Huffpost Politics

John Boehner To Kathleen Parker: 'We're Broke' (VIDEO)

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BOEHNER

John Boehner visited CNN's "Parker Spitzer" Wednesday to discuss Obama's State of the Union address, and he didn't hesitate to cut right to the chase.

Kathleen Parker opened their conversation by asking, "The president kept saying this is a 'Sputnik moment' ... what kind of moment would you say we're in right now?"

"Well, if you really want to talk about what the 'Sputnik moment' is," he replied, "it's the fact that we're broke. And American people know we're broke."

Boehner continued by suggesting both parties come together to discuss "an array of solutions" with the American people, but failed to respond when pressed about whether cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security should be part of the fix.

Also during the segment, Boehner backtracked on a suggestion he made last year that raising the retirement age could be a possible solution to revamping Social Security.

"I made a mistake when I did that, because I think having the conversation about how big the problem is is the first step," he said. "And once the American people understand how big the problem is, then you can begin to outline an array of possible solutions."

HuffPost's Sam Stein reported on what Boehner had to say about the matter last summer:

"We also know these programs are unsustainable in their current form," said the Ohio Republican. Asked specifically if he supports raising the retirement age to, say, 70, Boehner replied: "There are a lot of options on how you solve these, but I don't want to put the cart before the horse."

This wasn't the first time Boehner had broached the idea of raising Social Security's retirement age. The Minority Leader offered the same suggestion in an interview in late June. Back then, Democrats jumped on the remark, arguing that it was (one) not based in a realistic assessment of Social Security's solvency and (two) insensitive to those people who worked all their lives with an eye towards having a financially-stable retirement. It would be far from surprising if the same arguments are made in the days ahead.

WATCH (via Mediaite):

Around the Web

Speaker Boehner: 'We're broke' – Parker Spitzer - CNN.com Blogs

John Boehner | We're Broke - Spending | State Of The Union | Mediaite

Boehner: 'We Are Broke' - ABC News

John Boehner On Spending And The State Of The Union: "We're Broke"

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