

The comments came in an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, published Tuesday.

"Congressman Boehner, this is a bunch of ants," the video's narrator says before fading to news coverage of the 2008 financial crisis. "Congressman Boehner, any questions?"

Boehner's comments couldn't come at a better time for Democrats, who are on the eve of passing the financial reform bill with little-to-none GOP support and are eager to portray Republicans as out of step with main street America.

"It's the clearest expression yet from the Republicans of what they believe – that the system in place for regulating Wall Street works fine and is in need of minor reforms – if any at all," a Democratic official said. "You can bet Boehner's comments will be heavily featured in DNC ads this fall."

But Boehner spokesman Michael Steel says the Ohio Republican was merely criticizing the Democrat's financial reform measure, not minimizing the economic crisis.

"Boehner was certainly not minimizing the crisis America faced – he was pointing out that Washington Democrats have produced a bill that will actually kill more jobs and make the situation worse," Steel said.

After a grueling 20-hour session, lawmakers early last Friday finished melding the House and Senate bills, bringing Congress closer to passing the most sweeping changes to the financial system since the New Deal. Despite promises of an open negotiating process, many of the toughest deals were reached in private conversations among Democrats, as well as White House and Treasury officials, outside the Senate meeting room session that was being broadcast on C-SPAN.

CNNMoney.com: What's in the financial reform bill?

Filed under: DNC • John Boehner
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I love it! The quicker we get the likes of Bonehead Boehner and his ilk out of Congress, the better off this country will be. He thinks the democrats are snubbing out the America he grew up in. Good!!! I guess Bonehead doesn't know what CHANGE is.

    June 30, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Dano

    It seems to me that Boehner is implying that all the people who lost their jobs and retirements due to the financial system meltdown are "ants"?? I guess as long as he and his Wall Street buddies are still raking in the money all is well in his book.

    June 30, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    I would suggest for anyone interested in just what an idiot this man, John Boehner, is, read the article for yourself. He's is against the moratorium on deep water drilling, but thinks we should put a hold on it instead. I'm not kidding. I saw parts of the interview on video on news reports last night, and was stunned at how stupid he is. What are you thinking Ohioans? Certainly you can at least find someone who cares about you?

    One more thing, I saw this comment on the internet a couple of months ago, and every time I see him, it pops back into my head and gives me the giggles so I thought I'd share: Hey Mr. Tangerine Man ... (sung to the tune of Mr. Tambourine Man).

    June 30, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. JonDie

    I don't see what the big deal is with Bernie Madoff. People like John Boehner defend the interests of the Madoffs of the world 24 7 365.

    June 30, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. katiec

    How anyone can believe the republicans will not continue to support Wall St over the American people is beyond me. It beomes more obvious daily with their obstruction, actions and obvious undying love for big business.
    Together they almost destroyed our country and voters have to make sure it cannot happen again. Actions speak louder than words and their actions deserve the American people voting all of them out.

    June 30, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Bill in Austin

    Anyone that takes anything that Boehner says seriously hasn't been paying attention. He is part of a triumvirate(Mitchell, Cantor, and Boehner)that has made it GOP policy to disagree, obstruct, and vote "no" on every policy put forward by this administration. One would be hard pressed to find one instance where they have agreed on one single item with the administration.

    What is worse, is that he still has not accepted any responsibility for the mess created by his party and his president in the previous 8 years. He is still in denial.

    June 30, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. GL

    Despite a last-minute patch to secure his vote, Republican Sen. Scott Brown said Wednesday he needs more time to study a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations before committing his vote.

    And Sen. Scott Brown is really playing with fire and he is going to get burned in 2012. This man thinks he is the GOBP White night that is going to save the GOBP. Scott Brown is a Sara Palin in pants. The only reason why he may be populur is becasue he is good looking nothing else. He was for the bill now is is not becasue the Republicans have the same veiw as Boehner.

    June 30, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. GL

    This interview with Bonehead could not have come at a better time. Scott Brown is not in step lock with Bonehead.

    June 30, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. ART

    If a regular person goes into a bank and slips a note demanding money and gets caught he's sent to the big house. If you ask me the bankers who do all sorts of tricks with smoke and mirrors with other peoples hard earned money and get paid substantially for screwing people over need to be held accountable and this is why i know the rebuplicants do not represent the middle class in no way shape or form

    June 30, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. GL

    This interview with Bonehead could not have come at a better time. Scott Brown is now in step lock with Bonehead.

    June 30, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. free market capitalism does NOT = democracy

    Boehner and the republicans are 'canned wall street tuna'. Boehner and the republicans are against financial reform, Glass-Steagall act, and Americans who lost their 401ks and pensions to the wall street slobs. ...The government did not take money out of our pensions and 401k in the last 5 years, wall street killed us with cold, American-killing, calculation....and the republicans have firmly pushed their deregulation experiment solidly since 1999 and what we have now is the direct result of their action..... the repubs are supported by old corporate crooks and young wanne-be corporate crooks who want more of our money....all under the name free market capitalism... don't be a dummy any longer

    June 30, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Capt. Snarky

    I dare say that there are many, many, many citizens of the U.S. that agree with Rep. Boehner. Remember that "silent majority" thing..........

