President Obama Tells It Like It Is: Boehner “Can’t Control His Caucus”

wabctv-obamaIf there’s one thing that’s driven me crazy about President Obama, it’s his inability to control a message.  Most of his time in office, he’s seemed to avoid being “too harsh” toward Republicans, instead seeking words that are much more passive.

But there have been times (and we’ve seen them a lot more frequently lately) where he has directly called out Republicans on their incompetence and obstruction. A great example of this came yesterday when Obama flat out said that the biggest reason why we’re dealing with a government shutdown and possible default on our debts is John Boehner’s inability to control his caucus.

See, as Speaker of the House, he’s supposed to be the leader of his party.  Instead, Boehner has repeatedly been made to look like a fool by a handful of tea party-backed Republicans in both the House and now even the Senate.  There have been numerous accounts where tea party antics have directly undermined his efforts to govern.


Well, President Obama decided to finally call Boehner’s incompetence out directly.  Here’s the video of the interview, via WABC-TV:

The president spoke bluntly about Speaker Boehner’s ineffectiveness:

“The problem that we’ve got is that for Speaker Boehner, for example, him negotiating with me isn’t necessarily good for the extreme faction in his caucus. It weakens him.  So there’ve been repeated situations where we have agreements, then he goes back and it turns out that he can’t control his caucus.  The challenge here is: Can you deliver on agreements that are made?  Are you able to come up with sensible, bipartisan compromises and deliver on them?  One thing that I’ve shown is that if I say I’m prepared to compromise on something, I can deliver votes and we can get it done.”

And that’s this whole idiotic situation in a nutshell.  It’s Boehner’s inability to control House Republicans enough to get legislation out of the House, passed through the Senate and signed by the president.

It really doesn’t do him any good to show up and work with the president, because tea party Republicans don’t want to work with the president.  Like I’ve said numerous times here lately, they really would rather see this country reduced to ashes than work with President Obama on anything. So when Boehner meets with these radicals and takes their demands plans to President Obama, their “compromises” are so far radically right that it’s laughable to even call them a legitimate offer.

You don’t negotiate with opposition who has the upper hand and says specific things are not up for negotiation. President Obama and Democrats have said from the very beginning that “Obamacare” was in no way up for negotiation.  So what did Republicans do?  Insist that “Obamacare” be part of the negotiations.  It’s completely asinine.

And just like last night when Boehner was forced to pull a plan he was working on because he couldn’t get enough Republicans to support it, he proved once again that he’s a complete failure as Speaker of the House.


If Boehner was any kind of a real leader, he would have allowed the Senate’s clean continuing resolution to be voted on in the House (it would have passed), propose a bill that has Democratic support and enough Republican support to raise the debt ceiling and tell these radical tea party-backed members of his party to take a hike.

Because it’s not just our government these tea party radicals seem determined to destroy, it’s the Republican party as well.  They’ve shown they won’t hesitate to go after Republicans they don’t deem as “real conservatives” in their primaries and replace them with more radically right candidates.  Candidates which might play well in their individual districts, but nationally are complete train wrecks.

But I applaud President Obama for saying what most liberals have been saying for years: How can we expect Boehner to get anything done when he hasn’t shown the ability to even control his own caucus?

Image via WABC-TV

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Mike Williams

    I urge the President not to give false hope to the Giants…It would take an act of congress to reverse their season…And we all see how congress is acting…

    • JBS

      He said “it’s gonna be okay” and it is. Because the Giants will have the top pick in the draft at this rate (at this point, they are worse than fellow winless Jacksonville)

      • gemma liar

        if the tea party controls the giants draft they will draft ted cruz & make him QB ,,,,,,,,their logic? Manning gives away too much stuff

    • Shelia Grady

      LOL!!! Now that’s funny, Mike!

  • Pipercat

    Can’t control his caucus? I hope he wears Depends!!