WASHINGTON — Retiring House Speaker John Boehner blasted hard-line conservatives and outside groups for pushing strategies that took the government to the brink of shutdown — and at times, into a shutdown.
“Absolutely, they’re not realistic,” Boehner said of the conservatives.
He pointed to the October 2013 shutdown after conservative House Republicans demanded the repeal of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law as one strategy that “never had a chance.”
“The Bible says beware of false prophets. And there are people out there, you know, spreading noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole notion that we’re going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013 — this plan never had a chance,” Boehner said.
“But over the course of the August recess in 2013 and in September, a lot of my Republican colleagues who knew this was a fool’s errand — really, they were getting all this pressure from home to do this,” he said.
Boehner said conservative, Washington-based groups knew the goals they were championing couldn’t be accomplished but pressed for them anyway.
“And so, we’ve got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whipped people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know — are never going to happen,” he said.
Asked specifically if Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate, was a “false prophet,” Boehner didn’t dispute it.
“You can pick a lot of names out. I’ll let you choose them,” he said.