During an interview with incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) last night on 60 Minutes, host Leslie Stahl noted that President Obama has said Boehner will “have a responsibility to govern” as Speaker. “You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower,” Obama said. “We have to govern. That’s what we were elected to do,” Boehner told Stahl, adding that it won’t involve compromising, but instead finding “common ground”:
STAHL: But governing means compromising.
BOEHNER: It means working together.
STAHL: It also means compromising.
BOEHNER: It means finding common ground.
STAHL: Okay, is that compromising?
BOEHNER: I made it clear I am not going to compromise on my principles, nor am I going to compromise the will of the American people.
STAHL: What are you saying? You’re saying, “I want common ground, but I’m not gonna compromise.” I don’t understand that. I really don’t.
BOEHNER: When you say the word “compromise,” a lot of Americans look up and go, “Uh oh, they’re gonna sell me out.” And so finding common ground, I think, makes more sense.
Stahl noted that Boehner compromised his position on the Bush tax cuts to get a deal with Obama last week, noting that he had wanted the all the Bush-era tax cuts extended permanently but only got a two-year extension. Boehner again said it wasn’t a compromise. “Why won’t you say you’re afraid of the word,” Stahl asked. “I reject the word,” Boehner said. Watch it:
On MSNBC this morning, Joe Scarborough explained, “John Boehner right now is running the herd over…80 plus new members. And he can’t run around saying the word ‘compromise’ because they’ll get skittish.”