Boehner: No apologies for tears
January 30th, 2011
08:57 PM ET
12 years ago

Boehner: No apologies for tears

(CNN) - The new House speaker's tear ducts have been a national topic of conversation recently, but on Sunday John Boehner said it's a sign he's open with his emotions.

"We have big challenges in America, and I feel very strongly about addressing them. So, I get emotional," Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday." But he added, "I'm not going to apologize for being emotionally attached to the things I feel most strongly about in this town."

When asked about critics who think the crying makes him look weak, Boehner said he's just "one of the most transparent people in this town. And yes, I wear my emotions on my sleeve."

But don't expect the Ohio Republican to quit smoking.

"It's a bad habit, but I have it. And it's a legal product," Boehner said. "I choose to smoke. Leave me alone."

Filed under: John Boehner
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Laziz

    Ok, let me get this straight. If you are third in line to be the president of the most powerful country on earth, and every time your fellow countrymen see you on stage taking on an issues you care about, you cry because you are always emotional about your feelings. This does not smell good in the long run. A good leader should have emotions, no doubt about it, we all have, but to cry every single time is a little bit alarming. It shows a weakness no matter how people look at it and in the long run people are gonna go after the SOTH on this. Just saying.

    January 30, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Katie

    Problem with boehners tears is that it appears that his story is the only one that elicits such a reaction. His story is not THAT compelling or unusual that it provokes such reaction. I have more empathy for those working class folks, that worked hard, saved and invested wisely, who did all the right things, and are now desperate for work questioning what will become of their future. I have more empathy for the working class in this country – the ones boehner seems to have forgotten – as well as truly forgetting where he came from except when he wants to tout what he apparently considers his exceptionalism. The tears grow old quicky.

    January 30, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. jokerster

    I find it a great job of "acting." Tears for who??? He said he was a blue collar worker, why isn't he working for the blue collar worker instead of the mighty rich???? If I hear one more time from him, "It's what the American People want" I'm going to cry....

    January 30, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    It's just amazing that those tears he cries are usually for himself. These are challenging times in this country. I've never seen it this bad. My parents were small children during the last depression. Yet he is part of a party that is placing emphasis on small government yet grows the government (including having it in your bedroom and doctor's offices), hating big government yet want desperately to be the majority in charge of controlling it, hating government run health care as they call "Obamacare" yet accepting it readily as part of their jobs (have you seen one Republican refuse their government run health care?), and now wanting to redefine rape. Why does John Boehner and his party hate Americans, and especially American women, so much? What they are doing is hypocrisy at it's best, as well as lacking in integrity and common decency. Americans who voted to put them back in power in the house, Why? Can you just answer that one for me?

    January 30, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. VikingBerserker

    If he ever becomes president, all our enemy has to do is flash a picture of a puppy and the man will fall apart.

    I have no problem with a man showing emotions, but I do have a problem with a major leader being a wuss.

    January 30, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. Paul, MN

    I'm beginning to believe those are only crocodile tears. And you know what they say, "Never smile at a crocodile".

    January 30, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Sue

    Deception at it's finest. (i.e. "Oh, come on in", said the spider to the fly.) Wake up America.

    January 30, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. ST

    Everything which is done in excess turned to be harmful and not admirable. It makes a personal look exceptional from what others do and raises more questions, with little/no answers.
    Boehner now holds a position which, god forbid can lend him to be the President of the greatest nation on earth. Should he weep all the times and tell the world that he is emotional regardless the position he holds????

    January 30, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Tony Vazquez

    Right-on, Boehner.

    Don't apologize for having feelings. I worry about the politicians with no feelings and their finger on that RED button. I'd rather have a sensitive person than a heartless corrupt politician.

    January 30, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    It is a shame that he only cries when it is about him. Why does he not cry for the rest of us that work "every dirty job we can get" to make our lives better? I am 52 and starting all over. I don't cry for my family....I cry for everyone's family that is just like mine.

    January 30, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. they call me "tater salad"

    Somebody get "ol' misty" a tissue, I think he's about to have a moment!

