Smoking like a chimney and cursing like a sailor, John Boehner unloads on Republicans in a new interview.
John Boehner, once the third most powerful politician in the country, seems to have found his inner peace in retirement. He still smokes like a fiend and drinks and curses like a sailor. But now he spends his days stress-free golfing and ironing his underwear instead of wrangling Republicans. And he’s clearly got zero fucks left to give.
Over the summer, Boehner said that everything Trump has done in office so far “has been a complete disaster.” And now the former Speaker is going after fellow Republicans in a new lengthy interview with Politico.
Reporter Tim Alberta spent nearly 20 hours interviewing Boehner over the past few months. And Boehner was very candid about how he feels about the current state of the Republican party.
“When I ask Boehner whether the Republican Party can survive this, he cuts me off. “There is no Rep—.” He stops himself. “You were about to say, ‘There is no Republican Party,” I tell him. He shrugs. “There is. But what does it even mean? Donald Trump’s not a Republican. He’s not a Democrat. He’s a populist. He doesn’t have an ideological bone in his body.” So who, I ask, is the leader of the party? “There is nobody,” he says.”
When Alberta asked him about the House Freedom Caucus Boehner said,
“They can’t tell you what they’re for. They can tell you everything they’re against. They’re anarchists. They want total chaos. Tear it all down and start over. That’s where their mindset is.”
Boehner went on to call Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep. Mark Meadows “an idiot,” adding, “I can’t tell you what makes him tick.”
He didn’t have kind words for the other co-founder Rep. Jim Jordan either.
“Jordan was a terrorist as a legislator going back to his days in the Ohio House and Senate. A terrorist. A legislative terrorist,” Boehner said.
The Politico reporter also brought up House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz. He wrote,
“Boehner’s beef with Chaffetz, who would later join Fox News as a paid contributor, is not personal- just that he’s a “total phony” who possessed legislative talent but focused mostly on self-promotion. “With Chaffetz,” Boehner says, “it’s always about Chaffetz.””
Boehner added, “Fuck Jordan. Fuck Chaffetz. They’re both assholes.”
One person Boehner does seem to like is Trey Gowdy. But he still couldn’t resist taking a swipe at him. “Gowdy- that’s my guy, even though he doesn’t know how to dress,” Boehner said.
Boehner even defended Obama.
“People thought in ’09, ’10, ’11, that the country couldn’t be divided more. And you go back to Obama’s campaign in 2008, you know, he was talking about the divide and healing the country and all of that. And some would argue on the right that he did more to divide the country than to unite it. I kind of reject that notion.” Why is that? “Because it wasn’t him!” Boehner replies. “It was modern-day media, and social media, that kept pushing people further right and further left. People started to figure out … they could choose where to get their news. And so what do people do? They choose places they agree with, reinforcing the divide.”
Then Boehner had a few things to say about right-wing media.
“I always liked Rush [Limbaugh]. When I went to Palm Beach I would always meet with Rush and we’d go play golf. But you know, who was that right-wing guy, [Mark] Levin? He went really crazy right and got a big audience, and he dragged [Sean] Hannity to the dark side. He dragged Rush to the dark side. And these guys—I used to talk to them all the time. And suddenly they’re beating the living shit out of me.” Boehner, seated in his favorite recliner, lights another cigarette. “I had a conversation with Hannity, probably about the beginning of 2015. I called him and said, ‘Listen, you’re nuts.’ We had this really blunt conversation. Things were better for a few months, and then it got back to being the same-old, same-old. Because I wasn’t going to be a right-wing idiot.”