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. blake

    Interesting how far left CNN chose to focus on Boehner's private jab rather than the very public comment by Reid that provoked the jab.

    January 2, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. Clemire

    Mr. Boehner is a disgrace to the House. He should resign immediately, we need respectfully and caring members in the House and Senate. Good bye Boehner and give the post to someone capable and who has integrity.

    January 2, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. midnitejax

    Well all I can say is kudos to Reid for not saying anything in response to Boehner's outburst. Reid would have been accused of making Boehner cry. Reid should have offered a case of Pampers and a box of Kleenex for the cry baby.

    January 2, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  4. Mike

    I disagree with Harry Reid.Bohner is not running the House like a dictator. He's barely running it. He can't even control his fellow Republicans. He is weak.

    January 2, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  5. Ed in Texas

    Boehner reflects PRECISELY the way all of us republicans feel right now. We are FIGHTING MAD. Now whatcha gonna do? You and your g-od obama got us there. Do you libs think you can threaten and bully us while your hands are in our pockets? You sure are full of youselves if you think you can...

    January 2, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Sounds like Boehner has been drinking again!

    January 2, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. GloSeattle

    Crazy talk from crazy people. If it was reversed, the GOP would be holding news conferences pointing out how they can't work with the Democrats. If you don't know enough words in English to berate or insult someone who has taken a jab at you then take a college class! Boehner is a representative voted in by Americans, and bar talk has no place in trying to solve problems facing the people he should represent professionally. Kicking the can down the road on hurricane victims is unreal too – what is wrong with the House???? Did they put something in their water over there, or what? All I have to say is election day will be here for you too, my friends – and as a registered Republican I intend to have my ballot in early and boot these croanies of Boehner's and Cantor's out! I stand corrected on my opinion of Mitch McConnell – thank you for working across the aisle on the fiscal cliff (#1).

    January 2, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. McShannon

    Boehner's bar talk is a bit brash but being the boaster at which he is better the substance of his speech unpleasant trash there can be no explanation for his act unless of course his imbibing strong drink is fact.

    January 2, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. USAFguy

    Civility died when dueling passed away. Bring back dueling, even if it's simply a fist fight or MMA. If you can't sock someone in the mouth for insulting you, it's a very sad time for mankind.

    January 2, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. Thinkergal

    This story accurately epitomizes the caliber of Republican leadership and the GOP in general.

    January 2, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  11. Really_folks

    Funny how the dems seem to forget our VICE PRESIDENT has uttered more obscenities over the air than Boehner...but yeah, that's ok I guess.... TOOLS....

    January 2, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. davecu

    I confess that I've said the same thing about old, senile, weasel-like, colon full of goat gas.

    January 2, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Chuck

    Anyone ever really listen to Harry Reid. The man is constantly calling people names and cat calling! I am sure Boehner did not appreciate the latest insult! This is a classic case of the spineless bully "Reid" being called out by a victim who has had enough of the $%#!... Let's get real and move on!

    January 2, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  14. Splinter48708

    Dear Mr. Speaker,

    "Go f*** yourself!"

    That's not a good way to get the two major parties and the two chambers of Congress to work together. Senator Reid proved, though, that he was the bigger man by not holding this crucial piece of legislation up over this offensive comment.

    The Speakership is a position of power and with that power comes responsibility. Part of this responsibility is, I believe, working to get legislation passed by working with the people on the other side of the aisle who might not agree on personal grounds, but, might have the courage to keep personal differences apart from the business of running this country.

    So, was telling Senator Reid what he should do with himself just personally venting frustration which can be more easily overlooked as such or was that a legislative/professional opinion, in which maybe should be looked into by the Ethics Committee at some point? Maybe a reprimand is in order or a censure? (OK, a censure might be too harsh in some folks eyes).

    Oh, I don't expect the Senator from Nevada to merely forget about this at all and there will be a political payback at some point. But, where will Reid decide to exact his payback? Hopefully bu NOT putting the nation's economic status in peril once more. Maybe by blocking a pet project of the Speaker? Maybe some little pork barrel project that the Speaker's all gung-ho about gets stripped out of a bill once it reaches the Senate side or the bill can't get enough votes to pass cloture if a friend of the Senator signals a filibuster or places a hold on the legislation for a while.

