Boehner Fires at 'Misleading' Conservative Groups - Again

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 01:59 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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House Speaker John Boehner Thursday accused outside conservative groups of "misleading their followers" while trying to push House Republicans more toward the right.

For the second day in a row, the Ohio Republican held a news conference to complain about the far right influence that's being felt in the House from outside conservative groups, reports Roll Call. Just like in Wednesday's media gathering, he didn't bother hiding his frustration.

"Frankly, I think they are misleading their followers," Boehner told reporters. "I think they’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be, and frankly I just think they’ve lost all credibility."

He noted that conservative groups "pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare,” leading to the two-week government shutdown in October, which the House leader said "wasn’t the strategy I had in mind."

"The day before the government reopened, one of these groups stood up and said, ‘Well, we never really thought it would work.’

“Are you kidding me?” Boehner exclaimed.



The Ohio Republican insisted his criticism of conservative groups is nothing new, but "there just comes a point where some people step over the line."

“I don’t really think that I’ve said anything new or anything different than what I’ve felt and what I’ve said in the past,” he continued.

As he did on Wednesday, Boehner criticized some groups for speaking out against the spending deal reached Tuesday by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, even before all the details of their proposal had been released.

"When you have no idea what you’re criticizing, it undermines your credibility," he said.

The House is scheduled to vote on the Ryan-Murray budget Thursday night. Boehner said that even though many Republican members are protesting the measure, it is his "job and obligation to stand up for conservatives in Congress who want more deficit reductions and stand up for the work that Chairman Ryan did."

The bipartisan plan, Boehner stressed, balances the national budget within 10 years while not raising taxes. While not having everything Republicans might want, he said it "takes giant steps in the right direction" for the country without compromising core conservative principles.

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