John Boehner says in forthcoming memoir that in 2010 a Republican could be a 'total moron' and still be elected in the midterms
- John Boehner said that a Republican “could be a total moron” and still get elected in 2010.
- 2010 was a big year for the GOP and Boehner said, “we did pick up a fair number in that category.”
- The former Republican House Speaker didn’t hold back in an excerpt of his memoir published Friday.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner said that a Republican “could be a total moron” and still be elected to Congress in the 2010 midterms in an excerpt of his forthcoming memoir that was published in Politico Magazine on Friday.
“In the 2010 midterm election, voters from all over the place gave President Obama what he himself called ‘a shellacking.’ And oh boy, was it ever. You could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name—and that year, by the way, we did pick up a fair number in that category,” Boehner wrote in his book, “On The House: A Washington Memoir,” which is set to be released on April 13.
Republicans’ big sweep was a dream scenario for the party, but Boehner, first elected to Congress in 1991, found that he had his work cut out for him with a caucus of over 80 new GOP House lawmakers who weren’t all part of the so-called establishment Republicans, but belonged to a new Tea Party insurgency.
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In the excerpt, Boehner didn’t hold back when assessing his new colleagues, saying that when he tried to offer the freshmen lawmakers guidance about being in Congress, his advice “went straight through the ears of most of them, especially the ones who didn’t have brains that got in the way.”
Boehner also assigned some blame to conservative media outlets, especially Fox News, in incentivizing flashiness and outrage over substance, which he said made it harder for him to govern his caucus effectively.
By 2013, Boehner wrote, “the chaos caucus in the House had built up their own power base thanks to fawning right-wing media and outrage-driven fundraising cash.”
He said that former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, for example, had “made a name for herself as a lunatic” after first being elected in 2006. And yet she demanded a seat on the prestigious and highly sought-after House Ways and Means Committee.
In the days of yore, Boehner said, the House speaker would simply brush off such an audacious request. But Bachmann had the increasingly powerful conservative media apparatus at her disposal and could use it to cause even more trouble for him.
Eventually, Boehner compromised and gave her a seat on the House Committee on Intelligence, a still-distinguished committee assignment that would allow her to build up some foreign policy credentials to fit her presidential aspirations.
But his troubles with Tea Party-style elected officials with national ambitions didn’t end there — and weren’t limited to his side of the Capitol.
“There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz,” he wrote. “He enlisted the crazy caucus of the GOP in what was a truly dumbass idea. Not that anybody asked me.”
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