John Boehner didn't seem to hold much back during his hour-long interview with Stephen Moore for the Wall Street Journal, which took place just after Boehner was re-elected House speaker. "I need this job like I need a hole in the head," the chain-smoking congressman says at one point.
- He explains his now-infamous "go f--- yourself" to Harry Reid: "Those days after Christmas, I was in Ohio, and Harry's on the Senate floor calling me a dictator and all kinds of nasty things. You know, I don't lose my temper. I never do. But I was shocked at what Harry was saying about me. I came back to town. Saw Harry at the White House. And that was when that was said."
- Boehner also reveals what was, for him, the most shocking moment of fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama: "At one point several weeks ago, the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.'" Obama believes the federal deficit is the result of problems with the health-care system, Boehner explains.
- Boehner repeatedly tried to convince him that the country does, in fact, "have a very serious spending problem," but Obama dismissed him and noted, "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that." (And yes, Boehner confirms the president also made this headline-grabbing comment.)
- In the end, Boehner was not satisfied with the fiscal cliff deal, but he notes: "Who would have ever guessed that we could make 99% of the Bush tax cuts permanent? When we had a Republican House and Senate and a Republican in the White House, we couldn't get that. And so, not bad."
- Boehner also talks about the future: Republicans absolutely won't consider any more tax increases in the next two years, and Boehner won't bother engaging in any more "futile" closed-door talks with Obama.
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