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When asked about his leadership and a recent article in National Journal questioning whether he's capable of controlling his caucus or not, Speaker of the House John Boehner came up with this rather odd metaphor:
In an interview scheduled to air on ABC’s ‘This Week’, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) compared his sometimes unruly GOP caucus to “218 frogs in a wheelbarrow,” the number of votes needed to pass a bill in the House.
“I’ve never been shy about leading,” Boehner said. “But you know, leaders need followers. And we’ve got 89 brand new members. We’ve got a pretty disparate caucus. It’s hard to keep 218 frogs in a wheelbarrow long enough to get a bill passed.”
Boehner claimed there was only so much they could do with Democrats having control of the Senate and the presidency, pretended any of them have had any intentions of compromising with Democrats and repeated the Republican zombie lie on why the Senate hasn't passed a budget rather than just passing these stop-gap measures as they've been doing for the last couple of years. As Vyan over at Daily KOS reminds us in this post from last year, the Senate didn't pass a budget because the Republicans blocked it. Heaven forbid George Stephanopoulos or any of his fellow Villagers might take the time to point that out to their audience when one of these Republicans repeats that lie.
Transcript below the fold.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you-- you talk about everything hitting at the end of the year. The national journal, as I'm sure you've thought-- written about it, so that that big-- what-- fiscal cliff, that's what Bernanke called it at the end of the year, is your last chance, Boehner's last chance. And-- and I wanna read to you a little bit of the article and get you to respond.
It's is quite-- a piercing-- article in places. The writer John Farrell says, "False starts and failures characterize John Boehner's nearly two-year record as speaker. As Leader of the House G.O.P. has faced two crises of this scale and come up short on each occasion. No one has ever doubted his sincerity, his conviction, or his patriotism. What they look for is his leadership."
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: You know-- George-- I've never-- been shy about leading. But you know, leaders need followers. And we've got 89 brand new members. We've got a pretty disparate caucus.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Some say they're leading you.
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: And-- and it-- it is hard to keep-- 218 frogs in a wheelbarrow long enough to get a bill passed.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Quite an image.
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: But-- you know, if-- if we weren't trying to do big things on behalf of our country, my job would be a lot easier. And the challenge that-- that I have is we always have some members who wanna do more. I wanna do more too. But Republicans are still a minority here in Washington. You got the Democrats in control of the Senate--
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, and you're the Speaker of the House.
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: I know. But we got Democratic control of the Senate, we got a Democrat in the White House. And-- and our members are pretty frustrated
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But can you get- can you get more than half of your members to support a compromise with Democrats? That's what it's gonna take?
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Oh listen, we've worked with Democrats-- we looked through all these jobs bills in the Senate, 30 of them, sitting over there, part of our plan for American job creation. All of them passed with bipartisan support.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Not on these big budget bills though.
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: So-- on the budget, we've done a budget. Where's the Senate? 1,120 days since they have passed a budget.