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. Vidyashanti

    What a shame. Our well dressed, publicly well behaved leaders are mean and down right goons. We expect them to set high standard for rest of us. They are dual personality just like our religious leaders. Preach one thing and practice just the opposite.

    January 2, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. Nagrad

    Glad to see that Boehner is behaving like an adult.

    January 2, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Wilson

    Belly laugh of the year: "I'm not driven by some ideological agenda. I'm a pretty practical guy." –Barack Obama

    January 2, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Don

    Boehner should have aimed his comment at Norquist.

    January 2, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Wilson

    The BIG Lie: "Well, I have to tell you, David, if you look at my track record over the last two years, I cut spending by over a trillion dollars in 2011." –Barack Obama (Actually, federal spending increased by $147 billion in 2011.)

    January 2, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Jean

    The way Harry Reid behave s on the Senate Floor is a disgrace and the unmitigated lies he spews are utterly reprehensible – he deserves the lack of respect and more. Reid is a huge part of what is wrong with this country.

    January 2, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. BillC

    So... Out of chaos comes order! Democracy at work! Bear in mind that once these guys are voted in, they form groups that look to other election.. not to doing the people's work! Democracy at work again! Remember we put them there over and over again! So what do you expect? We the voters, are the non-thinkers! LOL

    January 2, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. bcjonah

    Wow... Now I understand why Biden had to step in and on the pile of..... isn't it always interesting how we teach our kids to behave in kinder-garden and get along with others.....but really doesn't apply to adults in charge.

    January 2, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Jim

    What a shame for Mr. Boehner that the framers of the Constitution set up a bicameral legislature.

    January 2, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Dan

    Let me understand this....Congress was able to include in this last minute dash, tax incentives for NASCAR racetracks and Hollywood film industries, but unable to provide ANY help for the victims of Sandy in NY and NJ that are freezing in unlivable conditons. Really???

    January 2, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. lary

    this is just what a bully would do use th f bomb in the whitehouse when he dont get his way .. he needs to be treated as the bully he is go around him leave him to himself to curse all he wants and when he gets tired he willl leave his job

    January 2, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Ray E. (Georgia) wrote:

    Aw Gee. No kidding! You suppose. I suspect a lot more people will be saying those exact words about the Libs when they see their paycheck this year, if they even get a paycheck. I say all the Libs needs to take a Vacation. Even tho it's wintewr go to Nigara Falls. Take a Barrel. Try it out.
    You've either been lied to, or you're telling lies. It was the GOP that objected to extended the payroll tax cut, Ray, just like they did one year ago. The middle class will see their paychecks go up, thanks in large part to the GOP.

    Democrats simply agreed to it as a concession to give Republicans something that they wanted, which is likely part of what had Boehner so out of character. Democrats fought for a middle class tax cut, while Republicans fought for a middle class tax increase.

    January 2, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. tony

    Voters should get longer memories and judge candidates on what they've done, not what they keep on saying instead. Calculators are cheap enough we should all have one.

    January 2, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Smeagel4T

    If it was a private session just between the leaders, then it's not tops on decorum but no big deal. Realistically it's the type of thing that would have been better left non-leaked. In those types of meetings, it is more constructive that the leaders be free to speak their minds. Being a top politician, I'm sure Reid had no particular problem with it. If Boehner had marched in and said that to me, I would have simply responsed "Having a bad day, John?"

    January 2, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. rs


    Belly laugh of the year: "I'm not driven by some ideological agenda. I'm a pretty practical guy." –Barack Obama
    Well, at least Obama hasn't had to filibuster his own bills, sir, and he has in fact negotiated, something I think we can say the GOP has been utterly incapable of either because of proir commitments to lobbyists, or their own wackadoodle politics. I think that what the Right fails to grasp is that by comparison to to Boehner, Cantor et al and all of their theatrics Obama actually does look practical.

    January 2, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Boehner should be sent to a foreign land.............. far, far away to never be heard of again

    January 2, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. blake

    CNN, stop the partisan reporting. Reid publicly began the name calling with Boehner with the intention to incite.

    January 2, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. chedar888

    I have yet to see congress stand up and have a fist fight like the Taiwanese Chamber. I guess it won't be long. All it takes is to have Grover Norquist to add the fuel to the fire.

    January 2, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. Shante'smom

    If Boehner had been able to convince his party to negotiate, they would have gotten a better deal earlier on. It went on too long and in the long run they got much less. Noone get's everything they want but these boys do not know how to make a deal so that both side win. They better shape up!

    January 2, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Reid responded to Boehner's confrontational tone by laughing."

    As so many of us did as well. The tightie righties really need to lighten up. I suspect it has a lot to do with that doom and gloom cloud they spend so much time trying to find (at CNNs political ticker).

    January 2, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Pritka

    I remind you all that SPENDING bills come from CONGRESS.

    January 2, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Anthony Laurich

    Tell all of them to go F*** themselves as we terminate all of them and hand them their pinkslips!!!!! Then since they don't pay taxes like the rest of us do....no unemployment benefits and no lifetime benefits (golden parachute). See how fast they would fix our economy then!!!!

    January 2, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Dan5404

    Typical frustrated GOP right-winger.. When you've lost and have no real arguments left, you resort to swearing or threats about your amazing political prowess in the future.

    January 2, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Kenman

    Your whole article is a joke! Report some NEWS, why don't you!?

    January 2, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Steven

    Reid has to be one of the most despicable people in a profession not exactly known for its integrity. Let's see how fast he and Nancy Pelosi distance themselves from ObamaCare when the truth about that scam comes out ("B-b-b-but we didn't know how it would turn out until we passed it!")

    January 2, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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