The war of words between House Minority Leader John Boehner and President Barack Obama continued on Thursday, with the Ohio Republican telling the president to stop whining and engaging in “childish partisanship.”
The harsh comments from Boehner come one day after Obama, in a speech in Racine, Wis., on Wednesday, called Boehner “out of touch” for likening the financial reform effort to “killing an ant with a nuclear weapon.” Boehner made those remarks during a meeting with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board earlier this week.
Boehner said the president should focus his energies elsewhere.
“For someone who has to be held to a higher standard, President Obama spends an awful lot of time making excuses and whining about others,” Boehner said. “The American people want leadership from this White House and not childish partisanship.”
Boehner told reporters that his earlier comments had nothing to do with the financial crisis.
“I was not referencing the financial crisis at all. What I was referring to is what it would take to fix the problem,” Boehner said. “Fixing the problem would have meant doing something about reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It would have about more transparency for many of these financial transactions.”
Boehner argued the financial reform bill gives the government too much control over the financial sector.
“This is not the kind of financial reform that most Americans want,” he said. “They are going to punish every banker in the country … to pay for the sins of a handful on Wall Street.”
Boehner also addressed criticisms made by MSNBC host and former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) on Wednesday. Scarborough said on “Morning Joe” that Boehner was “not a hard worker,” and that he spent most of his evening in bars.
“I’ve always believed you only tease the ones you love,” he said. “You can go back over the last 16 years and look at my schedule [and] you’d be hard-pressed to find a night where I wasn’t doing events for my colleagues and candidates.”