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John Boehner Claims He Never Called President Obama A Socialist

Ruh-roh. John Boehner had better watch it or the Tea Baggers are going to be angry with him. He must think that no one has him either transcribed or r
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Ruh-roh. John Boehner had better watch it or the Tea Baggers are going to be angry with him. He must think that no one has him either transcribed or recorded for the last year. Think Progress cites one example.

Boehner is lying. He has said that what Obama and Democratic leaders are doing is socialism. From his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference a few months ago:

Well, the stimulus, the omnibus, the budget — it’s all one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment. … All of these bills seek to replace our economic freedom with the whims and mandates of politicians and bureaucrats.

GREGORY:This question about the role of the government, and, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying this week what she worries about in terms of the tone of debate is that it could lead to violence, as it did in the ‘70s; you know, there was anti-government violence in the ‘90s in Oklahoma City, as well. How much of a concern is that? Do you share it, or do you think that that was an overstatement on her part?

GRAHAM: Well, quite frankly, I mean, the whole idea of the role of government needs to be debated. The public option; she says there will be no bill coming out of the House without a public option. America is saying, listen, the government programs we’ve got like Medicare is $34 trillion underfunded. The Baucus bill will let—adds 11 million to a Medicaid system that can’t—the states can’t afford. So a lot of us are concerned that Nancy Pelosi and others are pushing government to control prices when it will not work in health care. Competition and choice. If you’ve got only one plan in Alabama, let the people in Alabama shop around the country for plans. But I’m not so worried about—you know, her criticism about the opponents of the plan don’t bother me. The fact that we’re broke...

GREGORY: She’s talking about violence, though.

GRAHAM: Yeah. I don’t...

GREGORY: I mean, we’ll get to the health care. You don’t buy that.

GRAHAM: I don’t think any responsible person is asking for a violent response.

GREGORY: Do you—is that hyperbole?

BOEHNER: David, I’m, I’m not concerned about violence.

GRAHAM: No.

BOEHNER: I mean, I’m sure Speaker Pelosi was sincere in her concern. But let’s remember something. The debate that we’re in here is not just about health care, it’s about the, the trillion-dollar stimulus that was suppose to be about jobs and turned into nothing more spending—than spending and more spending. It was about a budget with a, with a nearly $2 trillion deficit this year and trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. It’s a cap and trade system, this big giant tax on the American people that this week, we just find out, the Treasury Department said will cost the average family $1700 per year. You add to that this whole question of health care and the government option, the government involvement, and Americans today are getting more news about what’s happening in their government than they have ever gotten before, and Americans are genuinely scared to death. Scared to death...

GREGORY: But, Leader, don’t they get even more scared when you got the head of the Republican Party sending out an e-mail that, you know, to challenge the president and Democratic leaders for a socialist power grab? I mean, is that appropriate conversation? Is this, did you really think the president’s a socialist?

BOEHNER: Listen, when you begin to look at how much they want to grow government, you can call it whatever you want, but the fact is, is that...

GREGORY: Well, what do you call it, though? This is important.

BOEHNER: This is unsustainable. We’re, we’re broke.

GREGORY: That’s fine. Do you think the president’s a socialist? Because that’s what...

BOEHNER: No.

GREGORY: OK. But the head of the Republican Party is, is calling him that.

BOEHNER: Well, listen, I didn’t call him that and I’m not going to call him that. What’s going on here is unsustainable. Our nation is broke. And, and at a time when we’ve got this serious economic problem, a near 10 percent unemployment, we ought to be looking to create jobs in America, not kill jobs in America. Their cap and trade proposal, all this spending, all of this debt and now their healthcare plan will make it more difficult for employers to hire people, more difficult and more expensive to have employees, which means we’re going to have less jobs in America. But Americans are scared. That’s why they’re speaking up and that’s why they’re engaging in their government.

John Boehner Feb. 28, 2009--Obama drives US toward socialism, GOP says:

Representative John Boehner, the Republican leader in the House, called the budget proposal and recently passed economic stimulus plan "one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment."

I'm sure there are a few more examples out there of the socialist or socialism quotes coming directly from John Boehner, but if he were truly concerned about the GOP using the term, he would not be saying it himself, ever... and he'd be doing more to reign in the likes of Michelle Bachmann. As the Politico article notes that's not likely to happen though because he's worried about pissing off his wingnut base.

John Boehner struggles to keep up with base:

Long before the tea parties or Wilson’s outburst, Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had struggled to moderate the rhetorical excesses of House conservatives hammering away on Obama’s birth certificate, decrying the creation of “death panels” and ferreting out signs of creeping socialism.

Sources say they have been especially wary of the possible damage inflicted on the party’s reputation by bomb-throwing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who last fall called for an investigation into whether members of Congress are “pro-America or anti-America.”

Still, Boehner has largely avoided antagonizing the base on these hot-button issues — steering clear of using the words “death panel” — while criticizing Democrats for involving the government in end-of-life decisions. He’s been particularly careful to avoid the fate of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who found himself publicly espousing positions that didn’t have widespread support in his own conference.

Like Gingrich, Boehner can’t afford to get on the wrong side of his base: After he helped shepherd through the $700 billion Wall Street bailout last fall, some conservatives privately groused that the minority leader was out of touch with the small-government wing of the party.

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