Boehner taking a wait-and-see approach to Obama's speech
January 25th, 2011
09:58 AM ET
11 years ago

Boehner taking a wait-and-see approach to Obama's speech

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner says he'll look at what President Barack Obama proposes at Tuesday night's State of the Union address, but Boehner says the country "can't continue to spend money we don't have."

Boehner, speaking with reporters at a breakfast hours before the prime time speech by the president, says he thinks the president seems determined to continue the "spending binge."

Boehner termed a Tea Party response to the president's address by Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota that is separate from the official GOP response that will be given by Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, as nothing out of the ordinary. But the tope House Repubican then conceded that "it might be a little different," adding that "it is what is."

Asked about Obama's outreach to the GOP, the Republican from Ohio made a zero with his fingers, adding "zero, none, nada."

But Boehner later conceded that he himself hasn't reached out to the White House because he's been busy "tyring to get my arms around" his new job.

Filed under: John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Annie, Atlanta

    Maybe if Boehner had accepted some of the invitations from the President that he's refused over the last couple of weeks he wouldn't have to take a wait and see attitude. He could have been part of the process. But they're all going to sit together tonight, Democrat with Republican, so it's all ok as far as what we're going to see, right? And we pay these people huge salaries and fund their cadillac health insurance coverage (government run, that is), and pay all their staffers to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a month so they don't even have to read the bills they pass! Unbelievable.

    January 25, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Indy

    Boehner knows all about "binges" and Republicans wasted more money then anyone by doing nothing for two years and the biggest binge to come is health care repeal.The Republicans created the biggest spending binge ever with Bush and only now when things are starting to go good, they want to become responsible.

    January 25, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. cecilia

    that is real big of him, and I suppose if hears good things, things that will help Americans, he is going to jump right on the TV and say, "well done, Mr. President, well done! and we will be glad to help – right when elephants fly

    January 25, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Dnick47

    If that is what you think Mr. Speaker, then why were you and every otherr Republican stone silent when Bush spent us into Recesssion and ruin? Wht didn't you challenge Cheny when he handed out multi-billion contracts to his old firm without bidding? You didn't and wouldn't then so your concern now is disengeneous!

    January 25, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. Jill American

    It just cracks me up when Republicans talk about spending money after it was Bush and the Republican control of both Houses that ran up the deficit and they didn't include the cost of the two wars as spending. Just so typical of them, to ask everyone else to do what they themselves are not willing to do.

    January 25, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. Wes B.

    Thanks, Boehner, for doing nothing to improve our country.

    Nothing good ever comes out of this man's mouth. He's kind of a jerk most of the time, it seems.

    January 25, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Dale

    Boehner, the GOP has even less credibility on the subject of fiscal responsibility than the Dems do. Your party has no problem with wasting trillions on supporting the military industrial complex, buying excessive and wasteful defense items that even the Pentagon says they don't need. Not to mention invading Iraq unneccessarily and so on. We are on to you GOP. What you do and what you say are two different things.

    January 25, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Dave

    ...and maybe the WH is allowing the opportunity to get accustomed to your new job as well. It goes both ways Mr. tan man, this isn't a one way street.

    January 25, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. PalmReader

    Translating Boehners response to Bachmann giving her own SOTU response "it is what is" should read:

    I don't have the leadership skills to contain this woman and don't wield enough power within my own party to stop her. She is what she is ... (sniffle).

    January 25, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Richard in Houston

    Wow in one interview he flip flopped twice. It is what it is? Great none response. Asked about the Presidents. Outreach to the Republicans and he responds with nada? What does that mean? Another none response. But concedes that he has reached out himself. To busy.

    January 25, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. Living in America

    Boehner ain't no fool. They way the President got all up in the Republican kool-aid on national television about the way they were spreading lies about his healthcare plan was classic. I bet they were all wishing for a teleprompter that day. He betta get a lot of Kleenex after the speech tonight and start crying.

    January 25, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. rusty155

    Michele Bachmann Is Improper because the Tea Party Is NOT a Political party and should Not be able too response to the President speech. They are only two Political party they are the Republican party and the Democrats. They should only one too be able to response to the President speech.

    January 25, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - John "The Weeper of the House" Boehner

    Where are the jobs Mr. Boehner?

