Boehner: Shutting down federal government 'predictable disaster'

Jan. 24, 2014 at 4:36 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The federal government shutdown was a "predictable disaster" that reflects the challenges he has had to deal with in his job, House Speaker John Boehner says.

Appearing on the "Tonight Show," the Republican leader said he warned fellow House members against causing the showdown, but was urged by others in the party to go along as part of the fight over President Obama's healthcare law, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"When I looked up, I saw my colleagues going this way. And you learn that a leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk," he said. "So I said, 'You want to fight this fight? I'll go fight the fight with you.' But it was a very predictable disaster."

Referring to the divergent political stances among House Republican members, Boehner said: "I like to describe my job as trying to get 218 frogs in a wheelbarrow long enough to pass a bill. It's hard to do."

He admitted to host Jay Leno the tension in the party was the worst he had seen, and struck out at outside groups he said "purport to represent the tea party."

"There's nothing I could do that was ever conservative enough for them," Boehner said.

The speaker declined to endorse any possible Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential race, but said he felt former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would be a good president.

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