4 Times John Boehner Enraged His Own Party
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) sought to smooth things over between himself and some of his fellow Republicans on Wednesday after some of his comments created more than a little tension. Perhaps it’s the nature of Boehner himself, or perhaps it’s the political environment within the GOP recently, but this is far from the first time Boehner has lost his temper with factions of his own party — or they’ve lost their tempers with him.
Admittedly, disagreement and passionate disagreement is the name of the game when it comes to politics. However, Boehner appears to have a way of bringing out the angry in his fellow members — perhaps because he has often taken on the role of motivator and scapegoat in the past, as leadership positions are wont to do. Let’s take a quick look at some of his more notable disagreements starting with the most recent — after all, Boehner has his own election concerns to face come May 6, with three Republicans set to run against him.
1. Immigration Stall
“Here’s the attitude. Ohhh. Don’t make me do this. Ohhh. This is too hard,” said Boehner of his Republican colleagues’ reluctance to deal with immigration reform last Thursday. “We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems, and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to … They’ll take the path of least resistance,” he complained, as reported by USA Today. It’s clear that the somewhat antagonistic rhetoric was coming from a place of frustration, with many hesitant to take on this issue with elections so close. “I’ve had every brick and bat and arrow shot at me over this issue just because I wanted to deal with it. I didn’t say it was going to be easy,” said Boehner.
Following the comments, he’s had to go back and do some damage control, as a number of his fellows responded poorly to his mock whining. He may have been attempting to take a strong stance on the issue and scold those standing in the way of reform, but what he ultimately ended up doing was mere “teasing” it seems. “You tease the ones you love,” he said according to Reuters. “But some people misunderstood what I had to say ad some members misunderstood.”
Misunderstood indeed. “His remarks were inappropriate. We were offended. Absolutely,” said Representative Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) after Boehner met with the party privately to discuss the matter. But that wasn’t the only misunderstanding that concerned them, as his comments had many in the GOP concerned that there would be another legislative push for immigration reform, one they were not prepared to face yet. Apparently, they are all on the same page now, though, saying that this is not the case. “He actually came out and made some really very strong statements that go against what his comments suggested. Just to reiterate: Number one, we’re not going to conference on a Senate immigration bill,” said Representative John Fleming (R-La.), reports Reuters.