‘The knuckleheads in Congress that listen to these guys start blowing in the president’s ear…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Former House Speaker John Boehner blames the recent 35-day partial government shutdown on the House Freedom Caucus, who he called “the goofballs on the right.”
Boehner, an Ohio Republican, took shots at his one-time GOP nemeses at a Republican Club meeting on Marco Island, Florida this week.
He didn’t hide his ill-will towards fellow Ohioan Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., both Freedom Caucus co-founders.
“The knuckleheads in Congress that listen to these guys start blowing in the president’s ear,” Boehner said, according to the Naples Daily News.
“All of sudden, the president calls (former House Speaker) Paul Ryan and (current House Minority Leader) Kevin McCarthy, R–Calif., and says, ‘I want $5 billion or nothing.’”
The Freedom Caucus pushed for the southern border wall after two-years of promises — and no wall — from Paul Ryan. Boehner apparently still has an axe to grind against the group’s roughly 30 members who forced him to take more conservative positions against President Barack Obama when he was Speaker of the House.
By all accounts the Freedom Caucus should be powerless as a minority group within the now minority Republican Party in the House. But Jordan, Meadows and other caucus members have a “trump” card, of sorts—a direct alliance with President Donald Trump.
Meadows frequently engages directly with the Trump, even in late-night telephone calls.
In a floor speech on Wednesday, Meadows blasted Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bad faith shutdown negotiations, saying, “It’s nothing more than a message meant to go after the president of the United States.”
“Nothing more than a political stunt,” Meadows said.
But Boehner took the opportunity to rip the conservative House group, instead of Pelosi.
“When I was looking for legislative strategy, the last place I looked was talk radio,” Boehner said. “The second last place I looked was the knucklehead caucus, who don’t know how to vote yes on anything. They did the president a total disservice.”
Boehner also praised Trump for the 2017 tax cut package — but with a backhanded compliment.
Boehner said Trump “has a different style than I do,” and added, “Donald Trump, in my view, by and large, has done the right things.”
“He was smart enough to stay the hell out of the way,” Boehner said.