House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama doesn't have “the guts” to tackle reforms needed to solve the nation's fiscal problems and is “out of ideas when it comes to how to fix the economy.”
The Ohio Republican made the comments before Tuesday night's State of the Union address and then expanded on them in an NBC “Today” show interview aired Wednesday morning
“Everything that he seems to want to do is more tax hikes and more stimulus money,” Boehner told “Today”
host Matt Lauer.
Boehner accused the president of lacking the courage to stand up to his own Democratic Party, or “
to do the kind of heavy lifting that needs to be done.”
“I don't think he's got the guts to do it,”
Boehner said, even though he believes the president “understands that we need changes and reforms, and we need to solve these problems.”
Boehner acknowledged his own problems with the Republican Party, but he said he never lacked the courage to do the right thing.
The speaker also insisted that he gets along with Obama even though “we come from very different worlds.”
“He has a liberal ideology, I come from a more conservative side,”
he said. “But having said that, the American people on Election Day gave us a mandate, a Republican Congress and a Democrat president. And the mandate was to find a way to work together. Find common ground.”
Boehner spoke with some degree of optimism about the possibility of Congress passing a new immigration bill, saying he believes that both sides can work together to produce a comprehensive package.
He acknowledged, however, that an agreement on gun control legislation might be more difficult.
“There are a lot of ideas out there,”
he said. “The question is, what will truly help bring down the violence in our society?”
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