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Boehner: I’m No ‘Squish’

If you can’t cry, you might as well laugh.

That seems to be the motto Speaker  John A. Boehner is living by these days.

During a speech Wednesday before the Ripon Society — one of the more moderate Republican policy organizations, named after the birthplace of the Republican Party — the Ohio Republican joked about the not-so-funny backlash he’s received from his party during the past two years.

“The Ox, when he was giving me this introduction, he talked about how no one’s questioned my integrity, no one’s questioned my patriotism, no one’s questioned my conservatism,” Boehner said, referring to an introduction he received from his former House colleague and fellow Ohioan, Mike Oxley.

“Huh! Where the hell have you been?” Boehner cracked.

Boehner said his meetings with President Barack Obama during the past two years for issues such as raising the debt ceiling and averting the fiscal cliff have caused a deep rift between old-line Republicans the newer, right-wing faction of his party, a rift he’s been trying his darnedest to repair.

“They think I’m some squish ready to sell them out in a heartbeat, when obviously some of you know in the room, that ain’t quite who I am,” Boehner said, referring to some of the members in his conference.

He told the Ripon Society that the next 90 days — likely to be filled with budget and debt ceiling fights — will be tough but that he’s ready to take on his detractors.

“All I know is: I’m up for the fight.”

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