Cole Hits Cruz, Rubio over Boehner: ‘Don’t Tap Dance on Somebody’s Political Coffin’

‘[Boehner] chose to sacrifice himself in order to spare his members from a tough vote’


GEIST: “It’s going to get you in trouble.”

COLE: “Yeah, hurt my friend Eric a lot.”

GEIST: “We talked a little bit about reaction to this – obviously Leader Cantor was very surprised here about Speaker Boehner’s announcement. The 2016 presidential candidates also reacting out on the trail, it divided the party. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were among the first White House hopefuls to offer their thoughts at the Values Voters Summit, after the news broke on Friday.”

[clip starts]

RUBIO: “Just a few minutes ago, Speaker Boehner announced that he will be resign. (Cheering and Applause) It’s not about him or anybody else and I’m not here today to bash anyone. But the time has come to turn the page. The time has come to turn the page and allow a new generation of leadership in this country. (Applause)

CRUZ: “Yesterday, John Boehner was the speaker of the House. (Cheering and Applause) You all come to town and somehow that changes. My only request is can you come more often?”

KASICH: “Well, I'm saddened. I think John was a -- was a very -- he's a great guy. … I was there in the '90s when we actually got things done. Think about it, we changed the welfare system, which had been in place for about 40 years. We balanced the budget, of which I was chief architect. And -- and we cut taxes. The economy was growing and we were doing great. And when I left Washington, we had a $5 trillion surplus. And Boehner sat at the leadership table right next to me and we pushed those things through and that was some of the most productive time that Republicans or conservative have had.”

BUSH: “I admire John Boehner greatly.  He's a great public servant. He left at the apex of his -- of his time in service to this -- to the country with the pope speaking in Congress.  I think people are going to miss him in the long run, because he's a -- he's a person that is focused on solving problems.”

[clip ends]

GEIST: “Congressman Cole, some obviously very contrasting styles and contrasting points of view on the news about Speaker Boehner. I am curious we had a reaction around this table, I am curious which yours was when we saw that crowd whooping the cheers on the news that Speaker Boehner was leaving.”

COLE: “I think they've been, frankly, deliberately and systematically miss informed and that's sad. I mean, frankly, the senators that we were talking about haven’t been able to get, for instance the repeal of ObamaCare to the floor in the United States Senate. We’ve repealed that, what, 50,60 times in the House. Look, we’ve been the most functional part of the system. … I think the distinction between the class of your last two speakers and the first two is pretty obvious to anybody who listens. You don’t tap dance on somebody’s political coffin. In this case, the speaker chose the moment he was leaving, he would have won this fight easily. Everybody in this body knows it. But he chose to sacrifice himself in order to spare his members from a tough vote. I'm not sure I would have done that. … I admire him for doing it. It says a lot about his character and who he is.”


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