Politics

Backed Into A Corner, Boehner Admits That Obama Is Not A Socialist

RNC Chairman Michael Steele recently sent out a fundraising letter saying that President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress are attempting a “socialist power grab.” Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory pressed House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) on whether such language was appropriate. Boehner tried to dodge the question, insisting that “you can call it whatever you want,” but the fact is that Obama’s the one scaring the American public. Gregory continued to ask whether Boehner believes Obama is a socialist, to which he finally admitted he doesn’t:

GREGORY: Do you really think the President is a socialist?

BOEHNER: Listen, when you begin to look at how much they want to grow government, you can call it whatever you want, but the fact is —

GREGORY: What do you call it though?

BOEHNER: This is unsustainable. We’re broke.

GREGORY: That’s fine. Do you think the President is a socialist?

BOEHNER: No!

GREGORY: Okay. Because the head of the Republican Party is calling him that.

BOEHNER: Listen, I didn’t call him that, and I’m not going to call him that.

Watch it:

Boehner is lying. He has said that what Obama and Democratic leaders are doing is socialism. From his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference a few months ago:

Well, the stimulus, the omnibus, the budget — it’s all one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment. … All of these bills seek to replace our economic freedom with the whims and mandates of politicians and bureaucrats.

Basically, Boehner admitted today that all he was doing there was fear-mongering and attempting to scare the public for political gain.

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Obama responded to these charges from conservative leaders, stating, “You know, I’m amused. I can’t tell you how many foreign leaders who are heads of center-right governments say to me, I don’t understand why people would call you socialist, in my country, you’d be considered a conservative.”

Transcript:

BOEHNER: You add to that, this whole question of health care and the government option and government involvement, and Americans today are getting more news about what’s happening in our government than they’ve ever gotten before. And Americans are genuinely scared to death. Scared to death —

GREGORY: But Leader, don’t they get even more scared when you’ve got the head of the Republican Party sending out an e-mail to challenge the President and Democratic leaders for a socialist power-grab? I mean, is that appropriate conversation? Do you really think the President is a socialist?

BOEHNER: Listen, when you begin to look at how much they want to grow government, you can call it whatever you want, but the fact is —

GREGORY: What do you call it though?

BOEHNER: This is unsustainable. We’re broke.

GREGORY: That’s fine. Do you think the President is a socialist?

BOEHNER: No!

GREGORY: Okay. Because the head of the Republican Party is calling him that.

BOEHNER: Listen, I didn’t call him that, and I’m not going to call him that.