It's such fun to watch conservatives eat their own! Hours before a budget bill vote, House Speaker John Boehner sharply criticized the Tea party and outside conservative groups opposed to the legislation, saying they're seeking to further their own objectives, not those of the Republican Party.
Boehner denounced and mocked the organizations that have plagued him throughout his speakership, accusing them of “misleading their followers” while defending his own conservative credentials.
“I think they’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be, and frankly, I just think that they’ve lost all credibility,” Boehner said.
While the Speaker didn’t cite any organizations by name, he was clearly referring to Tea Party and other conservative groups that have opposed most every piece of fiscal legislation he has presented to the House GOP. The groups include Heritage Action, the political arm of the influential think tank, as well as the Tea Party-aligned FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity.
Boehner recalled the government shutdown in October, blaming conservative activists who he said “pushed us into this fight to defund ObamaCare and shut down the government.”
The day before the government reopened, he said, “one of these groups stood up and said, well, we never really thought it would work.”
“Are you kidding me?!” Boehner asked.
Boehner also defended his three-year tenure as House Speaker.
“I’m as conservative as anybody around this place,” he said. “And all the things that we’ve done in the three years that I’ve been Speaker have not violated any conservative principle. Not once.”
Asked whether he was telling the conservative groups to “stand down,” Boehner replied, “I don’t care what they do.”