    Sadly, three little words will have a huge effect on this country. If the Speaker would say two more words: "I apologize" maybe the Senator will be gracious in accepting that apology and move on.

    Well, don't hold yer breath expecting that to happen right away.

    January 2, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  15. JAWZ

    I'm a lifelong Republican.... Boehner and McConnell do not give a hoot about the people that voted them into office or the country.. The only thing they care about are their own egos. Both need to to be voted out of office, get real jobs and learn how real people live. Any Congressman Republican or Democrat that has served more than two terms need to be voted out of office and move on. Professional politicians are going to be the ruin of this country.

    January 2, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. Kevin

    I'm as Democrat blue as they come and if someone called me a dictator, I'd tell him the same thing. Words are spoken at these meetings that are not meant for our ears, let's be sure not to judge someone by what they say behind closed doors. Nah, let's continue to have fun judging but not really give a !@#!@.

    January 2, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  17. jlhj2002

    Big deal. Dems do it all of the time. Didn't you know? It's the in thing to do... all of the whiney cry baby libs are doing it. So stop complaining.

    January 2, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. Mudgun

    Good for Boehner. Harry Reid had the balls to call the House Republicans 'dysfunctional' on Monday. This from the moron who has not passed a budget (as required by law) in 3+ years, and whose Senatorship has become a family business. Boehner's advice to Reid was excellent. Too bad the media always gives Reid a pass.

    January 2, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. abbydelabbey

    Boehner continues to demonstrate that he is no statesman - merely a crass, weepy shrill for the GOP ... a loser in so many ways ... he is unworthy of public office

    January 2, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  20. MTK Ohio

    John Boehner is a neighbor of mine. We love John here! He's a great American and like it not all you bleeding hearts, we will continue to elect him, and he is going to remain the speaker....so quit your moaning and go suck on your government tit

    January 2, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. Thinks2010

    John Boehner should pull his head out of whatever bottle he has it in long enough to sober up before engaging in any negotiations. Reid certainly didn't need to make such a snarky comment in the midst of the negotiations either. Both men need to grow up.

    January 2, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  22. SR-Ohio

    Sadly, I am from Ohio and from John Boehner's district.... This is what "represents" me in Washington. I really have a hard time understanding how we can think that we should go into other countries and tell them how they should run their government when our officials act like this and treat each other this way. I fear that this great nation like Rome will fall if people do not learn how to treat each other as humans and learn again how to cooperate and work together to solve our problems. What a shining example he has set for our children!!!!!!!

    January 2, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  23. empresstrudy

    All of a sudden the happy liberals who w/o interruption laughed scornfully at Romney's Mormon faith are feigning outrage because Mormon Harry Reid was insulted? CNN readers elevate hypocrisy to new levels.

    January 2, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  24. Charlotte

    John Boehner has all the class of a pimp at a flea market. sounds like he had a losing hand to play and in response, resorted to the time-honored GOP defense – offensive potty-mouth. Well played, Reid, well played.

    January 2, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  25. Rozznitz

    Closet creepers like the GOP pretend to be conservative so they can get their cookies on clandestine affairs, from Public restroom antics to living with The Family in rich digs at the taxpayers expense (which also had Democratic miscreants). They are angry people......unless they are getting their way.......until what they are doing hits the light of day and Americans tell them they can't play that way. Then they really pitch a tantrum. They buy big guns because they are so afraid.....that their manhood won't measure up.

    The minute you lose your cool and throw verbal stones, you have lost. And when you cross over to obsession, extremists of ANY persuasion, left or right, you are insane. Change is the one thing you can count on.

    The Speaker comes from a family that runs a bar. He drinks.......probably everyday and probably more than I want to know. He had to speak very angry words because he could not simply say, Reid – I don't like what you said and it really made me mad. I have also, throughout my 57 years, seen exponentially more Goppers get "redneck" than I have ever seen Democrats. Democrats normally debate. I personally do not go postal without really looking at the facts – I have to put things in context because anyone can twist statistics and data to win their argument, and taking things out of context is a favorite of politicans. Unless its a life or death emergency, NOTHING is worth winning at all costs. I AM NOT IMPRESSED BY CHEST BEATING AND ROOSTER FIGHTS!!

    January 2, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
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