Boehner says he's the 'most reasonable, responsible person' in Washington
November 8th, 2012
06:23 PM ET
8 years ago

Boehner says he's the 'most reasonable, responsible person' in Washington

(CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner, talking about the prospect of negotiating with President Barack Obama on a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, said in an interview Thursday that he is the "most reasonable, responsible person here in Washington" and that Obama knew he was ready to hash out a plan.

"Of course we'll talk about it. We talk about all kinds of things we may disagree on," Boehner said in the interview with ABC News.

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Congress faces an end-of-the-year deadline before massive spending cuts kick in and tax breaks begin to expire, including the Bush-era tax cuts at the end of December. The fiscal cliff also includes so-called sequestration - automatic across-the-board spending cuts set to trigger at the beginning of 2013 if Capitol Hill fails to create a deficit-reduction plan.

In his interview, Boehner echoed sentiments expressed Wednesday in a speech in Washington, in which he said higher tax rates would be unacceptable to Republicans who control the House.

"I've made it clear to the president, and I think I laid out yesterday - raising taxes on small business people is the wrong prescription, based on where the economy is," Boehner said Thursday.

"Frankly it couldn't even pass the House. I'm not sure it could pass the Senate."

The House speaker said he was glad to see Rep. Paul Ryan return to Congress, despite having lost his bid for vice president alongside Mitt Romney. But asked if Ryan was now the leader of the Republican Party, Boehner (who himself could be considered his party's leader) said the Wisconsin congressman was more focused on economic policy.

"I wouldn't think so," Boehner said. "Paul Ryan's a policy wonk. He's involved in the cause of trying to bring us pro-growth economic agendas for America and making sure that we're doing this in a fiscally responsible way."

Boehner said he had every reason to believe Ryan would return at chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Filed under: Economy • John Boehner
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. TexasAnnie

    Has Boehner been smoking some of the funny stuff? Boehner & reasonable in the same sentence??? I don't think so.

    November 8, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  2. Stendac

    Heh, "most reasonable" is overstating it.

    However, I think Obama and Boehner both know that they are each other's best chance of passing a bipartisan budget deal and avoiding the automatic cuts. After all, they came close to agreeing to a debt deal last year before things fell apart. They both know that the real obstacle to a deal is the more extreme elements in both parties, especially the Tea Party faction.

    November 8, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  3. me

    Quick someone write a speech for Obama about economics.

    November 8, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  4. n

    Boehner is the most delusional congressmen in Washington and by far, the worst speaker of the house in american history.

    By the way, has anyone seen "Four and the Door"? Just wondering. teehee!

    November 8, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. kyphi

    It is time to redefine what "small business" is since it includes Donald Trump as one.

    November 8, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  6. Dan5404

    Sure, we know you oldtimers in the GOP do know how to work across the aisle. Sometimes you did it, but that was before Norquist and the Tea Party House took control of all of you and made you toe the mark. That's what caused the first credit downgrade. and will cause another more serious one, plus big cuts automatically if your extremists pull the suicide game again. David Gergen, a veteran Republican said right after the election that the Republican party has gone too far to the right and needs to change or the future is bleak.

    November 8, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Boehner can't be foolish enough to stick to no new taxes or raising the rates. I think he will be to not lose the speakership.

    November 8, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  8. fernace

    This has been the hold up for 2 years: W's tax cuts for the 1%! When Boehner say's "small business" he means multi-million $ corperations, not mom & pop stores! The T-Party folk are once again trying to hold the economy hostage for the 1%! It's a travesty & something must be done about it! How can they get away w/something so tacky & low!? If it isn't illegal, it should be! Who do I write to about this!? Lol! I'm thouroghly righteously indignant!!

    November 8, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  9. John

    When John Boehner said that he the most reasonable,responsible person' In Washington ,I would have to disagree with him. I believe he the most hard headed and most person to Compromise In Washington. But the Republican In congress better learn how to Compromise and they better learn It soon. there has to be Compromise In Washington and It start with John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell. The American People put you all there to do a Job so do what you are getting pay to do and get thing done.

    November 8, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  10. Martha in CF

    so Boehner is a liar too....

    November 8, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  11. Lonestar54

    Really where has this been? He didn't have the back bone to stand up to the weasels in his party.

    November 8, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  12. Evergreen

    Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Businesses were doing very well befor the cuts. Then create targeted tax cuts that reward large and small businesses that create jobs here in the US.

    November 8, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  13. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Boehner doesn't have the luxury of being reasonable or responsible. he is surrounded by sharks like Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and a host of other neo-fascists, more commonly called neo-cons.

    November 8, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  14. Alfred E. Neuman

    If Boehner really believes that he has had tipped too many wine glasses. If you don't fix the problems raising taxes on anyone is going to be the least of your problems.

    November 8, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  15. ronjayaz

    I wanna see Boehner cry again!. Real tears.

    November 9, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  16. Anonymous

    "Most reasonable, responsible person in Washington". What a lie!!

    November 9, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  17. Dee

    Boehner is supppose to lead he, Mcconnell, Ryan and Eric Cantor are the problems in Washington but the american people will be watching and their jobs will certainly be on the line.

    November 9, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  18. Zil Zerimar're joking, right?

    November 9, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  19. HUNU

    Whatever he says is not important. The next election, if nothing is done, American should not find out whose fault is, just sending Mr. John Boehner into early retirement and selecting a new one that can do a job. THat what life is about. You get pay for thing get done.

    November 9, 2012 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  20. Donkey Party

    81% of Americans disagree with Boehner about raising taxes. Calling himself reasonable and responsible is just another lie, and lying is the only thing the GOP does anymore. In 2014, Americans need to vote out all the obstructionist, domestic-terrorist Republicans.

    November 9, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  21. rosethornne

    ... I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    November 9, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  22. Mforward2012

    Who is He trying to kid. John is in the top 5 in "the WORST Speaker of the House" in U.S. History. Bring back Nancy and She will GET THINGS DONE.

    November 9, 2012 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  23. Darrell

    The man who got 98% of what he wanted, but the GOP lost the biggest prize: President of the US. Go figure!

    November 9, 2012 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  24. Andrew

    So is the new Boehner denouncing the Boehner of "Hell No!"?

    And is Mitch McConnell on board or is his number goal still for the presidency, and the nation, to fail?

    November 9, 2012 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  25. James Klimaski

    Most reasonable, what a fraud. There will be no compromise and Obama will Blink. He knows that if Obama gives on the issue of increasing taxes on the wealthy, he is finished in the eyes of the people who elected him. It will also mean that Boehner and Ryan will be in charge of the government and not the President. Grover Norquist and Wall Street will have won. Reasonable? Define reasonable.

    November 9, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
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