Boehner: Admin 'Doesn't Even Try to Hide' Antipathy Toward Netanyahu
House Speaker John Boehner sat down with Bret Baier today for an exclusive interview, covering everything from immigration to ObamaCare to Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Boehner charged the administration with antipathy toward Netanyahu, and he sounded off on plans to sue President Barack Obama over his executive action on immigration.
Watch the full interview above, and check out highlights below.
Boehner: Admin ‘Doesn’t Even Try to Hide’ Antipathy Toward Netanyahu
Baier asked Boehner if he’s surprised by the pushback surrounding his invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress on Iran.
Boehner said he’s not really surprised. He explained that he has no problem doing what he did since he represents a co-equal branch of government.
“I believe that the prime minister of Israel has a strong voice,” Boehner said. “He believes that the threat of Iranians having a nuclear weapon is a very serious threat. The Israeli prime minister can also talk with some expertise about the growing threat of radical Islam. We've got a serious problem in the world and the president just wants to act like it's going to just disappear.”
Baier asked: Do you think there's some kind of antipathy in this administration toward Netanyahu?
“Of course there is,” he said. “They don’t even try to hide it.”
Boehner also weighed in on reports that Jeremy Bird, who served as national field director in President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, is part of an effort to defeat Netanyahu’s re-election.
While Boehner said he hasn’t heard this report, he said he hopes it’s not the case.
“Israel has been our strongest ally in the region for decades […] We [ought to] look for ways to work together on behalf of our shared interests, not have the kind of antipathy that we've seen over the last several years,” he said.
Boehner: Obama’s Immigration Action ‘A Violation of His Oath of Office’
Boehner discussed his plan to sue the Obama administration again on immigration, calling Obama’s executive action “a violation of our Constitution” and “a violation of his oath of office.”
Boehner explained that the House passed the VHS Appropriation Bill to take Obama’s ability to do what he did away from him. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.
Additionally, Boehner said a lawsuit is an important step.
“This isn't about immigration. This is the president violating the Constitution, violating his oath of office and, frankly, not upholding the rule of law,” he said.
He added, “Twenty-two times over six years, [Obama] said he didn't have the authority to do it. Yet he decided to do it anyway.”
Boehner also discussed the House border security bill, telling Baier that it will pass.
Boehner: ‘There Will Be an Alternative’ to ObamaCare
Baier questioned Boehner on why the House is having another vote next week to repeal ObamaCare.
“We have 47 new members of Congress on the Republican side who have never had the chance to cast their vote to repeal ObamaCare,” he said. “ObamaCare is hurting our economy. It's hurting the job prospects for millions of Americans. And it's hurting our whole health care delivery system while at the same time driving up costs for the average American.”
Boehner said that three committee chairmen are also working to craft an alternative to ObamaCare.
“There will be an alternative, and you’ll get to see it,” he told Baier.
Baier to Boehner: Is Barack Obama a Failed President?
Is Obama a failed president?
Baier posed this question to Boehner tonight, citing Boehner’s remarks that Obama has acted like an emperor and has failed policies.
“I think his policies have hurt our country and hurt our economy. And, you know, the president can describe his job performance any way he wants. All I know is that his policies are not working,” Boehner said.
While Boehner admitted he won’t deny that the economy is a little bit better, he said Obama should not be taking credit for it.
“The American people are the ones that are growing the economy,” he said.
Boehner said we’ve seen the lowest labor participation rate in the last 35-40 years. He said there are more people in poverty and on food stamps now than the day Obama took office.
“The improvement in the economy is fine for the top, as he calls them, 1 percent,” Boehner said. “But for most Americans, they're not seeing it.”
'I Was the Tea Party...'
Baier asked whether this Congress is Boehner's "last time around" and if he thinks he can bring all Republicans together.
He responded with a laugh and said "I'll be here for a while," before adding that he sympathizes with the concerns of the more conservative members of his party.
"I was the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party. I understand their concerns, I understand their frustrations. But we have a Constitution that we abide by and we’re gonna live by," he said.
Boehner then added that "like it or not" President Obama will be in office two more years and the House must "hold him accountable and try to find common ground to get things done on behalf of the American people."