    June 30, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Whatever

    I guess Boehner is still stuck on the fundamentals!!! LOL Make him eat his words and enjoy every letter!!! hehe

    June 30, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Byrd

    Once again Boner proves to be absolutely clueless. How long these corporate apologists will remain in denial is anybody's guess, but his comments should stand as absolute proof that his real masters are not his constituents, but those on Wall Street who stuff his off-shore accounts with bribe money and payola.

    June 30, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Duck Fallas

    "This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon" means "Washington Democrats have produced a bill that will actually kill more jobs and make the situation worse"

    Of course! Who can't see that? Ants are jobs!

    June 30, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. Beverly - NYC

    Mr Boehner what exactly did the Republicans offer to fix this ant hill of a problem? After six years of rubber stamping Mr. Bush's 2 wars de-regulation of big business, and touting home ownership for everyone as far back as 2003. It takes more than the theatrics of suspending a campaign, putting a large binder clip around 10 pages of empty paper and yelling you lie at the President. It's easy to critize the person with the broom cleaning up your mess isn't it? It's time for Republicans to get out of the way, they have proven they can't lead or follow. It's time for main street to accept the fact that Mr. Boehner and his ilk do not have a clue what a recession does to a family on a budget, they're all rich guys who can vote themselves raises, go on taxpayers junkets to exotic locals all while enjoying the best healthcare my taxes can buy. Go work on your tan Mr. Boehner, and leave the governing to those who can.

    June 30, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. Rob

    Congressman Boehner is a piece of right wing garbage. I'd throw him in prison if I were in charge of things.

    June 30, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No Steele, Boehner is putting his foot on the neck of the American people and holding them down while supporting the rich only. Boehner has never done anything for the people or Ohio who need help and he doesn't intend to do so.

    June 30, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. liberal hypocrisy

    I've voted for both republicans and democrats in the past. Over the past 3 years, I have become a little disappointed with both parties–but mostly those with a D next to their name.

    Much like the "Healthcare" reform bill, the new financial reform bill does not address the real problems. Why have we been in a recession for the last 2 years? Because of government-mandated lending practices for banks and government-backed entities (Fan/Fred) that willingly bought those BAD loans–knowing that they were 'poison'.

    The new reforms don't address these issues. Instead, it adds a whole new level of regulations, which end up as costs, fees... to the end users–US. (ironically, two leaders that helped bring down the economy are responsible for this joke bill - Barney Frank and Dodd)

    Hopefully, others that vote for the D will open their eyes and take not

    June 30, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. phoenix86

    Anyone who reads the bill will see that it does nothing except expand federal power and make decisions completely arbitrary without any basis in established contract law.

    Only the really naive can support a bill like this.

    June 30, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. GL

    In a statement Wednesday, Brown said he appreciated the removal of the fee, but said he would review the bill over next week's recess.

    He is a useless clown and he is going to pay big time in 2012. This man really thing highly of himself just as Sara Pallin do. I bet Scott Brown try to run for President in 2012 – the writting is on the WALL! Scott Brown believe he is the GOBP white HOPE!

    June 30, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. rs

    I fear (for the Republicans) that they are letting their true nature show:
    * Save British Petroleum from being responsible for their environmental disaster; * Let's undo Marshall's Brown V. Board of Education and go back to segregation; * Boehner's bizarre they're killing the America of the 1950s (where there was no medicare, there was segregation and opendiscrimination, no environmental policy, little regulation, etc.)
    Republicans are publicly revealing that they are in fact pro-white (only), pro-corporate (over citizenry), and pro-wealthy. Sure they try to channel the TP people and talk about fiscal conservatism- but then they talk about tax cuuts (for the wealthy) and business stimus packages (for corporations.

    They have accomplished nothing in the last two years, and their last 8 in office were an unmitigated disaster.

    Finally, if Sister Sarah is the only candidate offering they have,.... well, they're doomed.

    June 30, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. John D

    Boehner is absolutely correct in his assesment! The dems are destroying this country with more and more laws they will only ignore.
    The financial reform bill is a joke and makes the little guys who had nothing to do with the melt down responsible for what the big guys did. Which by the way all boils down to Clinton and his dem croonies who removed the restrictions on banks and allowed them to get involved with risky trading practices.

    Frank and Dodd are jokes and are neck deep in the hypocrisy of the dems and this piece of garbage legislation. It shows the dem mentality to let the two most responsible for the meltdown write new regulation rules without including Fannie and Freddie.

    Dems will leadto socialism if left unchecked!

    June 30, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Donald

    Lol gop is too funny.

    June 30, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Boehner is an idiot! Keep up the good work DNC, please keep the party of hypocrisy in the spotlight.

    June 30, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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