Former House Speaker (R-OH) on Sunday suggested that former President Barack Obama shared the blame for racist elements in the Republican Party.
April 18, 2021

Former House Speaker (R-OH) on Sunday suggested that former President Barack Obama shared the blame for racist elements in the Republican Party.

During an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd noted that "white supremacist" ideas are "creeping" into Boehner's party.

"And it's metastasized," Todd said, referring to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). "Now they're trying to start a caucus that's sort of based on these racist ideas."

"How did this happen? How did this get mainstreamed a bit in your party?" the NBC host asked Boehner.

"Well, Chuck, I have no idea how this even showed up," Boehner replied. "I wouldn't call it mainstreamed in our party. But I can tell you that this so-called America First Caucus is one of the nuttiest things I've every seen."

The former Speaker went on to claim that America "is a land of immigration" and called for Republicans to denounce the America First Caucus.

"I think it's awfully cruel," he explained. "And frankly, it has no place in the Republican Party.

Boehner then suggested that Obama was at fault because immigration reform was not passed while he was president.

"My second biggest regret during my time as Speaker is not being able to come to an agreement with President Obama on an immigration reform bill," he opined. "Our immigration system is a mess, it's broken, from top to bottom. And it needs to be fixed so that it's fairer for Americans that are here and fairer for those that are trying to come here."

"Was it him or was it conservative media?" Todd pushed back, observing that Boehner had been critical of Fox News's role in undermining his ability to pass bipartisan legislation.

"So you put the blame on President Obama," Todd pointed out. "Isn't it [former Fox News chief] Roger Ailes and the radicalization of what happened on sort of right-wing [television] at night that torpedoed immigration?"

"No," Boehner disagreed. "Believe me, Chuck, I wanted to get immigration reform done. President Obama wanted to get it done. But again, every time we'd get ready to move, the president would go out and give some speech or he'd loosen up some immigration regulation and just kind of set everybody on fire. And that's not a prescription for getting things accomplished in the Congress."

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