    January 30, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Joan

    If Nancy Pelosi had cried as much as Boehner does, she would have been ridiculed mercilessly by the Republicans for being too weak. When a crisis occurs, you want someone who is strong and in control of his or her emotions to be making really important decisions. It must be a Republican thing because Glen Beck cries a lot too.

    January 30, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. JP

    Could you imagine this guy in a room hashing out a deal with Russia or China and suddenly he starts bawling like a 2 year old. Not very comforting to think he is #3 in line to the presidency.

    January 30, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Seattle Sue

    The only time I have seen tears from Mr. Boehner is when the subject is about him. I did not see tears from him when he talked about the Tucson shootings.

    January 30, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. CandyLand

    Well, here in the candyland of aging and neuropsychology, the fact that a politician in the public eye, a male one of Boehner's age with his history of smoking and drinking, cries about virtually nothing in front of the cameras, suggests early-onset central nervous system compromise. In other words, risk factors suggest this fellow has problems regulating emotional expression, which goes hand-in-hand with brain compromise of some sort. The only reasonable alternative explanation would be that his emotional reactions are deliberate. The only people who would know which one of these hypotheses are true are those who've had similar conversations with him in the near past, and whether or not his behavior is consistent across situations. If consistent – brain compromise. If not, calculated behavior. Either way, he shouldn't be where he is – in a large position of political power within the USA. Period.

    January 30, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. stacy

    Boehner is a total narcissist. He really only cries when he's thinking or talking about HIMSELF.
    He has NO PROBLEM with maintaining his composure when he's trying to kill health care for millions, stop unemployment benefits for recession victims while fighting for billions of tax breaks for the super rich ...... and of course, while he fights for big corporate fat cats. I haven't seen him shed one tear for the thousands of U.S. soldiers who have died either.

    January 30, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Brownie2

    I can understand a man being sensitive and "open" with his emotions, but this particular man is two steps from the presidency. He's got TO GET A GRIP, for goodness sake. If Nancy Pelosi had been this emotional, she would have been criticized for a month of Sundays!

    January 30, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Livin' the good life

    I cry too! I cry because I don't have a job. I cry because it appears that no one in Washington cares about that. I cry for not having food to eat or very little of it. I cry when my bills come because I do not know if I should file for bankruptcy or starve. I cry for all the children whos parents' are in the same situation as I. I cry for America because people like Boner thinks that a little emotion is going to let him "get his way". Such childess acts of being a "leader". Cry all you want but, PLEASE cry for the people out of work with no income, NOT healthcare, NOT YOUR job and your own habits...Beau Colby

    January 30, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. fayse

    Everybody cries sometime. We cry for the lose of a loved one, we cry when others suffer. But, most of us do not cry over less important things. It is unseamly for a grown person to cry at work at the drop of a hat. For the Speaker to cry when he is standing before his constituants is out of place.

    January 30, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. sandra goldsmith

    Seems to me he is suffering from depression. It is not natural for a grown man or woman to cry all the time like he does He seems so sad all the time.

    January 30, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. lynn

    He calls the tears emotion, I call them a sign of being unstable. In all my 70++ yrs. the only time I've seen my husband cry is when his mother passed.

    January 30, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. LouAz

    If his brain was as big as his tear glands, maybe we could gert some meaningful legislation out of the House. C'mon, where are the jobs ? ? ?

    January 30, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    ok so let's be fair about this....what would the far right say if President Obama was so "weepy"? You really think he would get the same pass on this? Many went after Hillary Clinton the time she shed tears and even Sarah Palin was quoted as saying she "couldn't get away with it". The right wing talk show machine would rip the president apart if he did the same thing and you know they would.

    January 30, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. kyle

    He only cries when he is helping line the pockets of big buisness, and big oil, and he never cry for the people with no job or no health insurance. or if their unemployment checks have stopped.

    January 30, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Charlie in Maine

    When I think of the party of "NO" being in charge of anything, much less the House of Representatives I have to hold back the tears as well. Is it time to vote them out yet?

    January 30, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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