January 2nd, 2013
10:09 AM ET
9 years ago

Boehner's White House F-bomb

(CNN) - For all the stalemate in the fiscal cliff negotiations, there were some heated moments, too.

A Democratic source familiar with one particular exchange told CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were sitting on a sofa in the White House.

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House Speaker John Boehner breezed in and his first words to Reid were "Go f*** yourself."

Boehner's comment came after Reid took to the Senate floor on Thursday and characterized the House speaker's handling of his chamber as a "dictatorship."

Reid responded to Boehner's confrontational tone by laughing, the Democratic source said, though a GOP source who was there said he didn't think Reid was all that happy.

"The exchange continued, and it didn't get any better for Reid," the GOP source said.

Boehner's office had no comment on the exchange when asked about it Wednesday.

Both men described the moment to members of their caucus.

The exchange happened at the White House on Friday - the day the four Capitol Hill leaders, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - met with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

On Wednesday, after news of the comment emerged, Reid said on the Senate floor that "unlike others behind us in this Capitol, I'm not going to stoop to name calling. I just want people to work and do what they need to do." Politico first reported Boehner's comment.

Hours after the meeting on Friday, he described it as "constructive."

"There was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting, everyone knows how important it is," Reid said. "It was a very serious meeting and it took an extended period of time."

- CNN's Dana Bash and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: Harry Reid • John Boehner
soundoff (850 Responses)
  1. Bill

    The fact that anyone even cares surprises me. The behavior of our extremely well paid reps is out of control. Maybe if a few more lost their jobs, they all might wake up there is a time and a place for child behavior this is not one of them! Wake up all of you! Both sides this action represents the immaturity and poor decision.

    January 2, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Jack

    I haven't seen such incivility, you can congratulate in part Newt Gringrich and Limbaugh.

    January 2, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. j williamson

    And people wonder why there seems to be a breaking down of common civility in society? Boehner completely embarrassed himself and showed the world what an individual lacking "class" is capable of.

    January 2, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Mike

    What is really pathetic? Chances are high that both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did just what House Speaker John Boehner told them to just as soon as they could get to a closet.

    January 2, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. notawingnut


    January 2, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    romanlaugh wrote:

    Civility is dead. You didn't hear this kind of thing happening in Reagan,Bush or Clinton's second terms. That's because they were moderates in one way or the other. Clinton was a fiscal moderate,Reagan was a social moderate and Bush was a little of both. Obama is a full spectrum liberal.
    See, this is why the right wing is so broken. Bill Clinton raised taxes, yet he is declared a "fiscal moderate." Barack Obama has lowered taxes, yet somehow he is declared a "full spectrum liberal." Don't try to figure it out, just throw them out of the Congress.

    January 2, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Julie Labrouste

    Back at you Boehner.

    January 2, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Floyd from Illinois

    As long as REpublicans keep running the likes of Boehner, the nation will be afflicted with his sort of behavior.

    Republicans get what they deserve – unfortunately, the rest of us, who do NOT deserve a Boehner in any sort of leadership position, also get it. .

    January 2, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Oh, Harry. Harry. Harry...
    Whatever did you do to deserve such hate and vitriol?
    Typical Republicans. Always the victims, never the instigators.

    January 2, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. janelle

    While I generally don't agree that the way to state your arguement is in that language, I myself am so fed up with and sickened by Mr. Reid that I would probably say the same thing to Mr. Reid if I found myself within 10 feet of him!

    January 2, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. jim herr

    Reid has too much power for a puny little state as Nevada. He represents its pork and himself only.

    January 2, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Marc L from NY

    Let me get this straight. Reid states he is not going to stoop to name calling? Didn't he start this by calling Boehner a name?

    January 2, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Malory Archer


    I would have expected this from Biden, but not from Boehner


    Can you provide an example of a time that VP Biden told another sitting elected official to go F himself? No? Didn't think so, but thanks for playing!

    January 2, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. roy

    Politicans are people to and probably use the F-bomb word every now and then to each other and to the American people behind their backs.

    January 2, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Dave

    He deserved it.

    January 2, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Doc

    when you got nothing to say in defense of your actions, use the F- word if your that stupid.

    January 2, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. TheVoice2

    I am just happy hearing Grover Norquist change his story of what a tax increase looks like. He is trying to keep him and his ponzi scheme organization relevant. It's OVER for GROVER!!

    January 2, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Evelyn Connaway

    Remember when the republican minded Supreme Court gave all the vulgarity to the first amendment free speech! All people of low character love to use those words – constantly! My Mother used to say, people who swear and use vulgarity do so because they weren't very intelligent. Children learn those words from adults, but get their mouth washed out with soap or their butt busted if they are heard saying them. I'm no saint I said that f-word for the first time after I was 50 when I was really frustrated, not to or at anyone – just said it! I note that all the old movies that didn't have those words in them – have been re-done to include that f-word nearly every other word. It's time for all people to clean up their speech. Especially those jerks who are supposed to represent us. Someone mentioned that Senator Reid called Speaker Boehner a dictator – dictator is not a vulgar word.

    January 2, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Jim

    Reid's right.... There's too much to do in Washington to be calling each other names. Point fingers doesn't work... The blame game doesn't work. As the John Q Public, we should demand they FOCUS ON THE ISSUE and NOT ON THE INDIVIDUAL. Real leaders lead, losers blame and name.

    January 2, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Have we forgotten that the sensitive Reid lied when he stated without proof of any type that Romney had not paid ANY taxes during some years of the last decade. Cursing may be inappropriate but lying is indicative of moral turpitude. Finally, why did McConnell make an end run around Reid and go to Biden. The answer is clear. it is impossible to negotiate with a deceitful,arrogant, narcissist.

    January 2, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. jody

    It is rumored that Miss Ashley Judd may run against Mitch McConnell (unfortunately my Senator). Run Ashley Run!!!!!!! An intelligent, Harvard graduate, Liberal--an old out of touch, rich, white, strange, conservative-guess who I will vote for. Run Ashley Run!! Itr is time to put Mitch out to pasture.

    January 2, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. Dr Matrix

    From the party that claims to be the family values party. They just can't walk the walk.

    January 2, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Boehner: no class, no guts, no sense of responsiblity, no shame.

    January 2, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Malory Archer


    VP Biden introduced the f-word to the political scene–why the big deal about Boehner?


    Actually, that would be the former VP who shouted the same phrase as bohner on the Senate floor, aimed at a Dem.

    January 2, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. v_mag

    It is an indication of CNN's collective intellectual level that they reserve something like this to open up for extensive comments. A politician says a dirty word. Something that has absolutely no impact on anyone, except maybe to hurt the feelings of the other politician, and we are all pretty sure politicians don't have feelings.

    CNN does the same thing when a nutcake like Palin or Bachmann makes a nitwit comment. However, every day, events with horrendous consequences pass right by us without even a side note from CNN, much less the opportunity for Americans to and comment on the issues. Misplace priorities and reality show morals.

    January 2, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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