Deficit Positions Fracture Obama-Boehner Ties

Tuesday, 20 Sep 2011 02:16 PM

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President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner may never have been BFFs, but the relationship between them was at least civil. That now seems to be breaking down, The Washington Post’s political blog The Fix suggests.

During Obama’s deficit reduction speech Monday, the president said Boehner’s opposition to tax increases was “not smart” and “not right.”

For his part, Boehner said of Obama’s deficit reduction plan, “I don’t think I would describe class warfare as leadership.”

Obama, boehner, golf, deficitIt was just a few short weeks ago that the two were holding secret conversations to put together a “grand bargain” to address the country’s debt problems, not to mention their friendly golf match in June.

President Ronald Reagan famously got along with House Speaker Tip O’Neill, but that was the exception to the rule.

“There are far more examples in history of a president and a speaker being at daggers-drawn,” The Fix wrote. “And that goes double when the political atmosphere is as polarized as the one in which Obama and Boehner are currently operating is. The base of both parties view any sort of compromise as capitulation and with positioning in advance of the 2012 election already begun in earnest, it makes political sense for both men to stake out the ground they are currently occupying.

“But it’s also telling that two men who, by their nature, seem drawn to compromise — a look at their records before ascending to their current perches bears that out — have moved so far away from one another in such a short period of time.”


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