Last night, TPM caught House Minority Leader John Boehner saying that the sacrifice of soldiers who have died or been wounded in Iraq “will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda.” After Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), DNC Chairman Howard Dean and DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen condemned the remarks, Boehner’s office finally responded, telling the Politico that he was “asked about the money spent in Iraq, and that’s what Mr. Boehner was referring to” with his “small price” comment. But a look at the interview’s transcript clearly shows he was asked about troop deaths:
BLITZER: How much longer will U.S. taxpayers have to shell out $2 billion a week or $3 billion a week as some now are suggesting the cost is going to endure? The loss in blood, the Americans who are killed every month, how much longer do you think this commitment, this military commitment is going to require?
BOEHNER: I think General Petraeus outlined it pretty clearly. We’re making success. We need to firm up those successes. We need to continue our effort here because, Wolf, long term, the investment that we’re making today will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda here, if we’re able to stabilize the Middle East, it’s not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids.