Speaker John Boehner accused President Obama of trying to “annihilate the Republican Party” during his second term, and the Ohio Republican said his goal is to make sure none of the President’s legislation will pass “as long as the House is controlled by Republicans.”
That was Boehner’s message to party colleagues the day after the Inauguration in his speech to The Ripon Society, a Republican think tank, according to The Hill newspaper, which got a transcript and video of the closed meeting.
The Speaker said Obama wants “to just shove us into the dustbin of history,” and called him “irresponsible” for not taking the country’s deficit problem or “entitlement crisis” seriously, at least by Boehner’s standard
“Boehner urged his conservative colleagues to be prudent in picking their political battles, something that wasn’t a trademark of Republicans in the 112th Congress,” the Hill noted.
“We’re going to have to make some big decisions about how we as a party take on this challenge. Where’s the ground that we fight on? Where’s the ground that we retreat on? Where are the smart fights? Where are the dumb fights that we have to stay away from? We’ve got a lot of big decisions to make,” the Speaker said.
The President’s ambitious agenda set forth in his Inaugural address involving climate change and gun control, among other proposals, will face heavy resistance in the Republican-led House, Boehner said, and “All I know is I’m up for the fight.”
The Speaker may be overly paranoid when talking about the White House but what he won’t or can’t say is that the greatest threat he faces doesn’t come from the Democrats but members of his own Republican caucus, many of whom feel he isn’t conservative and combative enough.