Boehner: Obama Has 'Lost His Courage' and 'Checked Out' as Leader

Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012 08:01 AM


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Speaker of the House John Boehner says President Obama “lost his courage” over an agreement on spending and charged that Obama has “checked out” of any efforts to work with Congress to instead concentrate on his re-election.

“It’s shameful,” Boehner declared in an interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose that aired on Wednesday.

Rose asked the Ohio Republican why he and Obama can’t come to “some understanding” on the budget because the American people want that to happen.

“I sat for months with the president. He wanted revenue,” Boehner responded.

“I said, ‘Mr. President, I'll put revenue on the table that we can achieve out of fixing our tax code. But the only way I'll do it is if you're willing to have real, fundamental reform of our entitlement programs.’ And the fact is we have an agreement. And then two days later, the president decided he wanted $400 billion of more revenue, which was, in effect, a $400 billion tax increase.

“He lost his courage.”

Rose asked: “What did he tell you?”

Boehner: “That we needed more revenue, needed more revenue. He lost his courage.”

Asked if anything would be worked out before the election, Boehner said: “I would hope so. But I'm not optimistic. The president checked out last Labor Day. All he's done is campaign full time for the last six months.

“He's not been engaged in the legislative process at all. There have been no efforts at trying to work with Democrats and Republicans to address this issue at all. And it's shameful.”

Boehner spoke with Rose in his first national interview since Mitt Romney became the presumptive GOP nominee. Boehner endorsed Romney on Tuesday, saying he will be “proud to support Mitt Romney and do everything I can to help him win,” CBS News reported.

Boehner also said the presidential race is “going to be over the president's economic policies, pure and simple. They've made matters worse.

“America should be doing a lot better today. But when you look at his calls for higher taxes, his refusal to deal with the debt, the regulatory regime here in Washington out of control — they've scared every businessperson and investor in America. That's why you see record amounts of cash in these businesses, in banks, because they don't know what tomorrow's going to look like.”

Progressive Catholic leaders charged last week that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which Romney supports, “disproportionately cuts programs that serve the poor and the vulnerable.”

But in a recent interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Ryan claimed his budget “reflects Catholic teachings of local control and concern for the poor,” according to Politico.

And Boehner told Rose: “I don’t think our budget will hurt the poor in any way. But we can’t continue to spend money that we do not have.”


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