Boehner Fires Back at Gibbs

Less than 24 hours after the President’s top spokesman directed an unusually harsh attack at John Boehner for his recent criticism of the Democrat-backed financial reform package, the House Republican leader fired back, saying that the White House should “be focused on solving the problems of the American people … rather than focusing on the Republican leader’s metaphor.”

Boehner had compared the administration’s approach to financial reform to “killing an ant with a nuclear weapon.”

In a session yesterday with White House correspondents, in answer to a question from one of my colleagues about Boehner’s remark, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs replied,

“If I understand the analogy correctly,” “[W]e understand that he apparently believes that the financial crisis.  I think the ant in that is the financial crisis.  Now, I don’t know whether opening one’s mouth and removing most of the doubt that you’re completely out of touch with America in thinking  that a financial crisis that caused 8.5 million jobs to be lost, the savings of tens of millions of Americans wiped out in a financial crisis, to have lives altered forever, to make that type of analogy I think demonstrates – well, I will say it demonstrates how out of touch you are currently and it demonstrates exactly the type of mindset that he would bring to leading the House of Representatives.  It’s led him to oppose an economic recovery plan that has grown our economy and brought us back from the brink of a Great Depression.”

Gibbs went on to point out that Boehner “has voted against strengthening the rules that govern Wall Street.  Maybe he thinks that the rules that we had in place that caused what happened in September of 2008 are just the type of regulation Wall Street needs.  The President doesn’t believe that, and I think the majority of Americans don’t think that.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel shot back, saying that "The White House should be focused on solving the problems of the American people – stopping the oil leak and cleaning up the Gulf, stopping their job-killing agenda, and repealing and replacing ObamaCare – rather than focusing on the Republican Leader’s metaphor.”

Steel said, "It’s clear from Boehner’s remarks that he was not minimizing the crisis America faced. Rather, Steel told me, “he was pointing out that Washington Democrats have produced a bill that will actually kill more jobs and make the situation worse.”