House Speaker John Boehner mocked his fellow GOP colleagues in the House for being unwilling to tackle the issue of immigration reform at a local Rotary Club meeting in his Ohio district.
He told the crowd he didn’t know whether the House would take up any legislation this year, but he made clear he thinks they should. Noting the camera in the back, he mocked his colleagues’ attitude on the issue.
“Here’s the attitude. It’s, ‘Ohhh, don’t make me do this! Ohhh, this is too hard!'” Boehner said, in a whiny voice.
“You know, we get elected to make choices,” he added. “We get elected to solve problems. And it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to.”
Of the comments, Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said, “As the speaker often says to his colleagues, you only tease the ones you love.”
Boehner has long made clear his desire to pass immigration legislation sooner rather than later — he reminded the audience he has been trying for much of the past year. The Senate last year passed a bipartisan-led bill, but Boehner has said the House won’t take it up. Boehner told attendees at a fundraiser last week he is “hellbent on getting this done,” but his spokesman said after the comments that nothing in his position had changed.
Conservative groups opposed to new immigration legislation blasted Boehner’s latest remarks.
“It’s disappointing, but by now not surprising, that the Republican Speaker is attacking conservatives looking to retake the Senate,” Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said.
“The Republican Party should be large enough for fact-based policy debates. Unfortunately, John Boehner is more interested in advancing the agenda of high-powered DC special interests than inspiring Americans with a policy vision that allows freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society to flourish.”
Here’s the clip (Boehner’s comments start around the 25-second mark):
Here’s a GIF of the key moment:
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