    January 25, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. Outside Observer

    Is that all we can expect from the Speaker? React and not initiate? Note that the congressional Republicans have not brought up any new ideas in bringing about jobs, which is the resounding message of the 2010 midterms. All they have done so far is repeal the health care law that the BDO said will add to the deficit. The highest priority is defund abortion. What the heck is going on? So any economic gains from now going forward are the effects of Obama's policy? Damn the POTUS is looking good towards 2012, really good.

    January 25, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - John "The Weeper of the House" Boehner

    Mr Weeper...ooops, I mean Speaker, how about you and your colleagues stop wasting the taxpayers time and money trying to repeal healthcare reform. I hear you constantly referring to this bill as job killing, where in fact this bill is creating jobs. I work in the healthcare industry and I see a bunch of hiring going on by home health agencie, hospices and private practices. So this bill is not a job killer, it's a job creator. So I ask you sir, WHERE ARE THE JOBS? When you were in the minority, you claimed to have a plan to create jobs. Where's your plan? Your Pledge to America said you'll cut 100 billion out of the federal budget in the first year. Where are your cut proposals?

    January 25, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. KatR

    Sitting in the Speaker's chair ain't what you thought it would be, eh Boehner? Hopefully, you'll learn that compromise should not come only from the President but Republicans as well. So far, your stating that Obama has made zero attempts to reach out to your party is proof that you still have much to learn about compromise.

    January 25, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Sorensen

    Does anybody care whether he waits or sees?

    January 25, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. diridi

    Boehner is of no good, just like another GOP thugs....I do not know, as to where these idiots are going to take the nation...may to be to dogs....Don't listen to GOP idiots....o.k, you are much better thus...

    January 25, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. abe

    Mr. Boehner and his Republicans colleagues should act like civilized people listen to what the president has to say. We know the Republicans have agenda and they cannot fool the public. The public was fouled in giving them the majority in the house and know they able to see that they will not make and changes unless they work in a bipartisan way with the Democrats. The Tea party members are a joke and Republicans better be careful threading there way or face a backlash. For starters let us have the millionaires pay there due tax. They are not any different than the middle class in these country that pays the brunt of the taxes. Michelle Bachmann another darling whom is bening touted to run in 20012. I am really amazed by the perception that anyone can run for the presidency. Are we looking for brains or looks. Can someone answer my question? Mr. Boehner should work with the president/ Democrats because his legacy will be judged on how he performs especially in these new house and stop bening stiff.

    January 25, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Lets bring all of our troops home tomorrow then, Mr Boner!

    January 25, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Big_D

    The theory of trickledown economics was based on the assumption that rich people were not greedy. Giving larger and larger tax breaks to the rich has failed but the GOP still only uses this single plan. We can either let our country crumble or we can tax the rich that have benefited the most fairly. Making the middle class pick up the entire tab is killing our economy and infrastructure.

    January 25, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. maf

    That should be the Democrats response to the GOP focus on jobs "zero, none, nada."
    Why should the President be asking the Party of NO what to say in his SOTU address?
    They aren't going to offer anything substantive anyway!!
    What a bunch of hypocrites!!!

    January 25, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Sniffit

    "Boehner says the country "can't continue to spend money we don't have.""

    You mean like lowering an existing tax rate and thereby eviscerating the fedearl government's revenue stream just so the rich can buy larger yachts and buy golden bidets to match their golden toilets?

    "Asked about Obama's outreach to the GOP, the Republican from Ohio made a zero with his fingers, adding "zero, none, nada.""

    Yes, because when the GOP is trying to undo everything you've achieved over the past 2 years, it makes perfect sense to bother reaching out to them just to get yuor hand slapped AGAIN. He gave you your precious tax cuts for the rich, Boenhead, so I'd say the ball is in your court...but all you want to do is hide it.

    January 25, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Tax cuts for the top 2% of the earners in this country has the exact same effect on the deficit as direct spending. Boehner's claim the that President is on a spending binge is nothing more than more empty rhetoric. If they want to start getting closer to a balanced budget, they need to stop with the silly gimmicks and identify specific cuts. A blanket statement to reduce spending to some previous year's level without identifying the specifics means nothing. The details count.

    Where are the jobs Mr Boehner?

    January 25, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |