Republicans should focus on the U.S. economy and not waste time and money attacking President Barack Obama over his ties to his former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr., House Speaker John Boehner said today.
Interviewed on ABC’s “This Week,” Boehner joined presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in decrying a Republican strategist’s aborted plan to air racially tinged ads against Obama. Racially incendiary sermons by Wright became an issue in 2008 when Obama won the presidency.
“The issue is not Reverend Wright,” Boehner said today. “The issue is the economy. This kind of nonsense shouldn’t happen. The election’s going be about the economy and getting Americans back to work.”
Boehner reiterated that Congress shouldn’t wait until after the November elections to pass legislation aimed at reducing the federal debt. He acknowledged he faces a challenge corralling House Republicans.
“It is hard to keep 218 frogs in a wheelbarrow long enough to get a bill passed,” he said, referring to the number of lawmakers needed to pass bills in the House.
Boehner, who previously said there is a one-in-three chance Republicans could lose control of the House in November, said, “If the election were held today, I feel good about it.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, also appeared on the ABC program and challenged Boehner to bring legislation to the House floor to cut taxes for middle-income earners.
“We all know we have to reduce the deficit,” she said. “We have to do it in a balanced way.”
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